Cpl. Rupert Hayers MM, Cpl. Leon Johnson, Pte. Jack Baker, Lewis Arundel, Charles Rigby

Fall in there - double up! - look smart - stand properly at ease
And cover off the man in front - pinch off those Woodbines (please)
Answer your names - there's Jack and Rupert - Leon, Lew and Charley
Suppose we get a move on then without much further parley.
Parade there - SHUN! and number off. One two three four and five
Move to the right in fours - now then there! Look alive.
By the right quick march! We're off - to Flanders fields away
A Pilgrimage to Ypres - with hearts both grave and gay.
Time was we would have gladly left this place of great renown
For Birmingham, Leeds or Manchester, (or any other town)
But now with eagerness we stride - anxious to reach the other side
Proud as all England's sons are proud that once made up the motley crowd
Within its' ruins or round about, keeping our old friend Jerry out.

We make a start from London town - arrive at Tilbury docks
And its "All aboard the Luggar", Charley and four old crocks.
Quickly we make our way below (to interview the Steward)
A very sour-faced Belgian chap - a fellow doubtless who had
Seen our sort before perhaps and didn't know our worth
And didn't think it possible - that we could have a berth.
But Leon made his face relax - (producing half a crown)
It seemed that now we'd settled up - that we could settle down.
Then for a space we wander off to "scrounge" around the ship
But not for long - for it was dark - and in the air a nip.
And talking of a nip me lads, By Jove! The very thing
I don't know who suggested it, but see them "to it" spring.
So we "stood on the bridge at midnight, as the clock was striking the hour"
And the "Alsace" slid down the Thames me lads, (and we slid down to the bar)

Then imagine us assembled - avec coffee and liqueur
No submarines -no lifebelt - and from wars' alarms secure.
We talked of other channel trips, with grim equipment cumbered
Then there was no such things as "tips" and no one ever slumbered.
And having toasted days gone by, we silently did creep
Into our bunks - and thankful felt, and laid us done to sleep.
The night passed on (as most nights do) with little to record,
It would have been "so calm and still" except for one who snored.
"No names no packdrill" but he used to be, a corporal in the A.S.C.
The engines' throb was bad enough - tres necessaire - tres bien
But oh! You should have heard the syncopated noise from L..n,
'Twas better than a bugle - sounding forth the crisp reveille
We would have put his "lights out" though, had we not been so pally.
'Twas dawn at all events, so "Show a leg" and look alive.
The Steward enters (bless his heart) with coffee for the five.
Nice coffee too it was, and pleasant to the tum
But see the sparkling eyes when one produces a flask of rum.
'Twas not the "Zero Hour" stuff, that soldiers met the Bosch with,
But better than the H²O that we just shave and wash with.
'Twas labelled on the bottle - "Fine Rum from far Jamaica"
And each of us enjoyed it - (especially Jack Baker).
We now proceed to wash and shave when we had drunk our coffee sir
Though not because we had to be inspected by an Officer.
The ship was now alongside; we grabbed our bags and waited
Then went ashore and through the Custom Office percolated.
The train was there in readiness, standing in the station
Which was to take us up the line, to our destination.
So here endeth chapter one of our Pilgrimage
If your interest is roused, kindly turn the page.

A carriage to ourselves we had -'twas very early morn
This suited us for we could look around and stretch and yawn.
We note the Station Master - resplendent in gold braid
Who up and down the platform made his early-morn parade,
And shook the hand of all his staff as they came into sight
And to accelerate the job he used both left and right.
Porters, Clerks and Wheeltappers, in manner most sincere
Shook each other by the hand (no class distinction here).

The train moves off and we proceed to view the landscape Flemish,
There's little interest for miles 'cept farmsteads without blemish.
Everything so orderly - of havoc scarce a tinge
A smiling peaceful landscape on the road to Poperinghe.
A lovely sunny morning with not a sign of care,
Just beet fields and the patient hind, industrious everywhere.
Everything so calm and still, but we grew more excited
As we approached the district where we were once affrighted.
Now dear old Pop. comes into view (but more of that anon)
The railroad used to finish here but now it carries on
To Ypres via Vlamertinghe the train sedately moves on,
We see the old familiar roads and houses - (now with roofs on).

At last we come to Ypres town, we dream - it can't be true
Erect from all its' battering, resurrected - new,
Not dead as we remembered her - but very much alive
It almost seemed as though she whispered welcome to the five.
We stood and gazed, our minds no doubt, were with emotion shaken
But our bodies clamoured loudly for coffee, eggs and bacon.
So we gathered up our kit and from the station passed on,
Falling in at once with a native chap named Gaston,
A taxi-man was he, spoke good English, knew our wants,
And he offered to take us to Georges Brabants,
Who kept an Hotel -"Porte de Menin Gate" - Bar"
The last word sounded useful so we all said "Right you are".
Madame there welcomed us and very soon produced
A proper English breakfast and we felt less reduced.
It seemed an ideal G.H.Q. (the room that we were then in)
Standing right beside the "Gate" upon the road to Menin.
The place was just the very thing so we arranged to stay
Parked our kit and sallied forth to spend our Saturday.

Our first act as was fitting, we stand beneath "The Gate"
To make obeisance to the men who met such cruel fate.
Fifty thousand names of men engraved on this Memorial,
Who fell within "the Salient" and were deprived of burial.
Swift was the end for most of them - unready - unprepared,
Making the greatest journey of all without a kindly word.
Their bodies were destroyed by war - ruthless and uncouth,
But surely the "Life" within them enjoys perpetual youth.
Our spirits were not so high maybe - as we left "The Gate" behind.
Not that we were the losers - there's a gain of another kind.

So out into the busy square "Grande Place" is what they call it,
To see a crowning triumph, the Belgian Flag, they haul it
Right to the top of Cathedral tower - a final crowning act
It seemed that they had waited for us and we admired their tact.
Then having sent off postcards to "the girls we left behind"
Lew - impatient at delay - suggested we should find
A spot where he had spent five hectic months or so
Just upon the Ypres right - called the "Swan Chateau".
The other four said "lead the way - we each agree
To visit the position of your battery".

So through the "Gate" again with reverential mein
And on along the ramparts which in the war had seen
Such battering that it was quite unrecognisable,
To show oneself in daylight was hardly then advisable.
But now it is a garden, tidy green and neat,
Harmless? as the four, that sat on the seat.
Then forward we pass on in the "Lille Gate" direction
But here we have to pause and make a slight deflection.

For hard beside the "Gate" the Rampart Cemetery lies
In corner quiet, serene, on green and gentle rise,
We fall to silence here as we tread the velvet turf
And muse - how transformed in this hallowed spot of earth,
Ripped, torn and desolate, it last appeared to them
Who lie here now in peace, with song of bird as requiem.

We pass along the road again with sorrow and with pride,
Time spurred us on - an enemy - that will not be denied.
The enemy was hurrying and we - like mortal sinners,
Must hurry to outwit him -or go without our dinners.
A crossroad now comes into view - by jingo! Shrapnel Corner:
A house or two now stands upon this famous Johnny Horner.
No one (in the war) could on this corner stand,
'Twas a training ground for Harriers, who learned to "Tan the land"
'Tis not a running track today, 'tis calm and quiet - so we
Lingered there for quite a while, just for the novelty.
Then hurried we along the road to find the "Swan Chateau"
Not very far before our guide cried out "What ho!"
"It must be somewhere here" said he -"that thicket on the right,
The cart track leading to it - yes! I really think it might".
But here's a peasant - we enquire - where is the "Swan Chateau"?
This seemed to puzzle him because - there isn't one you know.
At last we made him understand that we were looking for
A Chateau that had stood there before the days of war.
That seemed to make the matter clear - he pointed to the spot
And he who'd come so far to see it suddenly went hot.
For glancing to the left he saw evidence concrete,
That proved the case it was the place that he had longed to meet.
So hardly waiting for the four, Lew dashed off through the trees,
For the moment "Dippy" quite and groggy at the knees.
"The Chateau should be here" he cried, "but this creation licks",
'Twas badly battered long ago - ('tis now a heap of bricks).
So we looked on while he dashed off - running round about -
Where was the cookhouse - where the sap - and where his old dug-out?
Only the dear old pool remains, that's all there is to see
Its water was so useful to make the stew and tea,
For when the water ration failed, the Bombardier cook
Used the water from the pool - spite of its nasty look.
The R.E. concrete dug-out stands empty and desolate
That sheltered many a man of ours during the "Hymn of Hate"
"If only Jim could see it" said Lew with eyes so fiery
This dear old battered dug-out that once was young and wiry.
The ground round here once bristled with many a Gun and Howitzer
Trench and shell hole held the scene, but all is changed for now-its-a
Beet field on a Flemish Farm - cultivated - clean,
A most amazing change from 1917.
We spent a lifetime round this concrete box of tricks
It seemed a lifetime anyway to the men of 126.
So Lew held forth about the guns and all that Ironmongry
We dragged him from the scene at last for we were getting hungry.
We hurried back to G.H.Q. in fact we almost ran
Along the canal and through the town to attend to the inner man.
A topping spread awaited us - we tackled it with zest,
Roast beef avec Pomme-de-terre and a salad of the best.
And after we'd surrounded it, 'twas "on parade" once more
For Gaston stood there waiting - his car was at the door.
So through the Menin Gate again, leaving the town behind
At Jack and Rupe's suggestion we now set off to find
A spot where countless infantry had come to grevious harm
A place they will ever remember, called by the troops "Plum Farm".
Then St. John and Julien noting that even now
Each farm has its dump of equipment and shell turned up by the plough.
Rifle - bayonet - grenade and shell - eloquent pile of waste,
Made with such skill to wound or to kill (man's intellect disgraced)
We see the results further along near Passchendale Ridge (Tyne Cot)
The largest cemetery in this land, a sad and poignant plot.
Collected here from scattered graves, lie buried side by side,
Nearly forty thousand men, who for England died.
And over many we noted, that lie beneath the sod,
Were just the words - "An Unknown Soldier - known unto God".
Around the central Cross are names of near as many braves,
A record of the vanquished clay, the men with no know graves.
Colonel, Major, Captain and sub - men of the Mill and Mine,
Here they are laid till the "last parade" when all must toe the line.
Over them blows the dwarf red rose, veronica and lavender pale,
In this one time Flanders battlefield, on the road to Passchendale.
The scene is stamped upon our minds - indelible and plain,
Wonderful Tyne Cot Cemetery - a garden of our slain.

