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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Loos a rememberance poem


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Over 100 years ago the wee village of Neilston lost 16 lads in one day! September 25th 1915 at the battle of Loos in France. A terrible loss for such a small place. I am no poet or versed in a literary sense but I thought such a disaster should be noted and acknowledged. Here are my jottings to Honour the Lads from Neilston, many of them Lads from the original Neilston football team, Neilston Rosealea Victoria. The battle of Loos is said to have been started by A lad from The London Irish kicking a football toward the German line . This was to be the last match the many of Neilston lads played in.

The Game is o`er and the match has been won

But the Baw is burst, as we never returned.

We left for the Field looking bonnie and braw

Cheered by fair lassies at sweet Cowden Ha

Fae the high crofthead mill windows, they cheered us awa,

With a soft whispered prayer, from damp tear stained shawl.

Our mill floor young ladies to the station us bade,

It’s off tae the field lads- where history’s made.

At Neilston Low station, Dr Pride bid us well,

“Go play a good game chaps and give them lad’s hell”

But It was nae like ony fixtures, we`d played in afore,

Nae half time respite, nae luck O` the draw.

It was a swell O` a game, with twa well drilled teams,

But it should have been called aff,

Oh the revisionists dream!

Alas the high looft commanders so stupid, so crass,

Decided the game should be played to the last.

O` The bold lads of Neilston, so eager and strong,

They ran to the encounter and joined in the throng.

Fair Shemwell, of Thistle, a bright darting lad,

He took to the front as oftimes he had

Once forceful with Victoria, a kind caring lad,

Gliding past people, so happy and glad

Big Anderson, Aye Matthew! Took tae the field

He did make it back, but never revealed,

What sorrows and heartache a wee team can take

When Death takes the field and the substitutes makes.

From Burns through to McArthur,

James Anderson and up past John Baird,

With big Lynch the Bleacher,

Ah the team it was squared.

Come Murrays, young Adam and Thomas full on,

John`s Harrigan, Laird with Smith in throng.

….. But wait!

The game`s pace a quickens and into the frae,

Comes, Dickson and Connor from down high banks way

Young Christopher Elliot tells John Leonard aside,

Keep with the game lad and tight close by my side.

But the sinew is failing; the sight has become short,

The breathing is heavy, Expectancy short.

For our game is O`er, and the match it is won,

But still we play on, together as one,

Lost in a field so far from our own,

Awaiting that promise that will bring us all home

This promise to ask you, before you return,

One question, shh, don’t answer!

You must not retort,

We will know by your actions, if it’s delivered or not…….

Matt Drennan September 2013............ Less we forget

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