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 once upon a time

4th August 1914
Dawn breaks, the sun shines bright
Little could we envisage the horror by the end of that day
At first it seemed a jest. We would be home again by Christmas.
But alas it was not to be. Too many friends would lie dead.
Dead before the dawn would ever break again on an August day.
Sign here. You’re a big boy now.
Off to join your mates in Belgium.
March. March and dig in as shells fling themselves overhead
Ignore your mates lying at your feet 
Your own horror you have yet to meet.
We met our fate many times over during the next four years
With envy we would watch our mates torn and bloodied carried away
War is hell, a phrase spoken many years after we fought
The war to end all wars. Here we crouch waiting to fight.
Slip and slid along a gore-filled trench
It's only your one-time mates you're walking on.
I often wonder would we once again sign up on another fateful august day,
No, not I. But there is always a quixotic mix  of young men willing to.
Ready to march onto a ship and sail into carnage beyond their imagination.

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