And now for the tale of a dug-out, where Jack and Rupert had been
A concrete box that had seen some knocks since 1917.
Then the ground for miles around was scene of desolation,
And this the story of how Plum Farm became a dressing station……

On the evening of August the 20th - four men fit and well
Crept from a trench near Ypres, (known as Piccadilly Hotel).
Captain Wilson M.O. and batman, the others Rupe and Jack
Left with instructions to find Plum Farm (there was no turning back)
This was to be an advanced aid-post for the men they knew would drop
Of the 2/1 Bucks who in two days time were billed for "Over the Top".
The ground was unfamiliar and the hour was growing late
They missed the true direction, and Jerry began his "hate".
Slap into a barrage they found themselves in a trice,
They jumped for the first hole that offered (a hole that wasn't nice)
Three feet square the hole was, unsavoury and stinking,
But almost "Home Sweet Home" for the moment they were thinking.
To be on top was certain death if either dared to ramble
Only a direct hit maybe could turn the luck of the gamble.
But the dice was weighed against them as circumstances show,
For the Captain stopped a splinter of shell, "he felt the stinging blow"
But gallant man he proved to be, he said no word of his pain
But quietly asked for morphia (just a quarter grain).
Thrice he made the same request, no word how he was afflicted,
Till Jack and Rupe thought surely he was to the drug addicted.
Had they but known his secret they would have gone for aid,
But he knew, brave man, of the risk they ran, so no complaint he made.
Just quietly asked for morphia, in casual tone and calm
And carried on in the darkness to save the three from harm.

'Twas quieter in the morning after that awful night,
And in the grey of the dawning they saw the Captains' plight.
So they carried him out on a stretcher, knowing full well the price
That their beloved Officer would pay for his sacrifice.
Floundering into shell holes and slipping about in the mud,
They carried him back to their starting point as tenderly as they could.
To a brother M.O. they handed him (of the Gloucester Regiment)
'Tis hard to find the words to tell just what that parting meant.
For the Captain was an example of the finest thing in the world
Not only duty, but sacrifice - Love with its flag unfurled.

