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`The Ghost Of Tommy Atkins` is a story about two boyhood friends who patriotically enlist as riflemen in a British army infantry Pals Battalion to fight for their country during the First World War.  Only one returns home but they both meet again once a year. Their one and only battle began in the trenches of France on the 1st July 1916 at the Battle of The Somme.

Since the dawn of democracy it has usually been politicians who start wars by signing a piece of paper. It has usually been Generals who end wars by signing treaties on another piece of paper.

Between these two flimsy pieces of paper are countless millions of ordinary men and women, be they soldiers or civilians, who pay for those signatures with their lives, their health or sanity.  This is a story of just two of those millions, two boys who patriotically volunteer to fight for their country. Only one returns home but they always meet again once a year. One will never grow old and can`t remember. The other will never be young again and can`t forget.

You are not so much reading a story as eavesdropping on an old man reminiscing with a long lost friend.

Try to forget about air travel, mobile phones and television. Forget all of the negative press that you might have read about British troops being `Lions led by donkeys`. Close your eyes and turn the clock back almost a hundred years to a time when life was `simpler` and when attitudes were much more black and white than they appear to be to us today.

The above is taken from Lawrence Nelson’s ‘The Ghost of Tommy Atkins’ website:

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                    ‘BLOOD SWEPT LANDS AND SEAS OF RED’                                                               Photo taken at the Tower of London by a member of Playgoers on Monday 18th August 2014

The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

By Anon – Unknown Soldier

 The blood swept lands and seas of red,

Where angels dare to tread.

As I put my hand to reach,

As God cried a tear of pain as the angels fell,

Again and again.

As the tears of mine fell to the ground

To sleep with the flowers of red

As any be dead

My children see and work through fields of my

Own with corn and wheat,

Blessed by love so far from pain of my resting

Fields so far from my love.

It be time to put my hand up and end this pain

Of living hell, to see the people around me

Fall someone angel as the mist falls around

And the rain so thick with black thunder I hear

Over the clouds, to sleep forever and kiss

The flower of my people gone before time

To sleep and cry no more

 I put my hand up and see the land of red,

This is my time to go over,

I may not come back

So sleep, kiss the boys for me

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