Oct 142022


Seventy-Two Thousand & Eighty-Five.

Seventy two thousand and eighty five, a hundred years ago gave their lives, man and boy who went to war, in the Somme, died many more, but these are those that no one could find, on the battlefield, for ever left behind.

July nineteen sixteen, on the first, the battle did begin, thirteen divisions that’s thousands of men, would go into battle and never to come home again, seven days before, the artillery had roared, over their heads, the enemy to destroy.

At the end of the day, nineteen thousand had passed away, that’s one division or there about’s, the falling artillery had done nothing, to the barbwire obstacles set out, fifty-eight thousand casualties for that day, the start of the missing, it’s impossible to say.

They charged in to the gunfire, the metal was hot, machine gun posts, set up in the best of spots, only the lucky stood a chance to survive, while those around them, dropped to the ground to die.

It continued for a hundred and forty one days, into winter and the rain, the ground into mud many bodies it claimed, dog tags of leather containing their name, they did not last, no details, should in that mud they find remains.

Many so young, today we think of them as boys, fighting for their country, with real guns, not toys, a life which was so short, their future they gave, so others, their future would be safe.

In a land known as the Somme, where trees no longer stood and the wildlife gone, where man had fought hand to hand, only the strong those winter conditions could stand, the ground destroyed, and into mud turned, the guilt of survival in heads did churn.

Many who died where no longer of body whole, explosive forces had taken its toll, bodies were lifted high, parts were scattered far and wide, into the mud they did sink, explosive force churned up the mud, more died, recovery, no man could.

Families still today do grieve, still they wait for information to retrieve, where their loved ones lay, farmers working the land, with forensic help that answer they may get one day, until then we will remember them all, those who died answering their countries call.

Derrick W Sole