Then back again to find Plum Farm, but little had they reckoned
The awful job that awaited them on the morn of the twenty-second.
At four o'clock in the morning, the Bucks moved out to attack,
Jerry's guns awoke and quickly spoke and many were carried back.
Not only Bucks but Jocks as well (The Gordon Highland mob)
For they and the Bucks together set out to do this job.
Quickly the trench beside Plum Farm was filled with dead and dying
Some of the wounded cursing while some to their God were crying.
And some just suffered in silence, their Khaki wet with blood,
Many babbled of Mothers and Wives as they lay in the Flanders mud.
And even as they lay there, the guns still found them out
And wounded them that wounded were and tossed the dead about.
There amongst the carnage with bandage and tourniquet
Toiled Rupe and Jack doing their job and doing it manfully.
The stretcher bearers to and fro went without hesitation
Each of them a hero and worth a decoration.
It may have meant a few yards more of captured German trench
For all this fearful agony - (a sorry recompense).

A new farm stands upon the site of many a similar drama
And round the dug-outs daily play the children of the farmer.
The farmer cultivates the ground and grumbles now and then,
We wonder - does he realise just what it cost - IN MEN.

Then after we the Plum Farm scene had amply reconstructed
We wander off to other scenes with Gaston's help conducted
Noting the old pill-boxes and stones of demarcation,
The latter placed to show where Jerry reached his destination.
We take a glance at Hill sixty and also sixty two,
With only the light of a flashlamp, an eerie thing to do.
These places have been left intact in their disorder grim,
A striking contrast to the farms which are so neat and trim.
The rotting wire and battered trench and broken tools of war,
Cast down by friend and foe alike just thirteen years before.
We lingered till 'twas "Verey " dark it almost made us windy
It needed but a "Verey" light and then machine-gun shindy
To make us feel at home again (at least to wish we were)
The knowledge reassured us, 'twas long "Apres-le-guerre".
Thank goodness we could wander off with easy mind and free,
A suggestion that we acted on for it was time for tea.
Then back to G.H.Q. again to hear a thing a most curious
The final English football scores from speaker loud and furious.
It jars upon the mind to think that those who have a bob or two
Can take the romance from the scene by twiddling a knob or two.
After tea we wander - until the hour of eight.
For at that time our duty was to stand beneath the "Gate".

There is a solemn moment each night throughout the year
The Gate becomes a temple and not a thoroughfare
Then at a given signal, the passing traffic stops
And like a balm upon the scene, a sudden silence drops
Now heart and foot (as at command) to swift attention springs
And the "Last Post" triumphant - upon the night air rings.
It seems that it must echo to the Salient's every part
Vibrant with remembrance, to every listening heart.
Thus does the new Ypres, each night within "the Gate"
Tribute pay to those who kept the town inviolate.
And so things profound we go to things more trivial
We end this "day of days" upon a note convivial.
To sit awhile and think it out in quiet reverie
We enter an inn by name "old Toms" an Ypres hostelry.
We drink a toast (within our hearts) to all the glorious dead
Then steal across the darkened square - to G.H.Q. and bed.
"The long day closes" and the tired and worn quintette
Peacefully slumber and the cares of day forget.

Sunday morn in Ypres - imagine if you can
What Sunday morning used to mean to every soldier man.
For Sunday was the day the soldier dreaded most
For Jerry used to smash the eggs and spoil the buttered toast.
And spill the shaving water - upon the marmalade
It really was annoying - the awful mess he made.

But the Sunday of our story - was different by far
'Twas sunny, calm and peaceful - with not a thing to mar -
The scene of quiet leisure and sweet tranquillity
That met our eyes as we looked out in curiosity.
The Belgian angler there intent - on matters piscatorial
Within a yard or two - of Menin Gate memorial.
The stately swans upon the moat - dignified - sedate,
The echoing of footsteps passing through the "Gate".
Five faces at the window looking out with zeal,
The smell of coffee from below (that at least was real).
It's funny how men often say "they can't believe their eyes"
And think that what they gaze upon is either dreams or lies.
But let them smell a cooking smell - and all their doubting goes
Probably that's why we are so oft "led by the nose".
We were led at any rate - from the window viewing
Down into the kitchen - to find out what was doing.
Our faith in smell was justified - for there was coffee (black)
None the worse for Cognac - produced by dear old Jack.
After that came breakfast - and through the Gate we pass
Three to wander off like sheep - and two to go to Mass.
And later in the morning - the five of us collect
Entering Old Toms again to get the time correct.
There we met three Scottish lads (two with kilt and sporran)
A sight that's quite in order and not to Ypres foreign.
For the Jocks had often fought round here (putting lots of vim in)
Earning from old Jerry the title of "Mad Women".
A party had arrived that morn (led by these three Pipers)
To dedicate a Tablet in - Cathedral of "Wipers".

