ATTENTION ALL RANKS: STAND TO!!!

#1
I almost let this date slip by.How could any good soldier not stop and hoist one in honour of this date and all the men and women who sacrificed so much for the world and our history?

On this date 90 years ago.. WWI began...

The Great War..The War to End All Wars.. we remember the loss of 1.7 milion lives..the beginning of a new technological age in warfare...The introduction of the Tank and the Dreadnuaght.. the introduction of WMD/Chemical Warfare - Mustard Gas...

Precious few of those who fought and served are with us now..no doubt by the end of this year we will no longer have anyone with first-hand knowledge of what was faced in those days..

I don't know about any of you, but I think that calls for a call to order and a toast...
 
#2
Indeed Rocketeer

It was going to be "The war to end all wars"
 
#5
Rocketeer said:
Precious few of those who fought and served are with us now..no doubt by the end of this year we will no longer have anyone with first-hand knowledge of what was faced in those days..
23 is apparently how few of us there are left, which is incredibly saddening. That said, there is reputedly only one German, aged 107. Bet he's seen / experienced.
 
#6
So, to celebrate the sacrifice all we could muster was John " two jags" Prescott 8O

And for Gib ...... The Buffoon :!:

made my blood boil when I read about it on the Beeb. Where were the Royal Family for the last parade of our WW1 vets?

Meanwhile, Tony's biggest concern was what strength of sun tan oil to put on whilst enjoying another freebie holiday.
 
#7
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.
 
#8
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware.

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
 
#9
SKJOLD said:
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware.

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
I never knew it was only English troops that died during WW1
 
#11
Odd post, PD. What's your point?
 
#12
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
 
#13
My favourite war poem. Really makes you think about the futility of it all!! My reason for remembering ALL of our comrades who fell in all past (and present) conflicts.


1916

Sixteen years old when I went to the war,
To fight for a land fit for heroes.
God on my side, and a gun in my hand,
Chasing my days down to zero.
And I marched and I fought and I bled and I died
And I never did get any older.
But I knew at the time, that a year in the line,
Was a long enough life for a soldier.

We all volunteered,
And we wrote down our names,
And we added two years to our ages.
Eager for life and ahead of the game,
Ready for history's pages.
And we fought and we brawled and we whôred 'til we stood,
Ten thousand shoulder to shoulder.
A thirst for the Hun,
We were food for the gun,
And that's what you are when you're soldiers.

I heard my friend cry,
And he sank to his knees
Coughing blood as he screamed for his mother.
And I fell by his side,
And that's how we died,
Clinging like kids to each other.

And I lay in the mud
And the guts
And the blood,
And I wept as his body grew colder.
And I called for my mother
And she never came,
Though it wasn't my fault
And I wasn't to blame.

The day not half over
And ten thousand slain,
and now there's nobody remembers our names

And that's how it is for a soldier.
 
#14
P-D Thanks for that valuable input! :roll:
 
#15
twicer said:
My favourite war poem. Really makes you think about the futility of it all!! My reason for remembering ALL of our comrades who fell in all past (and present) conflicts.


1916

Sixteen years old when I went to the war,
To fight for a land fit for heroes.
God on my side, and a gun in my hand,
Chasing my days down to zero.
And I marched and I fought and I bled and I died
And I never did get any older.
But I knew at the time, that a year in the line,
Was a long enough life for a soldier.

We all volunteered,
And we wrote down our names,
And we added two years to our ages.
Eager for life and ahead of the game,
Ready for history's pages.
And we fought and we brawled and we whôred 'til we stood,
Ten thousand shoulder to shoulder.
A thirst for the Hun,
We were food for the gun,
And that's what you are when you're soldiers.

I heard my friend cry,
And he sank to his knees
Coughing blood as he screamed for his mother.
And I fell by his side,
And that's how we died,
Clinging like kids to each other.

And I lay in the mud
And the guts
And the blood,
And I wept as his body grew colder.
And I called for my mother
And she never came,
Though it wasn't my fault
And I wasn't to blame.

The day not half over
And ten thousand slain,
and now there's nobody remembers our names

And that's how it is for a soldier.
Twicer - Thats Fantastic. will print that off, who wrote it?

Rincewind

PS theres another famous poem i forgot what its called but theres a line that goes something like - 60,000 killed that day but not one general died...was so moving but cant remember what its called so i can get hold of a copy, heard it at the festival of rememberance last year.

Speaking of remembering, Monday 16th Aughust is Beat the Retreat isnt it?
i have been asked to troop the queens colours through our town again for the "Old Contemptables", an honour that i am proud to accomodate and have done for the last 3 years.

The "Old Contemptables" were the BEF who went to Fight and Wilhelm said who will rid me of this contemptible little army...the name stuck. they were awarded a Queens Colour and when the last veteran died he intrusted thier colour to our Sea Cadet Unit under the watchful eye of the Fellowship of Rememberance and i get to carry thier colours about 7 times a year. Its hard work but i always feel a pang of pride for what they did for us and what they went through.

Rincewind
 
#18
My favourite war poem. Really makes you think about the futility of it all!! My reason for remembering ALL of our comrades who fell in all past (and present) conflicts.

What futility? Standing up to aggression? Stoping the Kaiser from taking all of europe?

Sorry to light you up likr this - but there is a huge mythology that has developed that all generals were useless, the tactics were insane and the lads suffered due to gross incompetence. Elements of truth, as always in parts of this, but in reality the tactics of the day were the only ones that worked until the development of the tank, air power and all-arm coordination to break the trench deadlock. More british generals died in direct combat than in any other war.

Remember them. But don't dishonour them by thinking it futile. It was a bitter necessity - as was the second war.
 
#19
My favourite war poem. Really makes you think about the futility of it all!! My reason for remembering ALL of our comrades who fell in all past (and present) conflicts.

What futility? Standing up to aggression? Stopping the Kaiser from taking all of europe?

Sorry to light you up like this - but there is a huge mythology that has developed that all generals were useless, the tactics were insane and the lads suffered due to gross incompetence. Elements of truth, as always in parts of this, but in reality the tactics of the day were the only ones that worked until the development of the tank, air power and all-arm coordination to break the trench deadlock. More British generals died in direct combat than in any other war.

Remember them. But don't dishonour them by thinking it futile. It was a bitter necessity - as was the second war.
 
#20
I beleive a major change of tactics happened at vimy ridge.

The British had struggled for months to take the ridge but to no avail. The standard assault was simply not working.

!. Walking into hail of machine gun fire never works.

2. Only officers were briefed on which positions to take.

3. Supporting fire from Artillery was in its infancy. (When the Artillery stopped the hun came out machine gunned the troops.)

The problem was given over to the canadians. (I cant remember the OC\COs name.) He approached the problem with something we take for granted today, but even now still do not use it enough simply" The passage of information" The canadian briefed his Officers on positions to take. The officers then gave individual sections their own orders on what positions to take. If the Officer died then the mission could still be carried through.

Supporting fire from artillery was perfected. The canadians followed a creeping barrage of artillery. Arrived at the ridge Jerry came out and got shot.

The canadians trained for a month before hand. Using new tactics. cover, fire and manovure, instead walking.

On the day of the attack, it took just a couple of hours to take vimy ridge.
 

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