WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY

SEPTEMBER 1917

TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR

David Childs

September 1917 brought no relief from the gloom of a war of attrition. London and the South East were bombed in the moonlight while a German submarine shelled Scarborough. Meanwhile men were being slaughtered in the ongoing Battle of 3rd Ypres. After three major offensives Haig wrote at the end of September, 'the enemy is tottering and a good vigorous blow might lead to a decisive result.' It didn't: thus does optimism kill.

We will Remember Them

The TV coverage of the two-day commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the 103- day Battle of Passchendaele will have been watched, at least in part, by most people in this country. Not surprising, for few villages would not have lost at least one their sons in the carnage. In Tisbury, Private Reginald Gurd, of the Wiltshire Regiment, died there on 20 September 1917. He was aged 22 and the son of Henry John and Cecily Ellen Gurd of Tisbury Row. They would lose a second son in 1918. Reginald's name is recorded at Tyne Cot Cemetery from where the main memorial service was conducted on 31st July this year. In the same battle Private Alan Pomeroy, was killed on 25 September and buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery. He was serving with the Australian Machine Gun Corps, having possibly emigrated in the previous decade. His parents were Charles and Elizabeth Pomeroy of Snows Hill. A few miles from Ypres, Lance Corporal Frederick Randolph, serving with the Hampshire Regiment, was buried at Godewaersvelde Cemetery, having died on 29 September. His father, lived at the Benett Arms, Semley.

POEM FOR SEPTEMBER

Every time Passchendaele has been mentioned in the news it has been linked with the word 'mud'. Siegfried Sassoon, being treated for what we would now consider was 'shell-shock' felt guilty for not serving alongside those fighting in the quagmire.

Sick Leave

When I'm asleep, dreaming and lulled and warm, -
They come, the homeless ones, the noiseless dead.
While the dim charging breakers of the storm
Bellow and drone and rumble overhead,
Out of the gloom they gather about my bed.
They whisper to my heart; their thoughts are mine,
"Why are you here with all your watches ended?
From Ypres to Frise we sought you in the Line."
In bitter safety I awake, unfriended;
And while the dawn begins with slashing rain
I think of the battalion in the mud.
"When are you going out to them again?
Are they not still your brothers through our blood?"




 

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