Monday, August 8, 2011
Ode of Remembrance
World War I, or the First World War, formerly called The Great War, was a major war centered in Europe that began in August 1914 and lasted until November 1918.
The poet Laurence Binyon wrote "For the Fallen (first published in September 1914) while sitting on the cliffs between Pentire Point and The Rumps. A stone plaque was erected in 2001 to commemorate the fact. The plaque bears the inscription "For the Fallen/Composed on these cliffs 1914". The plaque also bears below this the fourth stanza (sometimes referred as the Ode of Remembrance) of the poem:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
The poem honored the World War I British war dead of that time and in particular the British Expeditionary Force, which has by then already high casualty rates on the developing Western Front. Over time, the third and fourth stanzas of the poem were claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of state.