A poem by Blantyre’s James Mitchell, written in 1938. It may not be November yet, but the poem is worth sharing as a mark of respect of those Blantyre men fallen. This appeared in the paper a year before WW2, so the memories are of WW1. Thank you to Wilma Bolton for sharing this here.
Come laddie, an’ I’ll tell ye o’ the things that I remember,
As I staun’, bareheaded, on the eleventh o’ November,
An’ I read again the message o’ that pile o’ lime an’ stane
That’s drenched in blood an’ tears, that’s built on grief an’ pain.
I can see my kilted comrades as we rush a German trench,
I can hear the groans o’ agony; I can smell the rotten stench.
I laugh again in madness: my he’rt wi’ hate does fill
An I join the fiendish carnage to kill, an’ kill, an’ kill.
I face the gleamin’ bayonet as a foeman’s he’rt it slits,
I recoil in ghastly horror as a pal is blown to bits,
I survey the mangled corpses as night creeps owed the sky,
An’ a terror seems to fill me as I think how I might die.
Once mair we take a roll-call an’ fast the list is filled
Wi’ the names o’ trusted comrades wounded, gassed or killed.
I can view a drum-head service, an’, as oor praise to heaven swell
The parson gives us blessing an’ we march—back into hell.
You, a chubby two months baby, when your daddy went awa’
I marched an’ fought beside him in the gallant Nine-twa’.
How I cried wi’ hopeless anger ower my maimed an’ lifeless brother
While I marked where teardrops glistened on a photo o’ yer mother.
Then, laddie, take the warning your uncle has to gi’e
Remember that your daddy died that wars might banished be.
To free you from its horrors, he lies numbered wi’ the slain,
You must safeguard that heritage else he sacrificed in vain.
Blantyre Gazette.12/11/1938. Page 5.