Personal meaning

Remembrance Day poem has personal meaning

On Remembrance Day in the community of Wawota, Jean Bogner, 94, read a poem written by his father during the First World War.

“My father wrote the poem and he was in the trenches during WWI. He and three other comrades were in the trenches in France. He wrote the poem and it has been around for over a hundred years. For me, I felt like it needed to be shared, which is why I offered to present it to the Thursday service.

Veteran Wilfrid Dennis wrote the poem while in the trenches of France during World War I. Bogner said around this time every year that she brings up the poem.

“For me, the poem describes what they were going through at that time. I can feel it every time I walk through it, ”Bogner said.

She said the poem is very sentimental for her because she feels connected to her father every time she reads it. Bogner said it’s important for Canadians to recognize veterans, especially on a day like Remembrance Day.

“Well that’s important, they’ve certainly done so much for our country and they should be honored for it. ”

Bogner said that when his father Wilfrid joined the military, he also joined his brother, Lawrence Dennis.

“He joined the army when he was old enough, in fact he and his brother Lawrence joined the army together. It’s something that relates to this poem.

“He and Lawrence were both in this battle that he talks about in the poem. They were both injured and hospitalized at the same time and Lawrence was ready to leave the hospital before Wilfrid, but they kept him inside so the two could be together for the rest of their time. I have tears in my eyes just talking about it.

Bogner is honored to share the poem with others on a day dedicated to the memory and reflection of soldiers before us.

“I think it really makes people stop and really think about what it was like to be in the trenches with mud, slush and all that. And how horrible it would be to see your boyfriend die.

“The poem means a lot to me and it is a tribute to my father.”

Bogner read the poem at the Wawota Remembrance Day ceremony. The poem is as follows:

The first CMR 1918

“It was September 15, on the battlefields of France, near Souchez-Curez Canal du Nord. We waited to move forward.

The sun rose bright in the east, as we rose from our rest, cramped, tired and hungry. Everyone is waiting for the final test.

Imagine a small unearthed, maybe four by five. Four of us in it for days and supposed to stay alive.

I went there Wednesday night, now it’s Sunday morning. No wonder we all look haggard. Regretted the day we were born.

We endured it for three long days. Hours of torture and hell. Shells are bursting all around us.

Yet we were alive and well.

Townsend was yellowish and dirty and I was about the same, unshaven, sloppy were Sturgeon and Foster but still we were all set.

Now the orders have been issued.

Stand up straight. Prepare to attack.

There is a machine gun on the bank of the canal. We must repel the demons.

Soon we were close to our goal at the canal.

The roadblock was swift and furious.

It has ceased. We have moved forward.

Not a scream could be heard as we rushed into a waist-deep ditch in the slush.

At the top of a bank was a German. A pistol shot, a moan, a silence.

Then all hell broke loose.

The sturgeon was hit. Foster was dead.

I bandaged Sturgeon. Our machine gun spat fire and lead.

Two bombs hit Townsend’s helmet, God knows how he escaped death.

I dug a hole for poor Sturgeon who was twisting and panting.

Then I got mine – shrapnel grabbed my hand and head. I stepped back to help Conrad, another bomb.

The sturgeon was dead.

Then we dragged ourselves to our depot, wounded and covered in blood.

We were a motley company, in slush, grime and mud.

And the sun that shone in the east, shone on the wounded and the dead,

Some of us have stirred but others will rest forever with the dead.

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