Saturday, 11 November 2017

Remembrance Sunday

   

By Special Collections Toronto Public Library from Toronto, Canada (In Flanders' Fields)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. 
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, 
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae (1915)


During the early days of the second battle of Ypres, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer a young Canadian artillery officer was killed when a German shell exploded at his feet. A close friend of his was Major John McCrae, a Canadian military doctor and artillery commander who officiated at his burial. The next morning John McCrae wrote the poem which is one of the most famous war poems ever written which inspired the use of the poppy as a symbol of rememberance.

Sadly he died in January 1918 of pneumonia and meningitis in Wimeraux, France. He was 45 years old.

You can read more about John McCrae's life here. There are some wonderful photographs of him, his dog & also his horse. 


8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the poem which I have heard often. Especially thank you for sharing the information of John McCrae. I had never heard that. I forwarded it to one of my Navy grandsons.

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    Replies
    1. Yes John McCrae isn't as well known as some of the other war poets which is sad.

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  2. I love this poem. Have lived it ever since I can remember.

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  3. Winifred, I am touched by this...I will look him up. I read the poem from the card before I noticed you had typed it out. Pretty good for having cataracts! This life is filled with such sad things. (including cataracts!) Have you watched any of the 'sheep to sweater' competition? It is probably not current...but filmed and on Netflix via 'Slow Tv'. Its fun to watch. I spin and knit some and find it very interesting.

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    Replies
    1. You did well to read that card, cataracts are a pain, I have them too but so far not too badly affected. I can still drive OK. Thankfully they can be removed. Eventually!

      We don’t have Netflix and I haven’t heard of this. I’ll look it up & see if it’s on the Internet. Sounds good. I have never spun just knitted & crocheted that’s hard enough. Spinning looks really difficult.

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  4. Such a lovely poem said by hundreds of people over the years, but I don't think I will ever tire of it.
    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog.

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Remembrance Sunday

    By Special Collections Toronto Public Library from Toronto, Canada (In Flanders' Fields) In Flanders fields the poppies blo...