We Remember Their Sacrifice in France

I write my tribute to our fallen Australian soldiers at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month on Armistice Day when peace was finally signed after the four year Hell which was the Great War 1914-1918. We remember the catastrophic trench warfare in Belgium, Flanders and Northern France when the French people lost 80,000 men in the first few days.

Here in Adelaide three generations at least into the future, Naval, Military and Air Force Club member CAPT Mark Williams, of Adelaide, shares his poem with us for Remembrance Day. It was read on ABC radio at 9.20 am today. We will Remember Them and the French people certainly have never forgotten the whole-hearted war effort the young men of Australia played in their conflict on their soil.

Foreign Soil (The Field) by Mark Williams

Why cometh you to this yon hallowed grave? Laying flowers down against cold foreign soil.
Forgotten past now lost in time unseen, cocooned unscathed from fear and burdened toil.

You stop to ponder questions left unsaid, by those who died for they that now do live
Recalling all who speak of glory past, become confined to shadow – none to give.

They whisper meekly words through silent rush, as streams once red now turn a softer blue
Heroic deeds soon destined for the grave, unread – the grace of honour ripens dew.

Those lives once lost sleep ever softly still, against the mud where darkness soon doth peek
Their vigil felt – such burden bears the cost, into the ground their comfort soul to seek.

Both rich and poor lay buried side by side, no more divided rank and sapper rest
All comrades in this final place doth meet, war-memories withstand that fallowed test.

Their purpose bound diminished not by time, for still you visit, still you try to see
The need to know the past for future minds, such power through the grave seeks liberty.

But in this world the thirst for war goes on, across the land the children fight to die
Perhaps again in foreign fields you’ll stop, to honour graves of those whose stories lie.


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