With Remembrance Day being tomorrow, we thought it appropriate to honour one of our ancestors. Staff Sergeant Garnet Cecil Richardson, member of the 1st Division, Canadian Special Service Battalion, RCIC, was 22 when he sacrificed his life on the battlefields of Italy on February 9, 1944. Garnet was the son of Daniel and Violet Daisy Richardson, of Warkworth, Ontario, Canada. Garnet was also a poet. We share one of our favourites, with you, today. We Will Remember Them.
Fiction books, shows, and such like,
Paint pictures of wars for our minds;
Not pictures of war in its truest form,
But as an adventure of another kind.
There’s music: the roar of guns
The whiz of shot and shells
But it’s anything but sweet
In this man-made Hell.
The comedy is hard to find
In this land of flame and smoke;
For Death is the one and only king
And He doesn’t get the joke.
Over There a man lives and dies
With one main, persistent thought;
To kill as many of the enemy
Before himself, by Death, is caught.
Must they along with King and flag
Be torn and trampled beneath
Along with the hopes of a peace-loving world
By alien and aggressive feet?
This you see, is how they die,
Without a chance to save their lives,
Cut down by guns they can’t even see
By hundreds; as if by some huge knives.
Those that die and don’t return
Leave broken hearts and win just prayers
That they find rest, and quiet
Beneath their crosses, Over There.
There’s music, laughter and comedy
In this war of theirs;
These things you seldom see or hear,
When you’re Over There.
There’s laughter: when some poor soul
Has cracked beneath the strain;
Perhaps from the horror of hopelessness
Or maybe from the pain.
The bullets fly thick and fast,
They pick out yielding human flesh,
Our men, whose bodes press the ground
For shelter, amid the bloody mess.
No”, he cries, and struggles up
He fights to win or else go West.
And if he dies, he whispers low,
“Carry on boys, I done my best.”
When it’s over, what have they won?
Just peace of mind and a broken heart;
Cause win or lose they all can say
“I went Over There and did my part”.
By Staff Sergeant Garnet Richardson