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Before Endeavours Fade by Rose E.B. Coombs
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Before Endeavours Fade

by Rose E.B. Coombs

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2381 Before Endeavours Fade: A Guide to Battlefields of the First World War, by Rose E. B. Coombs, MBE (read 4 May 1991) This book is filled with magnificent photographs of memorials in Belgium and France. I read the whole thing, even though one ordinarily wouldn't read a guidebook word-for-word. It concentrates on British battlefields, but does have pages on Verdun and American battlefields in France. Having read this I now can probably save the expense of a tour of the battlefields--though I'd still like to make such a tour. The book contains this eloquent poem by John McCrae:

O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
Above their heads the legions pressing on:
(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear,
And died not knowing how the day had gone.)
O flashing muzzles, pause, and let them see
The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar;
Then let your mighty chorus witness be
To them, and Caesar, that we still make war.

Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call,
That we have sworn, and will not turn aside,
That we will onward till we win or fall,
That we will keep the faith for which they died.

Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,
They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep;
Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn,
And in content may turn them to their sleep. ( )
  Schmerguls | May 18, 2008 |
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