“REMEMBRANCE DAY” by James Aitchison

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On the eleventh hour

Of the eleventh day

Of the eleventh month, 

1918, the guns fell silent.

 

World War One, 

The war to end all wars,

Was over.

 

Lest we forget, in Flanders fields,

The poppies grew blood red,

When Aussie boys, far from their homes,

Were number’d ’mongst the dead.

 

They came from farms where red gums grew,

From ’neath the Southern Cross;

No friendly sun, no magpie’s cry,

Would ever mark their loss.

 

In ev’ry town, in ev’ry park,

Their solemn statues stand.

Lest we forget those brave young men

Whose honour shaped our land.

                       

 

“Girl Singing in Martin Place on November 11” by Katherine Gallagher

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The blood of her song

is a litany against war

 

It throbs against the air

echoes remembrance 

 

The sky doesn’t break

as her voice wavers

 

The world craves her song

of forgiveness and hope

 

She sings for those who died in war

and a crowd gathers silently

 

offering homage to soldiers

Anzacs and those who have borne

 

their love and innocence, 

always reminding

 

 

“Grandpa  Joe” by Toni Newell

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Grandpa Joe had been to war,

Many years ago,

And he shared many stories,

With his grandson Billy Joe.

He told him of the friends he’d made,

Whilst serving in the war,

Of how they’d fought and survived,

And loved life even more.

 

He spoke of bombs and weapons,

Of trenches and terrain,

Of aeroplanes that flew so low,

That the noise drove him insane.

Of many nights that knew no sleep,

Of many days which saw no relief,

He spoke of devastation,

And of God and his belief.

 

He spoke of the heat, during the day,

And of the bitter cold at night,

Of always feeling hungry,

And to this no end in sight.

Of fighting shrubs and narrow paths,

Of mosquitoes high and low,

Of crawling on his belly,

To strike another blow.

 

He remembered the weight of his rifle,

As he carried it close to his chest,

Of shots that were constantly ringing,

As they pushed forward, getting no rest.

He spoke of the wounded and dying,

Of the sadness and loss that he felt,

Of the fear and adrenalin pumping,

And of the air and how it had smelt.

 

Billy Joe listened intently,

To what he had to say,

And thought his grandpa was the best,

In each and every way.

 

Toni Newell

“Remembering” by Dianne Bates

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How can I ever forget

The legless soldier

Ribbons on his chest

In his wheelchair

That November morning

In the hospital grounds

When the bugle sounded

Tears streaming down his cheeks

His muffled sobs and

His sweet-faced young nurse

Leaning to offer him comfort –

 

In that single moment

A snapshot of what

War does to people.

 

© Dianne Bates

“Mustard Gas Legacy”  by Celia Berrell with Teacher Notes

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Soldiers smelled garlic;

horseradish; sulphur.

A kind of fusty

mustardy odour.

Then twelve hours later

they’d start to go blind,

get pus-filled blisters

and possibly died.

 

Chemist Fritz Haber

in World War One,

made mustard gas poison

worse than a gun.

This silently sneaky

chemical tool

spread crippling pain

that was very cruel.

 

Survivors were checked.

When blood tests were done,

most of their body’s

immune cells had gone.

They’d lost the white cells that

could turn into cancer.

Was mustard gas poison

a possible answer?

 

From a weapon of war

to helping the sick

this chemical cocktail

became our first pick

to fight against cancer.

A new remedy!

Oncology’s

chemotherapy.

 

What I regards as an appropriate link and 4min video for this topic 

https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/the-right-chemistry-mustard-gas-and-the-beginnings-of-chemotherapy

 

The Right Chemistry: Mustard gas and the beginnings of chemotherapy

 

The Bari bombing was not the key to the development of chemotherapy. That dubious “credit” goes to the 1917 mustard gas attack at Ypres.

JOE SCHWARCZ, SPECIAL TO THE MONTREAL GAZETTE 

Updated: September 13, 2019

Dr. Joe Schwarcz: Mustard gas and chemotherapy4:03

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It makes for a compelling story. The Second World War is being furiously fought across Europe. The Allies finally gain a foothold in Italy and the port city of Bari becomes a critical point of entry for troops and supplies to the Mediterranean theatre. The harbour is filled with ships on Dec. 2, 1943 when Nazi airplanes drop from the clouds, their bombs raining destruction.

The SS John Harvey, an American ship carrying a cargo of 2,000 mustard gas bombs in spite of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 that banned the use of chemical weapons, explodes, killing all of its crew and spreading the gas across the harbour and town. But the clouds from which the Nazi planes emerged have a silver lining. Researchers note that the victims of mustard gas exposure have a very low rate of white blood cell multiplication, suggesting that mustard gas could also interfere with the characteristically rapid multiplication of cancer cells. And so it is that the Bari attack serendipitously leads to the development of mustard gas as an anti-cancer drug and launches the concept of “chemotherapy.” At least that is the way the story is told in numerous text books and articles.

A nice romanticized account, but the fact is that the first use of a modified version of mustard gas to treat cancer in a human was in the United States in 1942, more than a year before the Bari attack! The seminal event that gave rise to the treatment was indeed a mustard gas attack, but one that the Germans unleashed on Allied troops at Ypres in Belgium in 1917.

 

“Poppies for Poppy” by Myra King

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Poppies for Poppy

 

Poppies are the colour red

From The Great War it is said

It became known as World War One

When the second war came along

 

Poppies droop like they are sad

About the countries that were mad

lots of people died from wars

mostly for a crazy cause

 

My Poppy is my daddy’s dad

And around this time he too, gets sad

We march the streets 11th November

and for all the fallen, we remember.