WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY
TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR
April was a cruel month. With the 'world's greatest battle' continuing at Verdun as the Germans determined to bleed France dry, pressure mounted on the British to assist by an attack further North, near the Somme. Elsewhere, in April, the British army at Kut, south of Baghdad, surrendered to the Turks, while in Ireland the Easter rising which began on 24th lasted just one week - the British response having a more lasting effect than the uprising itself. Of equal lasting significance, the French and Russians signed the Sykes-Picot which would carve up the post war Ottoman Empire in a way that has contributed to the present troubles in Iraq and Syria.
On 9th April Private Ernest Hacker, 5th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment,
died aged 23. He was the son of Charles and Mary Hacker of Stop Street,
Tisbury. He was killed in the final attempt to relieve the 10,000 troops
besieged in Kut when his battalion was repeatedly repulsed with heavy
casualties. His name is commemorated on the Basra War Memorial in Iraq
which records 40,000 British and Empire troops killed in that campaign
in Mesopotamia and who have no known grave.
POEM FOR APRIL
W B Yeats, the Irish poet, was against violence, seeing the pity of it, but also the inevitability, as in his great poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death. Shocked and saddened by the Easter rising, he penned one of his greatest works, Easter 1916, of which the first and last verse are recorded below.
I have met them at close of day
Too long a sacrifice
|© Tisbury History Society|