Remembrance Sunday: For the Fallen

Every year the nation commemorates Remembrance Sunday.

Remembrance Sunday: red poppies in a field

On Sunday, 10th of November 2019, the Service of Remembrance begins at eleven o’clock at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London.

The Service will honour the sacrifice of the Armed Forces, and the British and Commonwealth veterans involved in two World Wars and other later conflicts.

Each year favourite, traditional poems are read out at commemorative services.

One poem that regularly features at Remembrance Sunday is For the Fallen.

Laurence Binyon

Laurence Binyon wrote the poignant poem For the Fallen in September 1914, just after the outbreak of World War One.

The Times newspaper published it on the 21st of December 1914.

In 1939 Binyon said that he wrote the four lines of the emotive fourth stanza first:

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.

It is these lines that have become the most famous lines of the poem.

They are now widely mentioned as a tribute to all casualties of war.

Remembrance Sunday poem: For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

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.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

The inspiration for Laurence Binyon’s famous war poem:

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