The Stretcher Bearer
My stretcher is one scarlet stain, And as I tries to scrape it clean, I tell you what - I'm sick of pain, For all I've heard, for all I've seen; Around me is the hellish night, And as the war's red rim I trace, I wonder if in Heaven's height Our God don't turn away his face.
I don't care whose the crime may be, I hold no brief for kin or clan; I feel no hate, I only see As man destroys his brother man; I wave no flag, I only know As here beside the dead I wait, A million hearts are weighed with woe, A million homes are desolate.
In dripping darkness far and near, All night I've sought those woeful ones. Dawn suddens up and still I hear The crimson chorus of the guns. Look, like a ball of blood the sun Hangs o'er the scene of wrath and wrong, "Quick! Stretcher-bearers on the run!", Oh Prince of Peace! How long, how long?"
poem by Tommy Crawford
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|Author||Crawford, Thomas Albert|
|Title||The Stretcher Bearer|
|Notes||Written by Thomas Albert Crawford (my father) who served with the 15th DLI. Tommy was injured on 1st July 1916 on the Somme. He survived the war only to lose his wife (from cancer) and his two sons in their early 30's. Tommy re-married and had two sons, Colin and Brian. Colin died at 25 years of age and six months later in 1980 Tommy passed away. I have recently puslished Tommy's memoirs entitled Tommy available from Woodfieldpublishing.com - all royalties go to the Commonwealth Graves Commission.|
Pte. 28695 Thomas Albert Crawford, 15th (Service) Bn. Durham Light Infantry (later Labour Corps, service no. 123884). The 15th Bn. was part of the 21st Division, which arrived in France in September 1915. The division attacked Fricourt on the 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme (in which action Pte. Crawford was wounded).
|Item medium||Text: Transcription|
|Copyright||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor|
|Full Text||My stretcher is one scarlet stain, And as I tries to scrape it clean, I tell you what - I'm sick of pain, For all I've heard, for all I've seen; Around me is the hellish night, And as the war's red rim I trace, I wonder if in Heaven's height Our God don't|
|Digital repository||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford|
|Contributor Name||Brian Crawford|