Memorial for the 100th anniversary of the 3rd Battle of the Scarpe

3 May 1917 was the beginning of the 3rd Battle of the Scarpe, part of the Arras offensive that occurred April-May of 1917.  Along with many other men my Great Uncle Joe died that day.  He does not have a burial place – his body was not found.   His name is listed with so many other missing soldiers at the Arras memorial. It is a haunting sight, one I will not forget.

Rupert Brooke’s poem titled ‘The Soldier‘ written as part of his poem series called 1914 has always resonated with me, but has particular meaning when I think of Joe somewhere in France.

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

I’d like to share this memorial for Joe with you.

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  1. Lita

    That is very touching Elisa. Obviously you put your soul into this lovely special sculpture – which must have been difficult as there so many little details, and can’t help feeling that your uncle Joe is so proud of you.


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