Over the top, men, over the top

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Compiled for  mindlovemisery’s music prompt #46: “What’s Left of the Flag” by Flogging Molly. The essence of the song, to me, was the senseless nature of war. The men of the Newfound regiment went over the top at 9:15; the assault was called off at 9:45 – it took some of the Regiment who survived 17 hours to get back to the trenches. June 1916. Beginning of the Battle of the Somme. I wrote my piece like a poem or a song about the incident during World War 1. Newfoundland was a British colony and as such had to join Britain and France against the deadly “hun” as the Germans were called.

 

it’s over the top boys, over the top you go

the smell of death wind begins to blow

g’damned how were we to know, oh

how were we to know

near 800 Newfoundland lads young, strong and true

doing for king and country what you are supposed to do

keep on marching and digging while the flag flew

so nothing, damn, all that’s left of the flag for me

no more dying and bleeding for f’ing king and his country

no more I’ll be on me rock afloating on the sea

afore we go, hugged our brothers, kissed our maids

picked up bullets, guns and grenades

g’damned trenches all a needing spades

I lost me mates: Billy Chum, Johnny Mc Dee, Liam Sprout

I still feel their hot blood, hear them all shout

hear the enemy fire, wire-snagged all about

so nothing, damn, all that’s left of the flag for me

no more dying and bleeding for f’ing king and his country

no more I’ll be on me rock afloating on the sea

Near 800 we went out to face the grinning hun

less than a hundred or so made it back past the gun

and the damned battle of Somme only just begun

so nothing, damn, all that’s left of the flag for me

no more dying and bleeding for f’ing king and his country

no more I’ll be on me rock afloating on the sea

“The Newfoundland Regiment had been almost wiped out. When roll call was taken, only 68 men answered their names – 324 were killed, or missing and presumed dead, and 386 were wounded.” The quote and most of the images from http://www.heritage.nf.ca/first-world-war

poster: https://alexhickey.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/1914-18newfoundlanditem2l.jpg

train: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Railway/en/pp/lg87.jpg

Remembering World War One

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Over the top, men, over the top

  1. Michael June 12, 2016 / 5:51 am

    I thought you captured the futility of war so well. It was a terrible war fought by heroes sent by idiots into a certain death. The best oxymoron of all, “military intelligence” was born from this war. What a crime it was for on 68 of the 800 to survive intact. My grandfather fought on the western front and was injured which in time led to his death at the young age of 56. Excellent response to this song.

    Like

    • taleweavering June 12, 2016 / 7:22 pm

      Thank you. As I mentioned one of my great-uncles’ body was never found. His brother came home shell-shocked I think and died in a boat collision about 5 years later. Much tragedy as his father, my great-grandfather died in the accident too. But what chance does a wooden schooner have against an iron steamship. Odds are those of getting across No Man’s Land, barbed wire and bullets. Sorry about your grandfather. A whole generation was lost.
      The story of the Newfoundland Regiment has come to represent the futility of war in Canada (Newfoundland joined Canada at the end of WW2.)

      Liked by 1 person

I love dialogue. Do you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s