On a hillside in Weardale
I stood with a handful of others
and remembered the dead.
It was a beautiful early winter morning,
with snow on the upper hills towards Alston and Teesdale.
The light was pale and subdued
and there was stillness a kind of resigned peace
and a crispness that give clarity to thoughts.
The words of conciliation were said
and the names of the men who died were spoken once again.
It was a dignified epitaph
for those forgotten few
whose comrades who returned are also probably long dead too.
Indeed I suspect there are very few people
in the Dale who remember them,
but we who stood there on that Sunday morning committed ourselves to remember.
My own paternal grandfather
was badly wounded during the Gallipoli campaign in 1916.
He returned home,
but died within a few years
as a consequence of the war and his injuries.
Naturally I never knew him.
My own father was only a baby when his father died,
so he has no recollection of him
or any memorabilia.
I was fortunate to meet my father's elder brother
many years ago
and he showed me a photograph of my grandfather.
The faded image showed a man who wore
a metal plate over half his face,
presumably to hide the disfigurement.
I could not connect with him
as my ancestor on any level spiritually, emotionally or physically.
I think of all the children who grew up
without their father
like my own dad
and then this gives way
to considering all the unborn children of those fallen.
They truly are the 'lost, ' the ones
whose potential has never been.
So in saying, ' I will remember, '
it cannot be the individual I bring to mind,
it has to be the generation who died and in that respect I remember.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem