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The Thin Blue Line

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Newfoundland Memorial Park

The park, at Beaumont-Hamel covers 84 acres and was the scene of the attack by the 1st Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment on the 1st July 1916.

Every Officer was either killed or wounded and of the 801 men only 68 were not wounded.

 

 

Tread softly here! Go reverently and slow!

Yea, let your soul go down upon its knees,

And with bowed head, and heart abased, strive hard

To grasp the future gain in this sore loss!

For not one foot of this dank wet sod but drank

Its surfeit of the blood of gallant men,

Who for their faith, their hope - for life and Liberty.

Here made the sacrifice - here gave their lives,

And gave right willingly - for you and me.

 

From this vast altar-pile the souls of men

Sped up to God in countless multitudes;

On this grim cratered ridge they gave their all.

And, giving, won

The Peace of Heaven and Immortality,

Our hearts go out to them in boundless gratitude

If ours - then God's; for His vast charity

All sees, all knows, all comprehends - save bounds

He has repaid, their sacrifice; - and we - ?

God help us if we fail to pay our debt

In fullest full and all unstintingly!

 

John Oxenham