Remembrance Poetry Suggestions, Comments and Contributions

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Remembrance button Clicking “Remembrance Poetry” will take you to a substantial collection of poems that may be suitable for Remembrance Events. It is in the main pages of the War Poetry Website.

This page: I am hoping that the many visitors to this website will take the opportunity to use this page to  share poems they admire or have written or to write about ways they have organised events or to make any other comment on the topic.  - David Roberts, Website Editor.

Remembrance Poetry  -  Reader suggestions, comments and contributions

Join the worldwide community of people involved in preparing Remembrance Events, and the many thousands affected and moved by loss in war, by sharing your suggestions for poems. This can include poems already published on the war poetry website as this can help people speed through their search for poems amongst the many that are on offer.

“Leave a reply”  (the last option at the foot of this page) links to a space where you

  • can suggest titles and authors of poems which you recommend.
  • Where you can enter the text of poems that you have written. (Please add your name or a pen name. Background information about the inspiration for the poem is always welcome.)
  • Where you can enter the text of remembrance poems that are no longer in copyright. Please name the authors (and date if known).
  • You can also comment on poems that you have particularly appreciated.

If you add a poem of your own you will continue to have full ownership of the copyright of the poem. When I receive requests for permission to use poems from the war poetry website in remembrance events or elsewhere I  always forward the requests to the authors for them to give their permission or not.

Clicking on “Leave a reply” will take you to a simple registration  and then you can write (or paste prepared material) ready for this page. You will be able to make changes and corrections before “submitting” your text directly to this page.

 David Roberts, Editor.

159 thoughts on “Remembrance Poetry Suggestions, Comments and Contributions

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  9. You Died Before I loved you.

    Early this morning, as I lay still sleeping.
    A vision before me play oh so vividly.
    I heard the words ring out so clear,

    As I saw before me a child so small and dear
    Gently climb upon the statue of a soldier
    Who had fallen mile and miles from here?

    He wrapped his arms around its neck
    And gave its cheek a tiny peck
    Then his tiny tears began to flow

    And in my heart I heard these words I didn’t know.
    Fallen soldier far away I climbed up on you today
    Not to bring to you disgrace for I am not here to play.

    You could have been my Father, my brother, my uncle, my son
    You may have been My mother, my sister, my aunt, my daughter or the one.
    You may have been My Grandpa, my Grandma, my cousin, my friend.

    I climbed up here to give to you a hug.
    And little kiss to show my love.
    And just to say,

    Although you died before I loved you
    I climbed up here to say I love you anyway.
    Then his tears rolled upon the soldiers face

    You could feel the love in his gentle embrace.
    When i woke my cheeks were wet
    From where my tears and cheeks had met.

    As I write the words that my heart was fed
    I could only think and feel just what to me they said.
    As I lay with within my bed.

    Just how many out there can feel the hurt within their heart
    When they look up and say, “Soldier, you died before I loved you
    Oh so very far away, OH! But I love you still today.

  10. Flanders
    Inspired by John Mc Crae’s “In Flanders Fields”.

    In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
    Where once the winds of war did blow;
    When men fought men with arms and shells
    And many breathed their last farewells.

    In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
    In scarlet masses all aglow;
    Where once our fallen soldiers lay
    On blood soaked fields so far away.

    Wear the red poppy on your breast,
    In memory of those who rest
    Beneath the fields where poppies grow,
    Where once the winds of war did blow.

    D.A.Lougher November 2014

  11. Tis with much regret as I board the ship for foreign lands

    Standing on the ship we all look like boys,
    but we must hold our heads high and act like men, it’s so hard…

    Looking back at you, and the huge crowd below, no words spoken,
    the anguish on your face tells all.

    I wave goodbye till tomorrow, realising as with the setting sun,
    that tomorrow may just never come.

    Don’t get me wrong I am well aware of why I’m going, I am truly amongst equals.
    It’s the thought of never again in this life, seeing you.

    How many have left these shores before sharing those eerie thoughts?
    We had grown so fond of our homeland; we may never return.

    Amongst spirited souls, we try not to quiver whilst hiding our fear,
    as we say to each other, ‘It’s all in a good cause and has to be done’.

