1914-18 War

aka the First World War

Triolet: Don't Mention the War

The form that notified my great-uncle's death in 1917

They never talked about the war,

the ones who fought and struggled through it

Why speak of memories so sore?

They never talked about the war

but football, politics and more

Unless the young asked them to do it,

they never talked about the war,

the ones who fought and struggled through it

Triolet: War Is Over

She didn’t say the war was won

Instead she said the war was ended

Fall silent now, the bomb and gun

She didn’t say the war was won

There’s future-building to be done

Place and people to be mended

She didn’t say the war was won

Instead she said the war was ended

Verses from the First World War: Conscientious Objectors

Published in Solidarity 397, 9 March 2016

Once the Military Service Act come into force in 1916, men aged 18-41 had to apply to a Military Tribunal if they believed that they had a reason not to be drafted. The majority had health, work or family reasons, but 2% were Conscientious Objectors (COs): men who objected to military service because they objected to war.

War Poetry: Challenging the Nationalist Narrative

From its declaration of war in 1914, Britain’s ruling class appealed to patriotism to boost its support and its military recruitment. By 1916 both were flagging. On the pages of socialist newspaper The Herald, poets used verse to question both nationalism and the war’s aims. When the government asked men to fight for King and Country, was it shielding its true motives?

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