I’ve blogged before about the background to Reginald’s quip about “the City, where the patriotism comes from”. Reader Roger Allen sent me this poem by Herbert Asquith (son of the P.M.), which – as he writes – “shows something of the contemporary attitude”.
Herbert served with the Royal Artillery in the war; he survived, unlike his elder brother Raymond, killed at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916 (two months before Munro’s death).
Here lies a clerk who half his life had spent
Toiling at ledgers in a city grey,
Thinking that so his days would drift away
With no lance broken in life’s tournament:
Yet ever ’twixt the books and his bright eyes
The gleaming eagles of the legions came,
And horsemen, charging under phantom skies,
Went thundering past beneath the oriflamme.
And now those waiting dreams are satisfied;
From twilight to the halls of dawn he went;
His lance is broken; but he lies content
With that high hour, in which he lived and died.
And falling thus he wants no recompense,
Who found his battle in the last resort;
Nor needs he any hearse to bear him hence,
Who goes to join the men of Agincourt.