    It’s toward an army of like-minded men we move, singing songs along the road.
    They raise our spirits and remind us of home.

    Maybe we could have a game of footie, us against the foes? How strange would that be!

    But on the front all is forgotten, we are at the business end of a human war machine.

    So tomorrow we go over the top into the unknown, will this be the last sunset and sunrise before my very tired eyes?

    As we go into battle its not the faces of our enemy I see, but still images of you and me.
    Days spent in trenches, shell-shocked by day and night, no let up, goodbye for now, it’s time to go.

    To breathe our last breath in some strange land, we fall and lay in a pool of blood.
    The colour of the poppy, it’s where I will spend my last, amongst those fields of wildflowers.

    Till one day far away, in the cotton clouds or the starlit sky, we will meet again.
    That day for me will come all too soon; live your life to the full, for I can wait awhile longer for that moment, to spend life ever after with you.

    But in the meantime with all my comrades in our last stand, we can salute and give every man, woman and child, freedom for you all.

  12. THE RAIN

    We lay, silent in the dark,

    the world around black, white and red,

    another gun hits its mark,

    another brother dead.

    Wind blows like a haunting ghost,

    visions of horror

    and dreams of the English coast

    bring memories of pride and honour.

    A mother’s tears,

    show her pain,

    the son who marched to her greatest fears,

    the son who no longer marches in the rain.

    *Just a poem I wrote in school, it’s simple but quite powerful, don’t ask permission of use, anyone is welcome to use it.*

  13. This deathly silence

    It was torturous to see
    My father in so much agony
    How I wished I could have ripped those wounds and scars away
    Taunted by those recurring nightmares he endured throughout the day
    Shell shock was his one and only ghastly and hideous plight
    Which he also endured through the night
    Insurmountable fury blasted through his every pore
    Carrying the guilt of what he saw

    I tried so hard to fight back those tears
    Wishing my dad could have lived a few more years
    I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye
    Else looking at him directly in the eye

    My mother asked me to walk up the lane
    To which the ambulance came
    Paramedics carried him away
    On a stretcher he did lay

    If justice has its day humanity just has to find a different way
    This madness of man and atrocities that pursue
    Are more than enough for me and you.

  14. ‘Rise Above’

    My father never ever spoke to of that war
    or even uttered a word of what he saw
    when church bells used to chime
    He would disappear in deep decline……….

    The resonance and unrelenting echoes of those deafening shells
    vibrated through each and ever one of his cells
    only to relive though that ‘Oh so Bloody Hell’
    Harrowing images so vivid and real
    of those dark deep muddy trenches and early graves
    together with memories of his brave comrades.

    Courage and conviction shone right through
    Bravery and honour and all besides
    My father was still yet alive
    So very greatful to have him here
    If only for nine of my young years.

    Angry and furious about that war
    and so very shocked by what he saw
    The antipathy and lengths of what man is prepared to do
    in getting rid of me and you……..

    What have we learnt?
    That ignorance and fear still rule the way
    But may we long to live and cherish another day
    and rise above this total and utter dissaray.

    Poetry and letters they would write
    to keep their human spirit bright
    sharing a joke to lighten the load
    with very many stories left untold
    and very many stories left untold………

    By Mary Isabel Gresham – November 8th 2014

  15. In memory of Harry Patch (‘The last fighting Tommy’) – He Died 25th July 2009. At the time of his death he was the grand age of – 111years, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day – (The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month) – R.I.P.

    “Patch”
    Line abreast beyond the ridge, gleaming in the midday sun
    Our men of courage stood their ground, against the onslaught
    from the “Hun”

    With bayonets drawn and weapons clasped, searching for the light of day

    Awaiting orders from above, in silence they began to pray
    For Sons and Daughters, Mums and Dads, to God above and long lost love
    Nervous smiles throughout the ranks, when spotting enemy with their tanks, advancing over “No Man’s Land”

    With weapons clasped and bayonets drawn, a mirror image in the dawn

    “The War To End All Wars,” would that it be so
    Line abreast we lie beneath the ground, our headstones gleaming in the sun
    “Spots of Red” that marks the dead, mirrored by the “Sons of Hun”

