Remembrance Sunday.

Today is a very special day in the UK, as today we remember the fallen of The Great War, the brave men who fought across the channel in a war so filled with horror and despair. Today we say the words “lest we forget”, and how true those words are: we must not forget those lives that were cut short in such a vicious and pointless war.

As I explained to various people today, many across the UK are wearing poppies, including myself, to mark our remembrance. Why a poppy? you may ask. In the fields in Belgium, where those great men fell, poppies grew among the dead, the vibrancy of the colour highlighting both the shedding of blood, the death around them, and the life that manifests itself in their growing. Since that awful war, the poppies have remained a symbol of our remembrance, once more the vibrancy of the colour reminding us of all the horror of 100 years ago, and of how much we have to live for.

Tower of London Ceramic Poppy

Philip Larkin’s majestic poem MCMXIV (1914), written in 1964, truly encompasses the loss of life across all that pointless bloodshed:

Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park,
The crowns of hats, the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August Bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops, the bleached
Established names on the sunblinds,
The farthings and sovereigns,
And dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens,
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist, and the pubs
Wide open all day;

And the countryside not caring:
The place-names all hazed over
With flowering grasses, and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat’s restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses,
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word – the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.

In memory of all the fallen soldiers. LEST WE FORGET. 1914-1918. 


About nessyakamhi

British writer. Personal twitter: @nessyakamhi Personal Instagram: @nessita.k Facebook Page: Nessya Kamhi
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