World War One Centenary

28th July, 2014- 11th November, 2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a turning point in world history.   It claimed the lives of over 16 million people across the globe & had an impact on the lives of everyone.

This section is dedicated to those family members who fought in this war & is my tribute to them.  It is not just about those that died but also for those that survived the war, many with horrific injuries.   The horrors they must have endured probably haunted them for the rest of their lives, so whilst we remember those that died for our country, remembering those that survived the war is also very important.  

The family members in this section are the ones I know about.   If anyone knows of any other family members involved then please let me know so that I can add them to the list.

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion helps the whole Armed Forces community through welfare, companionship and representation, as well as being the Nation's custodian of Remembrance.  It has been helping Service people past and present since 1921, and although their needs have changed over time the need for the Legion's work is as vital as ever.

Did you know that membership of the Royal British Legion is available to all adults, not just members or ex members of the Forces and they always welcome new members.  Why not join a network of people who care about Armed Forces personnel, ex-servicemen & women & their families, and help make a difference.  There are 2,500 branches nationwide and overseas.

The Royal British Legion website is http:\\www.britishlegion.org.uk

where you can see the history of the Legion & find out what they are currently involved in, as well as being guided through the joining process should you wish to join.

There is also a great website - Everyman Remembered http://www.everymanremembered.org/  where you can make a difference to keep alive the memory of those who fell in the First World War, for future generations.  The British Legion working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have set up this website.

You can take part in this truly historic & incredibly significant act of Remembrance.


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 The Soldier  

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever 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.

Rupert Brooke

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.

by John McCrae, May 1915

The Spirit

When there ain't no gal to kiss you,
And the postman seems to miss you,
And the fags have skipped an issue,
Carry on.

When ye've got an empty belly,
And the bulley's rotten smelly,
And you're shivering like a jelly,
Carry on.

When the Boche has done your chum in,
And the sergeant's done the rum in,
And there ain't no rations comin',
Carry on.

When the world is red and reeking,
And the shrapnel shells are shrieking,
And your blood is slowly leaking,
Carry on.

When the broken battered trenches,
Are like the bloody butchers' benches,
And the air is thick with stenches,
Carry on.

Carry on,
Though your pals are pale and wan,
And the hope of life is gone,
Carry on.

For to do more than you can,
Is to be a British man,
Not a rotten 'also ran,'
Carry on..

'Woodbine Willy'

The Secret

You were askin' 'ow we sticks it,
Sticks this blarsted rain and mud,
'Ow it is we keeps on smilin'
When the place runs red wi' blood.
Since you're askin' I can tell ye,
And I thinks I tells ye true,
But it ain't official, mind ye,
It's a tip twixt me and you.
For the General thinks it's tactics,
And the bloomin' plans 'e makes.
And the C.O. thinks it's trainin',
And the trouble as he takes.
Sergeant-Major says it's drillin',
And 'is straffin' on parade,
Doctor swears it's sanitation,
And some patent stinks 'e's made.
Padre tells us its religion,
And the Spirit of the Lord;
But I ain't got much religion,
And I sticks it still, by Gawd.

Quarters kids us it's the rations,
And the dinners as we gets.
But I knows what keeps us smilin'
It's the Woodbine Cigarettes.
For the daytime seems more dreary,
And the night-time seems to drag
To eternity of darkness,
When ye ave'nt got a fag.
Then the rain seems some'ow wetter,
And the cold cuts twice as keen,
And ye keeps on seein' Boches,
What the Sargint 'asn't seen.
If ole Fritz 'as been and got ye,
And ye 'ave to stick the pain,
If ye 'aven't got a fag on,
Why it 'urts as bad again.
When there ain't no fags to pull at,
Then there's terror in the ranks.
That's the secret – (yes, I'll 'ave one)
Just a fag – and many Tanks.

'Woodbine Willy'

My little dry home in the wet

I’ve a little wet home in a trench

And the rainstorms continually drench

There’s the sky overhead, clay or mud for a bed

And stone we use as a bench

Bully beef and hard biscuits we chew

It seems years since we tasted a stew

Shells crackle and scare, yet no place can compare

With my little wet home in the trench



I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air--
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath--
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear . . .
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Alan Seeger


We Shall Keep the Faith

By Moina Michael, November 1918

Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet - to rise anew!

We caught the torch you threw

And holding high, we keep the Faith

With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red

That grows on fields where valour led;

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies,

But lends a lustre to the red

Of the flower that blooms above the dead

In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red

We wear in honour of our dead.

Fear not that ye have died for naught;

We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought

In Flanders Fields.

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