Lest We Forget

Remembrance Service held by the Dartmoor Branch of the Royal Bristish Legion at Crapstone. Commodore Martyn Willams from Axtown lays a on behalf of the Royal Navy. Copyright – Chris Saville

Remembrance Sunday was always going to be different this year, as is everything else. However, communities all across Devon, and indeed the country, managed to find ways to show their respect. Although many ‘remembered from home’ or with online services, some small services were held in many towns and villages, with inventive ways used to keep people apart and safe while they stood together to remember those fallen.

The Royal British Legion held a service in Crapstone which was attended by a small number of people. One attendee was David Fitzgerald, BBC presenter, who said: “Both my parents served in WW2, and it is incredibly sad but also incredibly uplifting to see so many people celebrating Remembrance Day.”

Paul Juckett, Standard Bearer, commented: “It would be devastating if we forget; we have to learn from past mistakes we have made, and our freedoms depend on the sacrifices the fallen have made.”

Retired army personnel and Scout leaders were also present to lay wreaths to honour the fallen soldiers. While this day is often most linked to the First and Second World Wars, in more recent times we have been encouraged to remember every single life given in every single conflict, and to reflect on what that really means for the lives we live now. Bob Barnes, retired army Colonel Devon and Dorset Regiment concurred, saying: “It is important to remember the casualties from all wars.” Continued on page 3
From the period between 1914 and 1945, there have been collected a wonderful range of artworks, stories and poems that give an insight into what it was like to live and work at that time. The fear, the joy, the resilience.

Isaac Rosenberg was born in 1890 in Bristol. Isaac grew up in a very poor household and worked as an apprentice engraver. He was always an artist at heart and after attending night classes for painting at college, he won a number of student awards which allowed him to gain sponsorship to the Slade School, an important school for English painting, in 1911.

In 1915 he self-published some of his poems in a book but with little else to do for work, he enlisted in the Bantam Battalion of 12 Suffolk Regiment. He was sent to the Western Front in 1916. Whilst at war he wrote a number of poems that highlighted his love for the romantic classics, portraying the horror, hope and humour of the trenches. On 1st April, 1918, while on night patrol, Rosenberg, who was just 28 years old, was killed in battle. His body was never found. After his death his poems were collected and published in 1922. In 1979 all of his work was gathered and published in The Collected Works of Isaac Rosenberg: Poetry, Prose, Letters, Painting, and Drawings.

The Dead Heroes
Isaac Rosenberg

Flame out, you glorious skies,
Welcome our brave;
Kiss their exultant eyes;
Give what they gave.

Flash, mailed seraphim,
Your burning spears;
New days to outflame their dim
Heroic years.

Thrills their baptismal tread
The bright proud air;
The embattled plumes outspread
Burn upwards there.

Flame out, flame out, O Song!
Star ring to star;
Strong as our hurt is strong
Our children are.

Their blood is England’s heart;
By their dead hands
It is their noble part
That England stands.

England – Time gave them thee;
They gave back this
To win Eternity
And claim God’s kiss.

Laura White

Author: Laura White

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