World War I

A Lament for Dorothy and Archie

Each little river has a tale which, if understood, cannot fail
To edify the Human heart; mine’s of Lovers who’d not part:
Both loved Nature, read her runes and worshipped countless harvest moons.
He, a Minchinhampton Man – she the lanes of Burleigh ran,
Eager, passionate, enthralled to embrace her Archibald.
The stream that gushes into town on Hazel Woods, as hail, crashed down.
High on that ridge where sheep are shorn, a tiny rivulet was born.
It seeped through soil and chiselled stone, caressing sea-spawned Cotswold bone.
A weave of light like soft silk shook became a dancing, babbling brook.
Through Gatcombe Park the waters curled, then through its stately gardens swirled
To trace a spiral as they whirled past Longfords Mill.

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Refugees and Remembrance

The November twilight ebbs away It is the same old ludic Time as ever. But a dead thing is grasped by my hand, A queer sardonic bi-valve – I pull it from the common’s rough track To place in my museum at home. Droll fossil, what on earth can you know Of national...

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July 14th 1915

My mother was born on Bastille Day, July 14th, 1915; Her mum and dad had met at church, In the choir of St John the Baptist and St Helen, Up on Church Hill, Wroughton, Just below the ridgeway, high above Swindon. I never met my grand-father, he died before my birth, A...

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Archibald Knee and Dorothy Beard

Coroner’s Report, 1916 The link above takes you to transcripts of the coroner’s report, 1916. Please read below as well … this is an astonishing story from WW1 ‘My beloved fiancée, Dorothy Beard, aged 18, of Burleigh, Brimscombe, and I,...

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