Friday, 11 November 2011

Where are you now, you North Somerset Yeomen?

Where are you now, you North Somerset Yeomen,
Who came, swift to answer your country's appeal,
To pit your raw strength 'gainst the might of the foemen,
To give shot for shot, to oppose steel to steel?

You came, not for gain, for reward or for glory,
And little you heeded where duty's path led;
You wrote your full page in our England's proud story,
Thanked God for your victories, and mourned for your dead.

For some lie near Ypres, beneath the clay sleeping;
They suffered, they died, but no inch would they yield,
And dull leaden skies up above them are weeping,
For them, as they lie 'neath the battle scarred field.

And all up and down where the old trench-line wandered,
The plain wooden crosses their message proclaim;
Yet no man may say that their young lives were squandered-
They died for this England; they rest in their fame.

Where are you now, you North Somerset Yeomen,
Bred to the ploughtail, the desk or the mine?
You gave of your best, did your duty, and no men
Can beat your proud record, your glory outshine.

You fought and you died, you were wounded and shattered;
You stuck to it grimly, till Peace came at last,
And now, on the face of the earth you are scattered,
Till nothing remains but the ghosts of the past.

The ghosts of the past - in the mists of tradition,
The actors depart, but their exploits remain;
But still the old Regiment retains her position - 
She'd do it, if need be, all over again!

William Percy Withers 1894-1970 (my grandfather)

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


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