WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY
TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR
On 10 March, after months of winter stalemate, British and Indian troops launched an assault on the village of Neuve Chapelle in Artois which they captured but were unable to advance further. The ground gained could be measured in square yards rather than miles and the battle, which ended on 13 March was considered to have been a tactical success but a strategic failure. Ten VCs were won at the cost of 7,000 British and 4,200 Indian casualties.
A few days later, on 18 March, the Gallipoli campaign began in earnest when a fleet of British and French warships attempted to force a passage through the Dardanelles which would have enabled them to sail up to Constantinople (Istanbul) and threaten the Turkish capital. It was a disaster with a cunningly sited minefield sinking three battleships and causing the rest to withdraw. The stage was thus set for a land campaign that would begin in April.
POEMS FOR MARCH
The release of the film 'Testament of Youth', which tells the story of Vera Brittain's love and loss during the First World War, leads to a break in this sequence of monthly poems with two that she wrote about the men she had loved and lost, her fiancé and her brother. Perhaps it is arguably the finest of war poems written from a woman's point of view.
Perhaps someday the sun will shine again,
Perhaps the golden meadows at my feet
Perhaps the summer woods will shimmer bright,
Perhaps someday I shall not shrink in pain
But though kind Time may many joys renew,
To My Brother
Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart,
And silver in the summer morning sun
Though now again you watch the shrapnel fly,
May you endure to lead the Last Advance
|© Tisbury History Society|