History

The Meaning of Anzac Day

What passing bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries for them from prayers or bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs— The shrill, demented choirs of waiting shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires.   This excerpt from Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem for Doomed Youth” makes up the best-known lines from any war poem in the English language. No war has produced as many wonderful poets as the First World War among the English; not in…

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