Aftermath - when the boys came home

Saturday 11 June 2011

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On Passing the new Menin Gate
by Siegfried Sassoon

Who will remember, passing through this Gate1,
The unheroic Dead who fed the guns?
Who shall absolve the foulness of their fate,—
Those doomed, conscripted, unvictorious ones?

Crudely renewed, the Salient holds its own.
Paid are its dim defenders by this pomp;
Paid, with a pile of peace-complacent stone,
The armies who endured that sullen swamp.

Here was the world’s worst wound. And here with pride
‘Their name liveth for ever,’ the Gateway claims.
Was ever an immolation so belied
As these intolerably nameless names?
Well might the Dead who struggled in the slime
Rise and deride this sepulchre of crime.


Begun Brussels, 25 July 1927; finished Campden Hill Square, January 1928
54,889 names are engraved on the gate.
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