Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Delville wood

I wanted to blog on Delville wood on 11 November, the day of celebrating the end of WWI. Alas, time didn't allow and after reading Nerina's blog I've decided that she captured the spirit in such an accurate way, I'll just direct you to her site. www.weskusbanneling.blogspot.com especially since I'm currently not able to upload photos.
But before going there, you can read the first part of a poem about Delville wood that is in the museum and another one, written by a soldier.

Delville wood
By ruined houses in Montauban, by trench and sunken road
All resolute and strong the living stream of khaki flowed
Through land laid waste and seared and torn by ruthless giant guns -
And so that stream South Africa had lent her sturdy sons.

The soldier
I was that which others did not want to be.
I went where others feared to go
and did what others failed to do.
I asked nothing from those who
gave nothing and reluctantly
accepted the thought of eternal
loneliness...should I fail.
I have seen the face of terror - and enjoyed
the sweet taste of a moment's love
I have cried, pained and hoped...
but most of all, I have lived times
others would say were best forgotten
At least someday
I will be able to say
that I was proud of what I was...

I don't know how many of you have read PG du Plessis' book 'Fees van die Ongenooides' - about the Second Boer War from 1899-1902. The hardships the women and children had to suffer in British concentration camps eventually got to the grandfather of the family who is featuring in the story who then questioned God.  I can just say that after visiting Delville wood, I knew that God used a terrible war in SA to limit the enormous amount of lives lost during WWI.  For those who don't know - it was during that war in SA that guerilla war and trenches had its origins. You might still question why God allowed WWI - it was man's choice and God gives us the freedom to take our decisions in life...

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