A very personal post to begin with today, which I dedicate to the memory of a man I didn't even know existed until two years ago; my great uncle, Lance Corporal Frederick Pickup, who, together with 20,000 comrades, died (aged 24) on 1st July 1916: the first day of the Battle of the Somme .
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever 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 learny od friends; and gentleness
In hearts at peace under an English heaven.
Fred Pickup: like tens of thousands of others, gone, but not forgotten.
Wear your poppy with pride!