The first world war broke out 100 years ago this week, I've watched TV programmes showing the horrors, mistakes and the general mis-management and stupidity of the generals. How they sent the men under their command to die to make themselves look like the new Alexander. Many men pannicked, but waiting for them behind the lines were men with revolvers with orders to "shoot the cowards" Others were hanged or faced the firing squad. In recent years many have been pardoned, bit late, a hunderd years too late. I am also questioning the motives of the governments and buissnessmen concerned. There is always profit in war, the only losers are the combatants.
1914-18. Honour or Greed.
Far in the distance, over the horizon.
Flashes in the night, followed by the booming.
Hear the shells flying high overhead.
Sometimes they fall nearby.
Friends and comrades laying dead.
Over there in no-mans-land where machine guns hold sway.
Lay dead and broken soldiers in potholes for a grave.
Dreaded sound; the whistle, signals “up and over, boys”
Bullets fly like blankets, cut down soldiers as they rise.
Before them wait the enemy, guns are spitting fire.
Behind them waits the sergeant; revolver set and primed.
They stand there on the edge, they know.
They're damned if they do.
And damned if they don't.
If the Bosh don't get you.
The sergeant will.
Miles away behind the lines.
Where enemy bombs cant reach.
Deep entrenched the generals drink their brandy's and their teas.
They send their men to “do or die”.
“Their duty for the king”.
And any man that fails to rise.
Will die the cowards way.
The whistle blows the soldiers rise.
To hide their fear, the battle cry.
Mortars falling, bullets flying.
All around your friends are dying.
Life blood seeping into what once were green fields.
Who will profit, Do you wonder?
Not the orphaned, widowed, crippled survivor.
Why do we rise in the hour of need.
Country's honour or governments greed?
Phill Williams 30th July 2014