Friday, 24 October 2014

United Kingdom: For the Fallen

Today I got seven postcards: two from United Kingdom, three from Germany, one from New Zealand and one from Hong Kong.

One of the cards from the United Kingdom shows one of the recent issued stamps about the World War I Centenary. The United Kingdom issues as Australia and New Zealand World War I Centenary stamps in a five-year programme. 
The United Kingdom joined the war on 4th August 2014 alongside Russia and France (Triple Entente) with the declaration of war against the German Empire as the German Empire captured the neutral Belgium whose guarantor power the United Kingdom was. During the war the United Kingdom was one of the main belligerents. The national identities in the dominions, India and Ireland heightened during the war.
The stamp card shows an excerpt from Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen". Laurence Binyon was a senior curator at the British Museum and a published poet. As he was born in 1869 he was too old to enlist for the war. "For the Fallen" was published on 21st September 1914.

With a matching stamp:
Queen's head
World War I Centenary (from set of six) (issued 28-07-2014)

Thank You very much Heather!


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.

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