It’s Remembrance Day 2022 and here are seven touching poems to share online in honour of our fallen soldiers.
Observed annually in the UK and Commonwealth, Remembrance Day commemorates armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.
Also known as Armistice Day, the annual memorial is honoured on November 11 as it marks the end of World War One in 1918.
People pay tribute to Britain’s soldiers by wearing red poppies which grew on the battlefields after WW1 and observing a two-minute silence at 11am.
It honours the formal ending of WW1 “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” which is when the armistice was signed.
Read on to see some touching Remembrance Day 2022 poems with their most well-known lines in bold…
Poem 1: For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Poem 2: In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
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.
Poem 3: On Somme by Ivor Gurney
Suddenly into the still air burst thudding
And thudding and cold fear possessed me all,
On the gray slopes there, where Winter in sullen brooding
Hung between height and depth of the ugly fall
Of Heaven to earth; and the thudding was illness own.
But still a hope I kept that were we there going over
I; in the line, I should not fail, but take recover
From others courage, and not as coward be known.
No flame we saw, the noise and the dread alone
Was battle to us; men were enduring there such
And such things, in wire tangled, to shatters blown.
Courage kept, but ready to vanish at first touch.
Fear, but just held. Poets were luckier once
In the hot fray swallowed and some magnificence
Poem 4: We Shall Keep the Faith by Moira Michael
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
Poem 5: T’was Madness by Peter Atkinson
Deep in the trenches and stenches they stand
Where their life’s in the balance, poised in fates hand.
The front line can make courage soon disappear
With the rage of the battle and the palpable fear.
Our troops line to die when the whistle is blown,
To a slaughter so vile in the killing zone.
What mind in command could consider it right
To march men with rifles to engage such a fight
Where opponents attack with such focused disdain
Meet machine-guns a-blazing; reap carnage insane.
T’was a war that was numb to a phalanx of death
Were the leaders perplexed; suffered intake of breath?
What contest deemed fair would plan such a match?
Where a soldier on foot would cross a mud patch
To a death that was certain as bullets would slay
Those Innocents ordered straight into harms way.
Christ, why was that ever considered to be
A fair contest? T’was madness and none disagree.
Poem 6: The Soldier by Rupert Brooke
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Poem 7: Remembered Still Those Souls by Ernie Rowe
Remembered still those souls who tried
To save the world, but many died.
A moment stolen for a tear,
As we recall those unlived years.
The camaraderie that flew those souls back home to those they knew,
And loved them dear and held them close
But for our sakes released to foes
The silence that they leave behind
Is space to calm the troubled minds of those they loved –
And can’t rewind.
Again this day we give our thanks
For those returned from serving ranks
And them ‘as gave it all away Forever in our minds will stay.