WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY

SEPTEMBER 1916

TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR

David Childs

The sacrifice of men to little avail continued at the Somme with five major assaults launched in September. On the 16th, 2nd Lt. Tom Adlam, born in Salisbury and educated at Bishop Wordsworth College, despite being badly wounded, led a successful daylight charge against the German trenches which he and his men held for two days and only abandoned when ordered so to do. The Victoria Cross he was awarded has been on display at Salisbury Museum while his proud niece, Jackie Longley, lives in the High Street. Also in September German airships bombed London and other sites while, in East Africa the British captured Dar-es-Salaam.

POEM FOR SEPTEMBER

From the Somme by Leslie Coulson

Leslie Coulson was a brilliant young journalist who enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers and was wounded at Gallipoli. He was then moved to the Western Front where he died on 8th October during the Battle of the Somme. He was 27 years old.

In other days I sang of simple things,
Of summer dawn, and summer noon and night,
The dewy grass, the dew wet fairy rings,
The larks long golden flight.

Deep in the forest I made melody
While squirrels cracked their hazel nuts on high,
Or I would cross the wet sand to the sea
And sing to sea and sky.

When came the silvered silence of the night
I stole to casements over scented lawns,
And softly sang of love and love's delight
To mute white marble fauns.

Oft in the tavern parlour I would sing
Of morning sun upon the mountain vine,
And, calling for a chorus, sweep the string
In praise of good red wine.

I played with all the toys the gods provide,
I sang my songs and made glad holiday
Mow I have cast my broken toys aside
And flung my lute away.

A singer once, I now am fain to weep,
Within my soul I feel strange music swell,
Vast chants of tragedy too deep - too deep
For my poor lips to tell.


 

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