Bugle Call To The Brave

By 18th August 2010December 9th, 2019No Comments

On village greens in each county
Buglers would give out the call
To labourers scything the harvest
And masons repairing the walls

The drummers would beat out a rhythm
That few of the crowd could resist
Recruiters would badger the shy ones
Until not a soul had been missed

They signed on their pieces of paper
Encouraged by girlfriends and wives
Not one of them once ever wondered
The effect it would have on their lives

Proudly they marched with the bandsmen
Eyes on the lead Union Jack
Smiling and waving to loved ones
How many of them would be back?

The training was hard and demanding
Their humour would carry them through
Then finally off to the harbour
And places that none of them knew

Still filled with the hope of a victory
They marched with swagger and sway
The noise and the horror of battle
Would greet them the very next day

They spent just a day in the trenches
Bombarded by bullet and shell
How cruel the realisation
How real to be in this hell

At dawn came the now dreaded order
“Over the top lads you go”
Some of them came back to trenches
But how- they would never know

The dead the dying and injured
Lay in a wallow of mud
Infected by lice and diseases
Surviving however they could

Just when they thought it was over
New shells were filling the air
Mustard gas filled all the trenches
And stripped off their skin and their hair

The screams of the Tommies were dreadful
They suffered throughout the long night
Crying aloud for attention
For some it had taken their sight

Now we must never forget them
Those brave men who answered the call
To fight for their King and for Country
Heroes defined- one and all

Don Holmes

Author Don Holmes

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