Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flyweight Guns At Nery: Heroism Of The Highest Order

One hundred years ago the French and British armies were being pushed back toward Paris in a relentless onslaught by the German army.  Look up the timeline of 1914, and you will be amazed by the number of battles in August while the Great War was still a war of movement.  On September 1, 1914, a single gun of L Battery, Royal Horse Artillery held back the Germans by battling an entire German battery for 2 1/2 hours.  Three Victoria Crosses were awarded.  Many Brits died that day.  September 1 is the day that the Battle of the Marne was won, and Paris was saved.

Click Here and Here for two very good sites that tell about Nery.  Here is the link to Wikipedia's page.

A poem from that time, by Robert Service

The Convalescent

. . . So I walked among the willows very quietly all night;
There was no moon at all, at all; no timid star alight;
There was no light at all, at all; I wint from tree to tree,
And I called him as his mother called, but he nivver answered me.

Oh I called him all the night-time, as I walked the wood alone;
And I listened and I listened, but I nivver heard a moan;
Then I found him at the dawnin', when the sorry sky was red:
I was lookin' for the livin', but I only found the dead.

Sure I know that it was Shamus by the silver cross he wore;
But the bugles they were callin', and I heard the cannon roar.
Oh I had no time to tarry, so I said a little prayer,
And I clasped his hands together, and I left him lyin' there.

Now the birds are singin', singin', and I'm home in Donegal,
And it's Springtime, and I'm thinkin' that I only dreamed it all;
I dreamed about that evil wood, all crowded with its dead,
Where I knelt beside me brother when the battle-dawn was red.

Where I prayed beside me brother ere I wint to fight anew:
Such dreams as these are evil dreams; I can't believe it's true.
Where all is love and laughter, sure it's hard to think of loss . . .
But mother's sayin' nothin', and she clasps -- a silver cross.

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