Prose & Poetry - War Poetry of S J Robinson - Fallen in Action
Reproduced within this area of the site are present-day First World War poems written by S. J. Robinson. Click here for an introduction to the poems.
Fallen in Action
They said he had fallen,
fallen from grace:
Deserted the line, without a trace
They said he was a Coward, deserving to die
We know he was ill, so you tell us why
He'd fought at Wipers, Mons
and The Somme:
Won medals for bravery, slogged on and on:
Lost friends, lost a brother, but not once at all
Shirked from his duty, let courage stall
Then last night in a
barrage, the Germans advanced
He blocked their way, gave comrades a chance,
Ran back to the lines to call for some aid
So more senseless slaughter could be allayed
But he couldn't run,
couldn't move, couldn't speak
When he saw his mate, blown to bits in a breach.
Should have been used to it? Been Prepared?
He was only nineteen-no wonder he's scared
They say he ran, deserted
A total disgrace to battalion and nation
No trial was given, 'Shellshock' dismissed
Though they'd never even tried to enlist
They'll shoot him at dawn,
it'll say on his grave
Not mention the number of lives that he saved
But could they later, go to that place
And swear that he'd fallen, fallen from grace?
"Toc Emmas" was slang for trench mortars.
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