One hundred war-torn years ago
  A million boys I did not know
Who'd never held a gun before
  Stood side by side and went to war.
  They did not know the reasons why;
Yet there they stood, prepared to die,
  Arm in arm and hand in hand,
For this great green and pleasant land.

For four long years they fought their cause,
  In this: the war to end all wars.
That man would go to war again
  Seemed unimaginable then.
  But in the next one hundred years
The world would shed more blood and tears.
  Millions more laid down their lives:
Sons and daughters, husbands, wives.

We'll never know how many perished
  Folk who once were loved and cherished;
Plain white crosses without names;
  Memories in picture frames.
  So testament to all that violence,
Standing side by side in silence,
  On this day of deep regret,
 We honour them:
Lest we forget.

Inspiration

Written between 11 November 2013 and 11 November 2014 to commemorate the cenenary of the end of the First World War.

11 November 2014