Jack joined the army at the age of sixteen
they sent him to war, to a place he'd never seen.
To fight the Germans, Turks and with the French,
now sitting in mud, in a crowded trench.
Thousands waiting to go out and fight,
hoping it will be over, before daylight.
Over the top they went, when the orders came,
scared young men, who don't know who to blame.
In seconds they fell, and lay there dying,
those left alive you could hear them crying.
Hundreds lay dead, in those first few minutes,
had no escape from those German bullets.
Those who refused, faced the firing squad,
nothing left now, only to face their God.
When the firing stopped, the General said,
now go out and get the lame and the dead.
Those badly injured, were all left to sigh,
hoping to get home, before they die.
The rest were left there, to try and survive,
having to kill the enemy, to stay alive.
For weeks we fought, in that forsaken place,
eating and drinking, with blood on our face.
No where to wash, amid that awful smell,
life in the trenches, was just bloody hell.
Now the war's over, I've been back and seen,
the graves of soldiers, aged only eighteen.
I was lucky, I've been able to grow old,
to my son this story I told.
Poem by Alan Brazier (Grandson)