Allan Crawley

Allan resides in the United Kingdom


Allan Crawley: A Poem for Lawrence (1876-1917)It will all be over by Christmas they said,
Now it’s two years on with thousands dead,
for King and country a new call to arms,
For us men to leave our jobs, homes and farms

Am I too old at thirty nine?
To fight on the front and cross that line
So I joined up and took the King’s shilling
Said my farewells and to war went willing.

Here at Ypres any day may be my last
Where life can be short, death hopefully fast
It might be gas, a bullet or stray hell
But please don’t let death be a lingering hell

With no one at home to mourn
No need for me to be homeward borne
Buried here in a foreign land
Among the poppies and greensand

Now a solitary stone stands guard over me,
Row upon row of others for all to see
All died on the fateful day in June
In this land known as Walloon

Author’s Note: I wrote this around the 2009 Armistice Day celebrations here in the United Kingdom, in memory of a distant relative. It is written about my grandfather’s brother who enlisted in the First World War when he was aged 39 with no previous military record. He died in Flanders and I am probably only one of two people who have ever visited his grave.