    Aramis /|\

  16. In memory of the ‘Trench Poets’ (Great War)

    A War of Words
    Mine eyes are fixed, yet mind doth wander still
    Recounting times of innocence at play
    When love of life brought warmth with winter’s chill
    Of friends who added sunshine to the day
    Now morning mist pervades my own worst fears
    Beyond all life’s divide, where foe doth dwell
    As windblown poppy weeps with blood red tears
    For one who dared to dream midst sound of shell
    With fighting words which soared above the din
    This soulful bard would brandish as his art
    To rally men without, from deep within
    To raise morale on high, to set apart
    With rationed prose now sparse bereft of muse
    Canst I with turn of phrase e’er hope infuse

    Aramis /|\

  17. (In Remembrance)
    As an ex-serviceman I too have paid my respects at the Cenotaph in Whitehall

    “Eyes Left”
    With sideways glance they bid a last farewell
    Alone in thought amongst respectful throng
    Whilst striding by their image casts a spell
    So many who dared brave to right what’s wrong
    Young names engraved in stone and on their heart
    Shown in relief; yet undercover kept
    Mean more than chiselled font as works of art
    Held memories release sad tears as wept
    “Our Sacrifice that all may live in peace”
    In silence from the grave, all raise one voice
    Remembrance for a time doth make guns cease
    Imparting precious gift of freedom’s choice
    Sweet light upon their face, no more will dawn
    Each one deserving of a ‘Poppy’ worn

    Aramis /|\

  18. A poem I wrote on October 25th 2014 in tribute to the young Canadian soldier that was shot in the back while on ceremonial duty guarding our cenotaph in Ottawa.

    His Last Post.

    Highway of Heroes taking home
    another of our best
    A solemn piper plays a tune
    as his soul is laid to rest,

    Below the cenotaph he stood
    unarmed beside his post
    Proudly guarding the sacrifice
    of the unknown soldiers ghost.

    In reverence to the fallen
    wearing uniform with pride
    Watching over those who died
    silently by their side.

    He was placed on honour duty
    there at our command
    From his tomb the unknown soldier
    reached down and clasped his hand.

  19. The Sewing Den

    I was named
    after an uncle
    of mine who died
    in the trenches
    of Ypres.

    It was not until 1954
    that a letter arrived from
    the War Office informing
    his mother that he
    had been found.

    So she left for Belgium
    - the only trip abroad
    she ever made -
    to see him buried
    with full military honours.

    When she came back,
    she dismantled
    the room that had been
    intact since his joining
    the Grenadier Guards.

    I was suddenly free
    to go there to find
    grandma in what
    she now called
    her sewing den.

    Its newly flowered walls
    held only one small frame
    with young Albert
    clasping his parents’
    hands on Watcombe Beach.

    Under it,
    she taught me to sew,
    cut patterns from
    brown paper, knit,
    crochet and embroider.

    When I once said
    that she still resembled
    the youthful woman
    in the picture,
    she carefully studied

    the tension square
    I was working on
    and gave me a smile;
    the same radiant smile that
    she had on Watcombe beach.

  20. I wrote this poem to commemorate Welsh people who served in the First World War, including my great uncle Freddy Morgan, killed in France and my father John ( Jack ) Howells who served with the South Wales Borderers in Mesopotamia and Iraq.
    The reaping of the corn. 1914-1918
    Its rat-tat-tat and rat-tat-tat as the drums and bugles play ,
    “Join up and be a warrior, if for the working day! ”

    In thousands did they heed the call, some with great spirit too ,
    but many with a solemn heart , to see their duty through.
    At home they served and in the air and on the surging sea,
    in rows like corn, in Flanders field and far Gallipoli.

    But it was rat-tat-tat -tat-tat-tat-tat, as the scythe began to flay,
    they said a hundred Welshmen fell in a single day.

    For King and Country they did go, to save a distant land
    and many hearts did follow them, behind a marching band.
    Through bomb and gas and bullet too, their story is well known,
    against a wall of fear and death, the common man was thrown.

    For its rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat, as the reaper holds his sway,
    and for their native country, a heavy price to pay.

    Distant foreign corners, still hold the sons of Wales,
    and many more came broken, back to their hills and vales.
    It is a hundred years or more, since that proud company,
    remembered by us are they still, with pride, for gallantry?

