David Childs

The Advance to Victory continued throughout September with few setbacks. The American forces were now considered battle-ready and on 12th they fought their first separate engagement in the Battle of St. Mihiel. The British were now advancing on the German's last strongpoint, the Hindenberg Line as well as fighting the Fifth Battle of Ypres. Elsewhere, we were evacuating Baku on the Caspian Sea, ahead of a Soviet advance while in the Middle East preparing to take Damascus.

We will Remember Them

With hindsight, knowing that the war would soon be over, the autumn of 1918 were cruel months for casualties. On 16 September, Lance Bombardier Albert Smart of the Royal Field Artillery, died and was buried in Tisbury Congregational Church. Aged 28, he was the husband of C B Smart of The Quarry, Tisbury. He had been injured in the advances beyond the Somme and had been carried back to England, only to die of his wounds in Netley hospital on the Solent. He was the last of the Tisbury Boys to die before the Armistice. Three other men, Arthur, Victor and Walter, with the surname Smart enlisted from Tisbury but came safe home.


Amy Lowell belonged to an influential Boston, Massachusetts, family but was no conformist being an overweight, cigar-smoking, lesbian, who wrote poetry good enough to win her the Pulitzer Prize, posthumously, she died in 1925. This poem foresees the return to normality that would begin in November.

September, 1918

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.
Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.


©  Tisbury History Society
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