“Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum.” - Richard II, Act III, scene iii
No, I didn’t tremble in that cloying mud
Fingers fumbling for a Woodbine
Nor did I cower by collapsing trench walls
As Big Bertha blasted hell’s appalling anthem
And I did not yell “Chocks away!”
To those scurrying blokes below
Before the moonlight flight to Dresden
Nor hack unyielding rock in Hellfire Pass.
And I didn’t look back, creeping
Along that perilous Helmand track
The day that Adam Brown went down.
But I have felt your leaving in my bones -
Heard the emptiness you left behind,
Shaken my head at such pointlessness
And the cloying pain of never coming home again, never...
And at eleven on the eleventh day of the eleventh month
I will always bow to you
Who soldier on or shake no more
Bold yeomen in the game of war.