    Yes its rat-tat-tat and rat-tat-tat as the funeral march does play,
    for others had to pay the price for you to have this day.

    Forty thousand stalks have gone, untimely were they mowed.
    Their country never was to know, the promise which they showed.
    The corn is standing tall again, though bare between the row.
    In that Welsh earth, for what it’s worth, you may the poppies sow .

    © John Howells 2013

  21. Firm in the purpose of duty.
    Cheerful wherever they marched.
    Onwards to the front line.
    To meet the foe entrenched

    Over the top and advance.
    The silence of night is unknown.
    To the deathly rattle of machine gun.
    Where the trenches with shrapnel are mown.

    There in the midst of the turmoil.
    Amongst the shell holes the mud and the wire.
    They continue to fall in their thousands.
    From the never ending enemy fire.

    While the minute less hour in Britain.
    Leapt on to steal from the morn.
    All our dearly loved soldiers.
    To a timeless world were borne.

    They loved not the noise of battle.
    But answered their country’s call.
    They gave to their utmost their service.
    Heroes, an example to all.

    At home, hearts team over with sorrow.
    For sons and husbands lost.
    Not a family untouched by war.
    The ultimate sacrifice the cost.

    And we mind the green hills of home.
    Where the landscape smiled on their birth.
    We mourn them our beloved Tommies.
    Who adorned the rough pathways of earth.

    Then swallows shall fly above them.
    The poppy’s will grow at their feet.
    But when the cold winds of winter arrive.
    The snow like a blanket will keep

    All will carry our love where they lie.
    Beneath a foreign field.
    Free from the horrors they witnessed.
    Their souls have risen and healed.

    Though the days and years have passed
    In the fullness of time we will remember.
    At the cemeteries and memorials.
    Wreaths and poppy’s come November.

    We shall never forget their courage.
    For our tomorrow, they gave their today.
    When at last the guns fell silent.
    We shall stop in silence and pray.

  22. D: The fallen and the few – 06/06/2014
    Three score years and ten,
    Seas turned crimson, souls adrift.
    Whereas now, as was then,
    Trembled skin and muscle stiff.

    Thousands ventured, hope ablaze,
    See them through the metal sleet.
    Thousands lost on the longest day,
    The gates of hell at heroes feet.

    Overcome, but spirits high,
    Driven on by god and king.
    Freedom home was almost nigh,
    Dover’s cliffs as Vera sings.

    The burden carried many stumbled,
    Boys were men and strode with pride.
    Advance in mind with enemy crumbled,
    Hearts and souls glide side by side.

    Headway made, terror quashed,
    Bravely through with slight a thought.
    Broken lines, brethren lost,
    This was war and not for nought.

    Victory found but what the cost,
    Father, brother, husband, son.
    All remembered, never lost,
    Of this conflict who was won.

    And now the visions of hands full left,
    with tear and love of comrade fell.
    Though time had made heart bereft,
    Every memory prepared to tell.

    As standards age, prepare to low,
    The few remain aware but frail.
    Seventy hard fought years ago,
    They joined the hosts that refused to fail.

    The crosses line, the felled recalled,
    A grateful nation stands, admires.
    Thankful evil fought and stalled,
    For freedom that all mankind desires.

    Grateful as the nations stand,
    Waving flags and drums a beat.
    Caravans of man, hand in hand,
    Our thanks we loudly ,proudly repeat.

    With Thanks from the grateful

  23. Oh! whispering blade, ever hath your kin,
    Swung and danced over grabbled graves of mine,
    Where nightingales are oft enticed to sing,
    To those mown down in regimented line,
    Who once as barefoot lovers trod you well,
    Then swore allegiance to a sovereign lie,
    To fall in foreign fields where poppies swell,
    Coffers in answer to a bankers cry,
    ‘Tis true the sons of man can ill afford,
    The blood they spill upon your verdant sword,

    Still you embrace them all both friend and foe,
    Line the verges that mark their pathways home,
    From mist strewn glens to mountains topped with snow,
    Through each sunrise beyond the evening’s gloam,
    Bejeweled with bright sparkling beaded dew,
    You welcome them all and feel not their hate,
    The atheist, christian, muslim jew,
    You enfold them all in eternal wait,
    Unconditional in your soft embrace,
    Thou carer for the bones of every race,

    You know full well that all things come to pass,
    That in due time, to you everything yields,
    If only men could stand as blades of grass,
    Knitted together
    in love’s morphic fields,
    Maybe then they would do all that they can,
    To ensure they let not their freedom seep,
    And walking now where as a boy I ran,
    Moving towards my own eternal sleep,
    Still, still I cannot for the life of me,
    Understand why men must die, to be free.

