World War I

The Badgers of Slad

The paintings of badgers on the posts at Slad,
Are beguiling and deceptive in their art,
Seemingly comic and anthropomorphic,
Each one contributes to a tragic tale,
Summarised in that curt and cruel word: cull.
They look like Tommies facing execution,
Tied to their posts at dawn’s first red-streaked light:
What passing-bells for those who die for cattle?

‘Only the monstrous anger of the guns,
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle.’

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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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1914-1918: And Now For The Final Cost:

    (With thanks to Crispin Thomas and Johnny Fluffypunk) Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 1 Barnsley 4 Blackburn Rovers 2 Birmingham City 2 Blackpool 3 Bolton Wanderers 1 Bradford City 9 Derby County 6 Brentford 7 Brighton and Hove Albion  5 Bristol City 5 Bristol Rovers 3...

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