WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY

JANUARY 1918

TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR

David Childs

Other than a German bombardment of Yarmouth on 14th January there was limited activity on the Western Front and it was news from Russia and the Middle East that occupied the headlines. Russia and the Central Powers were negotiating for some sort of settlement following the Bolshevik revolution while, taking advantage of the turmoil, Estonia and Latvia followed Finland in declaring independence. In Palestine the Turkish Dead Sea fleet was captured by a charge by the Arab Camel Corps an operation in which naval aircraft took part, flying uniquely below sea level.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

The first two months of 1918 were kind to the Tisbury Lads and their anxious friends and families; no dreaded telegrams were delivered until March.

POEM FOR JANUARY

Siegfried Sassoon had spent the latter half of 1917 recuperating from his mental wounds in Craiglockhart Hospital. He was declared fit for duty in late November and re-joined his regiment in Limerick in January at which time he wrote this poem. It has none of the anger of his 1917 poems, resembling more the wistful sadness of Housman.

In Barracks

The Barrack-square, washed clean with rain,
Shines wet and wintry-grey and cold.
Young Fusiliers, strong-legged and bold,
March and wheel and march again.
The sun looks over the barrack gate,
Warm and white with glaring shine,
To watch the soldiers of the Line
That life has hired to fight with fate.

Fall out: the long parades are done,
Up comes the dark; down goes the sun.
The square is walled with windowed light.
Sleep well, you lusty Fusiliers;
Shut your brave eyes on sense and sight,
And banish from your dreamless ears
The bugle's dying notes that say,
'Another night, another day.'


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