For the likes of me and you

A poem by Revd Roy Bradshaw

They signed in the Cities and in the towns,
They journeyed from villages too.
They caught the trains to Channel Ports,
For the likes of me and you!

Wives, girlfriends and children waved with pride,
Not knowing if all would come back.
Shedding tears as husbands, sons and boyfriends
Marched with nought but a smile and a pack.

They used a spade more than the gun.
They dug deep trenches in foreign soil.
With artillery behind: barbed wire to the fore.
Promised glory seemed just swet and toil.

Month after month, then year on year.
Men endured hellfire, gas and mud.
Nerves shredded, friends dying all around
But they were sure it would all come good.

Over the top they went, again and again.
Comrades and unknowns; falling all around.
They gave their all, they gave their lives
Just to gain a few yards of ground.

They dreamed of mothers, wives and lovers.
Of a bath, clean clothes and a kiss.
They stood firm, they held fast
Victory was won; in such a field as this?

They marched home with tearful eyes.
Frozen expressions on their faces.
Those remaining few having seen such horror
Returned to their home places.

Damaged by those scenes and screams
Their sleep was filled with terror.
Life was never again to be the same.
Leaving home now seemed an error.

They fell, they died; many lost a limb.
They obeyed; it was their duty too!
They all endured, suffering so very much.
For the likes of me and you!

For the likes of each generation
For the likes of past, present and future too’
For the likes of men, women, children across the land.
For the likes of me and you!

 See also: The Bugle Calls

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