They played upon the pipes to us (noises wild and weird)
When Leon said "let's have a try" (the very thing we feared).
And Leon blew and squeezed the bag (expecting our appraisement)
But all he got was raspberry noises (and the Jocks amazement).
The eldest of the pipers then put Leon wise
And showed him how to blow and squeeze and get the proper noise.
And after he'd imbibed (of course we mean instruction)
He blew upon the instrument - and then began the ruction.
You've heard about the Pipes of Pan - the row was so Titanic-
It frightened all the dogs in town (truly the pipes of panic).
But Leon strode unconscious of all the pain and shock,
Till somebody suggested - he should insert a sock.
Then was peace restored after the canine rout
We proceed to stimulate our nerves with Bass's Stout.
And with this wondrous Burton brew and cigarette incessant
We end this Sunday morning - jovial and pleasant.

And in the afternoon, (to get on with the story),
We take the road with Gaston - around the fields of glory.
Past Café Belge and Dickebusch, rebuilt without a fault
Through Locre, onto Ballieul and here we make a halt.
Upon the ruins of the church - an Angel - wings outspread
Commemorates the "Victory" of France's gallant dead.
And to complete the picture - which was to us a feast
There sat amid the ruins - a white and age'd Priest
Reading his Holy Office - intent on Prayer and Praise
Where once had been wars hatred in those unforgotten days.

Then along the road again - as far as Armentieres
Where lives the famous demoiselle - who wasn't kissed for years
No doubt she plays the same old game - busy Parlez-vous-ing
We hear enough of that at home -so there was nothing doing.
Along the road again en-route for G.H.Q.
Beside a German cemetery - we pause to take a view
Evidence of warfare - sorrow, pain and loss
Someone's husband, son or brother - 'neath a wooden cross.
Then back home in the darkness via Menin Road and Hooge,
Although the trip had been so small - the interest was huge.
After tea we wander - you hardly would believe
How quiet is our Ypres, upon a Sunday eve.
At the hour of eight again we hardly need to mention,
Finds us all beneath the Gate - standing to attention.

Later on of course, within Old Toms again
We celebrate the evening with excellent champagne.
We had to celebrate - because - alas- alack
It was the final evening that we should have with Jack.
A business known as B.B.B. did our bliss begrudge.
We beseech and banter, but the bounder wouldn't budge.
He'd made his mind up, firm, on Monday night to leave us
A circumstance that did considerably grieve us.
But back within our billet, corks again are popping
Gloominess and care, from our spirits dropping.
We carried on till 2 a.m. over Solo Whist
Till Jack pulled of a great Misere (it must have been a twist)
Then at last to bed, with many a jest and joke-0
One at least admitted - being zig-zag - beaucoup.
We had but one complaint, which is a true and fair case.
There ought to he affixed, a handrail to the staircase.
If we lodge there again, we shall that boon expect
Which will enable us - to go to bed erect!

