gunsandposes:

William Noel Hodgson was an English poet and soldier during the First World War. He published stories and poems under the pen name Edward Melbourne.

“Before Action”

By all the glories of the day
And the cool evening’s benison
By that last sunset touch that lay
Upon the hills when day was done,
By beauty lavishly outpoured
And blessings carelessly received,
By all the days that I have lived
Make me a soldier, Lord.

By all of all man’s hopes and fears
And all the wonders poets sing,
The laughter of unclouded years,
And every sad and lovely thing;
By the romantic ages stored
With high endeavour that was his,
By all his mad catastrophes
Make me a man, O Lord.

I, that on my familiar hill
Saw with uncomprehending eyes
A hundred of thy sunsets spill
Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,
Ere the sun swings his noonday sword
Must say good-bye to all of this; -
By all delights that I shall miss,
Help me to die, O Lord.

Hodgson died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme when attacking German trenches, felled by a machine gun positioned near a shrine. The bullet punctured his neck, killing him instantly.

(Forham University/Wikipedia)

(Source: humanoidhistory, via lord-kitschener)

historicaltimes:

This is Trench Warfare. Photo taken by an official British Photographer during WWI, c.1917

historicaltimes:

This is Trench Warfare. Photo taken by an official British Photographer during WWI, c.1917

(via fredgodof)

Tagged: photos from then, .

As tired bullocks and bull buffaloes lie down at the end of monsoon, so lies the weary world. Our hearts are breaking.

An Indian soldier during WWI.  [x, originally from David Omissi’s Indian Voices of the Great War.] (via alamaris)

It’s absurd to say time makes one forget; I miss him as much as ever I did. One recovers from the shock, just as one gradually would get used to managing with one’s left hand if one had lost one’s right, but one never gets over the loss, for one is never the same after it. I have got used to facing the long empty years ahead of me if I survive the War, but I have always before me the realization of how empty they are and will be, since he will never be there again.

Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth (via mlaurelm)

historicalfirearms:

The British Army Mobilises

[SNIP]

(via lord-kitschener)

Tagged: photos from then, .
ironeurope:

Indian artillerymen playing cards, 11 June 1918

ironeurope:

Indian artillerymen playing cards, 11 June 1918

(via alamaris)

cavetocanvas:

Romaine Brooks, La France Croisée, 1914
From the Smithsonian American Art Museum:

Brooks painted a windswept female figure as a crusader and the personification of France. She based the woman’s strong features on those of the actress Ida Rubinstein, with whom she was in love at the time. The figure’s chiseled features and stern gaze set against the backdrop of a burning city evoke a sense of defiance and strength. The city represents Ypres in western Belgium, the site of a major battle during the first year of World War I. The emblem on Rubinstein’s shoulder evokes the bloodshed of war, but the brilliant red may also signal the painter’s passion for the actress. Reproductions of this painting, together with the poem, were later sold to raise money for the Red Cross, and Brooks received the Cross of the Legion of Honor for her service to France.

cavetocanvas:

Romaine Brooks, La France Croisée, 1914

From the Smithsonian American Art Museum:

Brooks painted a windswept female figure as a crusader and the personification of France. She based the woman’s strong features on those of the actress Ida Rubinstein, with whom she was in love at the time. The figure’s chiseled features and stern gaze set against the backdrop of a burning city evoke a sense of defiance and strength. The city represents Ypres in western Belgium, the site of a major battle during the first year of World War I. The emblem on Rubinstein’s shoulder evokes the bloodshed of war, but the brilliant red may also signal the painter’s passion for the actress. Reproductions of this painting, together with the poem, were later sold to raise money for the Red Cross, and Brooks received the Cross of the Legion of Honor for her service to France.

(via alamaris)

A rather lovely choral arrangement of “In Flanders Fields”.

(Source: Spotify)

I’ve been writing out my feelings on Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen and David Thomas and Roland Leighton and Edward Brittain again. *wrings hands*

"Skip’s in a terrible mood," said Stanley, chewing on the end of an unlit cigarette. "Reckon you should check on him, Mr Fox."

"Thank you." I ducked under the lintel and descended the narrow staircase into the deep dug-out. My eyes had adjusted to the darkness, but still, seeking out Alexander, it wasn’t immediately clear what caused Stanley’s concern.

Alex was a slender shadow in one corner of the room, beside his camp bed. He paused in the process of lighting a cigarette to flick a look at the door. “Fox,” he said without welcome.

"How are you?" I asked, studying his person. His hair had been shaken out of its Brilliantined neatness, and his collar was askew.

He didn’t reply, just turned his attention back to his cigarette. I saw that a stack of papers had fallen off his desk. As I was crossing the room to right them, I realised this was only the beginning of the damage. He had pulled everything off the shelves behind the desk, thrown his tin plate and mug against the wall, and smashed a clay figurine.

"What happened?" I asked, ducking down to pick up the scattered papers.

"On the desk," he replied, in the tone of a man carrying his temper like an overfull coffee mug.

I saw what sat in the middle of the denuded desk. A telegram. In an instant my heart seemed to expand, crowding my lungs against my ribcage. With shaking hands, I picked it up. I had to blink twice to focus on the text. Dear Alex, terrible news. Tom KIA near Arras on 15 July. Very few details - we were hoping you could look into it. Our hearts are broken. Mrs M.

"Oh," I said. Searching for anything to look at other than those awful words, I realised that the papers Alex had scattered were the letters Tom had sent him. With care, I refolded them and laid them on the desk. I put the telegram on top. I didn’t want it in my hands any longer.

"Tuesday," said Alex. "Tom has been dead for five days, and on Wednesday I umpired the boys’ football match, and last night I went to that Variety Show the Buffs put on."

"I’ll write to his CO and find out what happened," I said. "That is—would you like me to write?" At Alex’s wordless nod I continued, "You should apply for leave."

"Why?" He turned, his dark eyes boring into mine. "What’s the point of that?"

"You could go up to Arras and—well, perhaps make it in time for the service." My blood had slowed and thickened to sludge, which lent my words a calmness I didn’t feel.

"Pointless," said Alex. He threw the cigarette on the ground and scuffed it out. "I am not leaving France until every last fucking Boche understands what they’ve stolen from the world." He walked across the room, brushing past me. Before I could stop him, he had dug his fingers into the flimsy wood and flipped the table halfway across the room.

There go Tom’s letters again, I thought.

"Well, I’ll leave you to it, shall I?" I retreated from Alex’s precise demolition of the chair.

He didn’t reply.

"You should tidy this up when you’re finished," I said. "Don’t make Private Stanley clean up after you."

"Go fuck yourself, Fox," echoed after me as I climbed up the stairs. I expected the light somehow to have dimmed, now that Tom wasn’t here to capture the sun in his golden hair, but after the darkness of the dugout I found myself blinded.

© One Great War,
gonzoblog-theme is a free Tumblr Theme, designed by gonzodesign. ~ Tumblr This Theme is proudly powered by: Tumblr ~ RSS subscribe to RSS.