In Flanders Fields

November 4, 2007 at 8:55 am | Posted in Be yours to hold it high, In Flanders Fields, Poppies, Remembrance Day, Take up our quarrel with the foe, The Great War, To you from failing hands we throw the torch, War, World War I, WW1 | 4 Comments

Royal British Legion Pause to Remember 11-11-11 logo

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

more …

P.S.  This is in preparation for next Sunday‘s Remembrance Day services.  Pupils in Years 5 or 6 study this poem at school.



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  1. “To you from failing hands we throw / The torch; be yours to hold it high.” is the motto around the flagpole in Madingley American cemetery; that or something very similiar.

  2. Thanks for this, William. A friend in Cambridge who studied there pointed this American cemetery out to us earlier this year, but we did not have time to visit. The site was donated by Cambridge University.
    A few friends in CA would, I know, dearly love the chance to visit such a place. That’s another to add to the list, which is headed by Runnymede and the JFK Memorial there.

  3. P.S. It is a complete coincidence that I chose to tag those two lines from the poem. They speak Olympic volumes. There is a document that confirms your point.
    After your Wolvercote story, I’m beginning to think you are becoming a bit of a cemetery aficionado 😉

  4. Certainly am.

    Those lines around the flagstaff I find deeply affecting. The rest of the cemetary is well worth visting; I find it a slightly grotesque demonstration of wealth, especially the chapel. But it is well done.

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