  24. I BOUGHT A POPPY RED TODAY

    I bought a poppy red today, these words it spoke to me.
    You buy me to remember all who died that you’d be free.
    To help rebuild the lives of those whose world was torn apart,
    by tattered limbs and tortured minds and anguish in their hearts

    They gave their all the world, they thought, to make a better place,
    but still the road to harmony is such a bloody chase.
    As race still sees each other race as foe and not as friend;
    still squander generation’s lives until the bitter end.

    What future can we hope to see when all our youth is lost,
    and those who live to carry on must count the dreadful cost.
    Why can’t we learn to live our lives alongside all the rest,
    and stop this awful suffering as we try to prove who’s best?

    I hope and pray somehow, some way an answer can be found,
    and young blood will no longer spill and saturate the ground
    I bought a poppy red today and this it said to me.
    Don’t let their suffering be in vain, let all mankind be free.

    • Remembrance.

      (lines from a wooden plaque in a small Warwickshire church)

      ‘In loving remembrance Charles Gawain Raleigh Hunter,
      lieutenant 2nd battalion the Kings own Yorkshire regiment,
      killed in action at Ypres 25th april 1915 aged 21 years,
      beloved son of capt and mrs W G Hunter.
      ‘and the spirit shall return to God who made it’

      So long the dream of youth
      spun from the blood-red love
      of the heart for the heart,
      and the flesh for the flesh,
      whispers to the coming night
      elegies of a summer’s day.
      beautiful boy,
      Charles Gawain Raleigh Hunter,
      fresh from the shires,
      oak of oaks,
      flower of flowers,
      commissioned on your
      seventeenth birthday;
      for king and country, regiment,
      and the burden of entitlement,
      you threw yourself away
      so bravely,
      so gladly,
      so defiantly
      on that hell-mired field
      of speechless slaughter
      that april morn
      after the inundations
      of flame and thunder,
      and the beautiful,
      deathly
      grass-green mists
      that rolled in on
      the mourning breeze.
      how selflessly you fell,
      defying them all
      the invisible foe,
      the hateful hun,
      and never let the men see
      that you too were
      terrified
      in your proud young heart,
      and that with your passing
      God,
      king,
      country,
      and captain W Hunter
      should never
      smile again.

  25. Silver Cross Mother.

    They shiver in Novembers cold
    as guns salute our soldiers bold
    The polititians and dignitaries
    amid the war scarred apmutees.

    In Canada, Remembrance Day
    we listen to the piper play
    The bugle sounds last post and call
    then silence decends over all

    Silver Cross Mother bravely stands
    with wreath of poppies in her hands
    She lays it for her child and others
    on behalf of all our heroes mothers.

    Their children gave for us their all
    so on this day we do recall
    Those who weep beside their graves
    the lonely mothers proud and brave.

  26. Posted on October 29, 2013 by gaylordtrotsky

    Bitchin’ ‘Bout My Generation

    Humanity with no veneration,
    For those with an expectation,
    That their sacrifice, Twice!
    Would lead to a new, true,
    Worldly-peaceful, hue,
    Is an evil vice.

    How many decades since the many defended the few.
    How many years since their sons never knew
    The pain and sacrifice of life lost.
    Friend defended but dead,
    Group ground instead,
    In mud, grime and dust.

    Gravely, turning.
    Poppy red crosses spinning,
    They despair of the jolly, jawing, aping bravery.
    Now only seeing slogging, slugging, thuggery,
    Betraying gentle camaraderie,
    Sacrifice and forgotten trench strength.

    Remember them
    And listen to the quiet voices past,
    As the boot-trod Tommy cheer.
    Remember them,
    And make them proud at last
    Of sacrifice wickedly clear.

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