Sunday, 11 November 2012

The fallen

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.

The author of this moving poem is  John McCrae who is a very distant relative of my husband (a McCrae married into the Wilsons.)

I looked through my extended tree to find those who fell in WW1. A lot of our ancestors were miners and stayed at home to keep the home fires burning so there are maybe not as many as in others' trees.

Aaron Dickens of Kirkintilloch died 7 Nov 1918 in France & Flanders. He was a private in the Highland Light Infantry.  A particulary sad case - just before the Armistice and only 21.

Alexander Shaw of Aberdeenshire a private in the Gordon Highlanders died of wounds on 26 Dec 1915 in France or Flanders aged 26.

William Rollie of Ayrshire died 27 Feb 1916 in France or Flanders. Only 18.

Tom Holmes of Featherstone, Yorkshire died 12 Apr 1917 in France or Flanders age 41.
Left a wife and 6 children.

Murdoch Ferguson of Skye died 5 Aug 1917 in France or Flanders aged 50. He was a corporal in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and formerly in  the Lovat Scouts.

James Cook of Blackburn died 26 Sep 1917 in France or Flanders age 27.

William Mathieson of Ayrshire died 21 Mar 1918 in France or Flanders age 26.

Corporal Abraham Yates from Auchinleck, Royal Scots fell 19 Apr 1918 in France or Flanders aged 29.

Alfred Allan Walker of Aberdeen was killed in action on 14 Nov 1914 in France having served only 45 days. He was a corporal in the Gordon Highlanders and my great aunt Aggie's husband.  Their only son William Sievwright Walker died in the Second World War.

Richard Ewart Shearer my grandfather's younger brother was an engine fitter in the Royal Flying Corps and died of pneumonia in the military hospital in Ayr aged 19 on February 17th 1917.

Gone but not forgotten.

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