First World War Poetry: ‘Go Forth!’

During the First World War, the local newspaper the Evesham Journal, published a number of war poems including Go Forth! attributed to ‘E. Linor’:

Go forth, go forth to war,
Ye sons of England brave!
With willing hearts go forth,
Your Motherland to save.

Go forth, from cottage home,
From office, farm, or hall;
Go forth, an endless host,
Your country needs you all.

Go forth, with courage high,
With steadfast mind, and bold;
Go forth to do or die!
As did our sires of old.

Go forth, and if perchance,
On battlefield you fall;
With this thought close your eyes –
You followed duty’s call.

And though no grassy mound
Mark where your young form fell;
This be your epitaph –
“He nobly fought and well”.

We will remember them.

Broadway Remembers
13th June 2015

 

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915) by War Poet Edward Thomas

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)

The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.
by Edward Thomas (1878-1917)
Memorial stone, near Steep, Hampshire.

Memorial stone, near Steep, Hampshire.

Before the First World War, war poet Edward Thomas was a prolific writer. Born in London in 1878 of Welsh parents, Thomas moved to Earlsfield, Hampshire, with his wife, Helen, after their marriage. He enlisted in the Artists Rifles (a special forces regiment of the British Army Reserve) in 1915 and was soon promoted to the rank of officer, and in November 1916 Edward was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Second Lieutenant.

Edward was killed in action during the Battle of Arras in 1917 and he is buried in the Military Cemetery at Agny, France. Thomas is commemorated in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey, London, and by memorial windows in the churches at Steep, Hampshire, and at Eastbury, Berkshire.