Monday morning dawns, we rise with feelings various.
Mondays never seem to make one feel hilarious.
Though it was a morning of sunshine and of beauty
'Twas typical of Mondays calling us to duty.
For we had promised Jack - if it could be done
To go as far as Doullens, where a mother's son
Lay there in his grave far from her in France -
To visit it in person she hadn't had the chance.
So into Gaston's car this problem to unravel
We took our food along for it meant a day of travel.
A day of interest for Leon who knew so many roads
He'd travelled them so many times taking lorry loads
Without a light at night time (a job devoid of fun),
But the shell and cartridge had to reach the gun
At Sanctuary Wood we pause - a hurried view to take,
A sight that makes us pinch ourselves to see if we're awake.
It cost us all a franc a time to view the scene dramatic
To charge old actors seems a shame of that we were emphatic.
Upon the roadside stands a Café that provides a notion
To ease our wounded feelings we go and order lotion.
Half a dozen Cognacs, (we order) stern in manner
And for payment of the same, Jack produced a tanner.
What with spirit (duty free) and Belgian franc so cheap
We got three-nickel coins in change, which he has vowed to keep
As souvenirs to remind what sixpence or a bob'll
Buy out there in Flanders if you are seeking wobble.
Fortunately we to Bacchus never yield,
Otherwise we wouldn't stay in Brum or Beaconsfield.
But this is not the time to talk of Bucks and Warwick
We push along the road to Vimy Ridge historic.
Canadians have made this place as their memorial
And planted the approaches with Maple trees pictorial.
There are miles of passages burrowed in the chalk.
In these nether regions for a space we walk,
Mining operations of British troops and foreign
Have made the Vimy Ridge into a human warren.
When the time was right they fired the detonators
So the surface of the ground is just a mass of craters.
The fire-step and the wire may still today be seen
Either side of no-man's land thirty yards between.
When en avant again for time doth us embarrass
We pause to pick up juice for car and man at Arras.
The food that was provided to serve us all for lunch.
Beaumetz was our next objective so through Bapaume and Beugny
The hurried nature of this visit nearly drove Lew loony.
His story of Beaumetz would fill a good sized book
But there was only time to take a hurried look.
Then Gaston stepped upon the gas to negotiate the rest
Of the appointed journey - Doullens and our quest.
Which we just reached in time the photograph to take
And duty having been fulfilled the home direction take.
Mile on mile of long straight road as far as Hazebrouck - where
We fortified the inner man with oeufs and pomme-de-terre
Then the train to Dunkerque came in with a roar,
One of the pilgrims boarded it and then there were only four.
Taking leave of Jack was the "rift within the lute"
We were all disconsolate - Rupert sad and mute
For Plum Farm grew a friendship great, twixt the pair of them,
Private Johnny Baker and Sergeant Hayers M.M.
Then back we rush to Ypres in time our place to take,
Standing to attention for remembrance sake.
Entering Old Toms again - the phrase gets quite familiar,
Wiser things we might have done (and also many sillier)
So ends this tale of Monday, a well and truly used day,
Somnus works his magic spell - and then we come to Tuesday.

Tuesday was to be the last and final lap
Father Time's a thief but we didn't care a rap.
We consigned him where he could his whiskers singe
Bundled into Gaston's car - and went to Poperinghe.
One needs to walk this road to pause and think things out.
To picture troops just going in and troops just coming out.

The lucky ones to spend round Poperinghe a spell
Others going up the line for another taste of Hell.
The rooky newly out who gazes in surprise
At the team of horses dead which by the roadside lies.
Disabled guns and lorries and all that awful mess,
The Red Cross lorry hurrying to the C.C.S.
The man beside the dug-out who looks a trifle batty
Searching through his shirt which had become so chatty.
Crescendo of the five point nine which causes him to cease
Bolting quick for cover leaving the chats in peace.
A road of keen anxiety,s of constant holding breath,
To England' many thousands a road that leads to - Death.
Today it is a road that merely runs between
Poperinghe and Ypres straight and quiet and green.
We find the first named place as quiet as a mouse
And feel in duty bound to visit Talbot House.
Toc H. will shine in history as long as there is life
For fostering the "Spiritual" midst the war and strife.

Later we adjourn to the "Estaminet"
Kept by Madame Brabants mother, just across the way.
And with her daughters numerous, we were induced to mingle,
Only one of which was young and slim and - single.
Rather nice was she, her name was Genevieve,
She cottoned to Charley, you hardly would believe.
"Oh Genevieve, Oh Genevieve, the lure of many misters,
We think he would have like her but, you see he'd seen her sisters".
The sisters were all "outsize" representatives of Eve,
Charley looked at them and pictured Genevieve
With similar "leg-of-mutton" arms, plus rolling-Pin and nightie
And decided to remain a bachelor in Blighty.

We spent a time uproarious for an hour or two,
With many a soldier's chorus till dinner-time was due.
"Days may come and Days may go" the old song doth remind us,
So we perforce left Poperinghe and Genevieve behind us.
At Belgian Battery Corner we find the resting place
Of Corporal McAlpine (he of the laughing face).
The merriest of Comrades, (his last act was a laugh),
Working on a dump with Lew when Jerry began to strafe.
The third shill fell beside him - he never felt the blow
That robbed us of a comrade and a gallant N.C.O.

Then back we go to Ypres we dine and reach the page
That tells of the conclusion of our Pilgrimage.
Then it's Au revoir to Ypres, Menin Gate and Gaston,
En route for London town, Beaconsfield and Aston.
We say but Au revoir for it is fairly certain
That this is but the first act and not the final curtain.
For we are all agreed that Ypres is magnetic
Though it holds much of sadness and things that are pathetic.
Thoughts of those in Flanders Fields, the comrades left behind,
Those are the thoughts that matter, that linger in the mind,
England's proud remembrance - that is there Diadem.



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