My grandfather Sydney Slome – 1st on the left, sat down was a soldier in the 5th Durham Light Infantry c1916.
I composed this poem in his memory;
He went to War
A soldier true
For King & Country
That’s all he knew
The Great adventure
He fought hard and long
When day was done
He would recall
The sweat and smell
Under a setting sun
He looked afar
Now all was green
The distant cries had all but gone
Yet in his mind
A soldiers’ song
He went to war
Photograph and detail courtesy of Tony Slome.
A history of the 5th Bn was written by Major Rames. Stockton library had a copy. I think the photo is of the 1st Bn Sgts mess. My father and uncle served in the 5th 1912-1929.
My Grandad was in the 1st and 5th Durham Light Infantry in the 1st World War his name was Robert Auton
Many thanks for this…do you know where I could find further information about the history of the 5th Durham LI and maybe details of my grandfather?
Upon further inspection I see that I have to make a correction when writing “other ranks”, noting only one veteran with ribbons, the senior officer. All others, as noted via a magnifying glass, were NCO’s, Apologies again! All in the photograph would no doubt go on to earn their battle honours, too.
Thank you for your poetic lines of verse that clearly evoke mental pictures of the battlefield and brief respite from its horrors.
I paid particular attention to the uniforms of the day, the brass-buttoned-up kneck of the tunic, the puttees of the other ranks and the collar and tie of the officers, noting that one officer-type opted for puttees while the other wore leather (?) gaiters. And the Oh! so familiar bugle-emblemed badge of the DLI, now retired, I believe. My father and his two brothers, all deceased, wore that same type of uniform in WW 1, my father continuing to wear it in peacetime as a Terry and into the beginning of WW 2 when he once again was called into active duty (A and SG #1), the then uniform of the day evolving soon into the battledress, also now superceded.
Please excuse me if you deem my rambling to be a digression.
Thank you for the photo Sydney and an even bigger thank for the touching, poignant, poem proving, yet again, what a powerful medium poetry is.
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