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A poem for Remembrance Sunday

If you ever get the chance to go to Edinburgh, you should. It is one of the most beautiful cities on this planet.

Edinburgh Castle

I wrote this poem back in the late nineties on a trip to the Edinburgh Castle War Memorial.

What I was trying to get across was the magnitude of loss we have suffered.

It was first published in the Amnesty International anthology: Human Rights Have No Borders.


© David Milligan-Croft

I was reading a book
In the Edinburgh Castle War Memorial.
It was a big fat book
With lots of names in it.
There was a plaque
Above the book which read,
Mons. August, 1914.

Above the plaque
Was a banner; fading
Regimental colours that,
Even now, smelled of gun grease and blood.

Next to the flag
Was another flag. Beneath it
Was a plaque which read,
Marne. September, 1914.
And beneath that,
Was another big fat book.

I strolled around the sombre hall,
Flicking through books as big as tables.
All with foreign names on them: Ypres, Gallipoli,
Jutland, Somme, Dardenelles,
Baghdad, Arras, Flanders, Amiens…

Outside, in the cold November sun,
I lit a cigarette. I bet, I thought to myself,
That any name you could possibly think of,
Would be in one of those books.

Edinburgh Castle War Memorial

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