Friday, October 17, 2008

To The British Army by R. Gorell Barnes

This stirring poem was published in The Times on 22nd August 1914.

Recalling England’s military glories of the past and encouraging the Nation to stand 'Neath the banner of the Right’.


British soldiers, once again
Ye are marshalled on the plain
By our fathers' blood renowned;
Ye are treading sacred ground!
Hearken, hearken as ye pass
To the voices in the grass!
On the Belgian soil it waves
O'er the lone, unnumbered graves
Where immortal warriors lie,
Devotees of Liberty,
Nobly fallen in the fray.
Ramillies and Malplaquet,
Quatre Bras and Waterloo
Yield their legions up to you!

British soldiers, ye will fight
'Neath the banner of the Right:
Ye are holding in your hands
Liberty of little lands,
Seeking nothing, giving all,
Answering to Honour's call,
Stay Aggression's grim attack!
Hurl the impious menace back!
Devotees of Liberty,
Ride ye now to victory!
We in England watch and pray: --
Ramillies and Malplaquet,
Quatre Bras and Waterloo
Yield their soul to strengthen you!


(Ronald Gorell Barnes, 3rd Baron Gorell (16 April 1884–2 May 1963), was a British peer, Liberal politician and newspaper editor.
Gorell was the second son of John Gorell Barnes, 1st Baron Gorell, a Judge of the High Court of Justice. He succeeded as third Baron Gorell in 1917 after his elder brother was killed in the First World War and took his seat on the Liberal benches in the House of Lords. In July 1921 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for Air in the coalition government of David Lloyd George, an office he held until the government fell in October 1922. He was later Editor of the Cornhill Magazine from 1933 to 1939. He was co-President of the Detection Club with Agatha Christie from 1956 to 1963.)

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