'Amazing coincidence at the war memorial'

Letters: My poem, Sorrows of War, recalls just one mother's reaction on Armistice Day 1918, her story having been passed down through the years.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th November 2018, 2:22 pm
Updated Friday, 16th November 2018, 3:29 pm
Picture by FRANK REID
Picture by FRANK REID

It relates to Gunner John Lancaster, of the Royal Field Artillery.

The household clock struck forth 11 times;

A church bell rang continuing the chimes.

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Eleventh day, eleventh month; at last

The stress of war - so Great - was past.

The terraced house atop steep Bury Lane,

Received the news, yet mingled with some pain.

On April 4th. the Amiens line was held,

The fearsome German onslaught there repelled.

But France’s ravaged earth though battle won,

Was strewn with death, and there a loving son

Of nineteen years, no more to look upon

Brinscall’s green fields in spring, nor kin, nor home.

A mother’s voice on this Armistice Day;

“It won’t bring our Jack back,” was heard to say.

On the BBC news bulletin on Friday evening, which showed Theresa May in France placing a wreath on the Memorial near the River Somme, we were given a brief view of names listed.

Near the top of the screen was that of Lancaster J.

The memorial contains over 72,000 names of soldiers killed in that region of The Somme, and, as John Lancaster lost his life on April 4, 1918 at Amiens, the name shown in the television news bulletin must be that of the 19-year-old from Brinscall.

James Lancaster