Remembering the Fallen

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Poppies bathed in rain

Remembering the fallen

Teardrops on spilled blood

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One hundred years ago today was the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The Somme Offensive ran from July 1st to November 18th 1916 and was one of the bloodiest battles in history, with over one million men wounded and killed. The first day of battle, despite being a British victory with the capture of the German-held position, was the worst day in the entire history of the British army with approximately 57,470 casualties. It’s hard to imagine such devastating losses.

The poppy has been used to remember those lost in conflict since the First World War, when the Canadian poet John McCrae recognised its potency as a symbol in his poem Flanders Fields. The land that had been torn apart by exploding mortars and bathed in the blood of soldiers was soon after covered in a carpet of the blood red flowers.

If you’d like to know more about the Battle of the Somme you can check out the Wikipedia article here. If you’d like to learn about the commemorative events occurring to mark the centenary you can check out the BBC website here.

12 thoughts on “Remembering the Fallen

  1. so poignant Louise! Thank you for the link.!On my father’s (Canadian) side there is a great uncle who died at Vimy Ridge. We still have two last and poignant letters which we will donate to the museum. Next year it will be one hundred years for that famous Canadian Battle that saw the loss of almost 4000 Canadians.

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    1. It really is an unimaginable number. It’s just a shame that WW1 wasn’t the ‘ war to end all wars’ that they thought it was going to be. Their sacrifices might be a little more acceptable if no one else had ever had to die in war…

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  2. Beautiful poem, Louise! It is so sad the devastating loss of lives that wars bring. Imaging the fields of red poppies after this horrible battle is heart breaking because of what they are symbolic for.


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