I REMEMBER by Pete Brammer

I REMEMBER

I remember what they said,

At the outbreak of the war,

‘It will be all over come Christmas’

Yet I can recall with such horror,

How our lads were slaughtered,

Thousands and thousands, en mass.

 

I remember signing on, with workmates,

All eager to do our bit.

“Your country needs you.” old Kitchener said.

I remember we proudly marched through town,

People cheered, waving Union flags,

For they could not envisage, most would end up dead.

 

I remember the years in sludgy trenches,

As we struggled, to keep our sanity,

Suffering trench foot, fleas and mites,

Waiting for the shout, “Over the top.”

With the accompanying shrilled whistles,

Instantly obeying, we set off to fight.

 

I remember too, mustard gas clouds,

Drifting across ‘No Man’s Land’

Donning the life saving gas masks,

As shells whistled over our heads,

All wondering where they would land,

To be followed, by deafening blasts.

 

I remember the mud, changing colour,

As it clung to out boots and putties,

A nerve tingling scarlet red,

Skin and bone flying everywhere,

With life blood from innocent lads,

Some wounded, but most of them dead.

 

I remember thinking, about my wife,

Upset, to be missing my child,

You see, I had walked away from the conflict,

Now I stand before the firing squad,

Their rifles, pointing at my heart,

Please God, forgive me…

Advertisements

IN GREATER RESOLUTION by Pete Brammer

Poignant peace from Pete (sic)

IN GREATER RESOLUTION by Pete Brammer

Muriel Wilson, played with her granddaughter Rosie on the back lawn of her Nottinghamshire bungalow. The little girl pretended to be a teacher, with her rag doll, Barbie doll, cuddly dog, ginger cat and tatty teddy bear as pupils.

The scene was so lovely, that her grandma couldn’t resist taking a photograph; a chance not to be missed.

Later that afternoon, after Rosie’s mum had collected her, Muriel printed the picture off, on her computer. Smiling at the image, she suddenly looked quite shocked; for there in one of the bedroom windows stood, a uniformed figure looking out. For a few minutes, she just stood starring at the picture, totally transfixed. “Oh! My goodness gracious! Who can that be!?” she thought. “There was nobody in the house. It can’t be a ghost? Can it?”

Having a thought, she headed to the next door neighbour’s, knowing he was a scientist and owned a magnifying machine. This would afford her a clearer image.

Inviting her in, the Sherman’s quickly set the machine up on thekitchen table, each of them unable to hide their excitement.

Mr. Sherman slid the photograph under the lens; the imageappearing on the screen, into which they all peered.

“Come on Bruce, can’t you get a better resolution than that?” askedhis wife.

“Just have a little patience my dear.” “But we want to see who it is.” “Yes; and so do I, Doris, so do I”

As the image became crystal clear, Muriel frowned. “I’m sure I’ve seen that face before. I think it’s in one of our old family albums.” Once back home, she immediately headed for the attic, trying to think whereabouts they would be. Eventually she located them at the bottom of a dusty trunk, beside the chimney breast. She carried them down to the bedroom where the suspected ghost had been seen. Carefully she thumbed through each well worn out and threadbare album, page by page, until eventually, there he was, a uniformed soldier staring back at her.

Removing the picture very carefully, she hurried back round to the Sherman’s, in the knowledge of knowing exact(y^e was. Handing the picture to Mr. Sherman she smiled. “It’s my great, great, Uncle Thomas Wilson.”

“What do you know about him?” asked Mrs. Sherman.

“Not a lot really, in fact nothing at all.”

Mrs. Sherman looked a little surprised. “Nothing at all?”

Muriel shook her head. “It was a taboo subject. The family nevertalked about him.”

“Why was that?”

“That, I just don’t know.”

Returning home to replace the snapshot, she was stopped in her tacks. Standing in the doorway, she could see the empty space in the album, now had a folded note on it. Slowly she picked it up. It read:

 

 

“Why did they have to shoot me. I couldn’t help it!”

CONFIRMED by Charles Baker

CONFIRMED by Charles Baker

They thought it would stiffen the men.

Stiffen?

Their backbones were already rigid. They thought it would produce discipline.

Discipline?

The men endured horrific conditions. They thought it would make an example.

Example?

Some volunteers were merely eager boys. They thought it would prevent desertion.

Desertion?

Days of shelling would shred a man’s nerve. They thought they sat in judgment.

Judgment?

From men lacking basic human compassion. They thought it would deter cowardice.

Cowardice?

Men bravely faced an early morning execution.

Execution?

Later a callous hand wrote ‘confirmed’.

 

Photo Credit: Dave Green. The Shot at Dawn Memorial is a British Monument at the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas, in Staffordshire, UK. It memorialises the 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers executed after courts-martial for cowardice or desertion during World War I
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davemondo/6432814907/

[https://thelivesofmyancestors.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/in-memory-of-the-306-men-shot-at-dawn/]