As part of wider restoration works planned at Monument roundabout, a new interpretation board is being installed that tells the story of why there is a memorial to the 29th Division and an avenue of lime trees along the A45.
Working with Ian Binnie, Education Officer and Trustee of the Gallipoli Association, Year 6 pupils from Knightlow C. of E. Primary School composed poems about what it must have been like for soldiers fighting in Gallipoli in 1915. One of these poems was chosen to be included on the new interpretation board. The pupils also researched the Victoria Crosses that were awarded. Their work will be published in a small booklet and three new lime trees due to be planted within the avenue in 2020 will be dedicated to them.
The poems were all of a very high standard and choosing the one to go on the board was a difficult job. The poem chosen was written by Jessica Scuffle and Sophie Gambling, titled Krithia. All the poem entries can be read below.
By Jessica Scuffle and Sophie Gambling
Krithia, a violent place,
Will we survive the dark and hate?
Too hot, too cold, can never decide,
Our boredom, all feelings are kicked to the side.
With No-Man’s Land flashing red,
Wire, wood, earth and mud all we have left.
Will you let us live?
Hope Is Behind Us
By Elliana-Grace Sidhu, Astrid Bastable and Oliver Powell
On the snow covered floor I lie, next to my friend,
We feel that this day will never end
He looks at me saying, “I don’t want to die.”
I pat him on the back – a tear falls from his eye.
I swore to my family I would be okay
How could I know it would be this way?
Bullets shoot at me, I know I must fight,
Oh why, is there such hate and spite?
Hope is behind me.
By Nicole D.
The heat is killing us and the soldiers have dysentery,
It’s time to fight,
Here on Chocolate Hill our army is getting weaker,
A shortage of water
How can we survive?
We need to surrender
I take my last breath
I hear cries.
What Is Happening?
By Haimi Shah and Ewan Bush
It’s happening, it’s really happening,
Am I dreaming?
Screeching fills my ears
Is it all over?
Turkish bullets firing around,
Are there more to come?
Shells dropping, men dying,
Will I be next?
Tears well up in my eyes,
I am stepping into hell.
Remember Our War
By Grace Jordan
Bullets shooting constantly,
The dread of the next day.
Our enemy’s approaching,
Praying they won’t stay.
The trenches, so dark and damp.
How long will we be lost?
Feeling weak but working hard.
This is my past.
This is our past.
The General Said
By Isabelle Knight and A. M.
I woke up this morning,
Lying in my own dread,
That I would soon be dead.
The general said,
“Get ready for the attack!”
It sent a cold shiver
Right down my back.
Bullets are shot
Like there is no tomorrow.
Masses of mud,
Buckets of sorrow.
But the time has come, I must meet with my death
The time has come, to take my last breath.
The Treachery Trenches
By B. S. and Rajan Sandhu
Tomorrow we are going to strike
To defeat the treacherous Turkish Army
We have to leave our trenches
But fear grows within.
The weather is hot and unbearable
Up here on Chocolate Hill
I fight back the tears in my eyes
I have to find the will,
The will to fight.
When Will This War End?
By Ruby Jones
Suffering soldiers surround me,
There is nothing left to do but attack!
What will be my destiny?
Will I ever make it back?
Why can’t we just be kind to each other?
Why can’t we just be friends?
I pray for reconciliation
When this war ends.
By Delilah Theeton and Charlie Jordan
I’m on the front line
All I can hear is,
“Duck! Duck! Fire! Fire!”
Everything is ablaze.
I zoom in on a sniper,
I feel a shock shiver, a leak of blood down my spine
Am I dead?
I had thought that it was all over.
“It was a miracle!” is what they said.
Stuck In the Trenches
By E. A. and Emmett Chambers
We were stuck,
Stuck in the trenches
All hope lost.
Constant bullet fire
Like a swarm of death
All hope Lost
Men falling everywhere
Dropping from grace to graves
All hope Lost
Rain comes crashing down
Along with victory
All hope lost.
By Zachary Simms and Isabel Hoyle
Engulfed in war, a never ending maze
These are our continuous, endless days
My head is filled with sinister thoughts
Praying that we will never be caught
My heart beats with every gunshot
Weather changing cold, then hot
Will I simply be forgot?
How I long for home.
Today We Fight
By Jake Irish and Chloe Mills
Today we are to fight
And leave our families behind
We cannot turn our backs now
We trudge to Chocolate Hill
Travelling across to the trenches
Where war is about to strike out
Heat, rain, wind, mud
Seep through our uniforms as we go
We are the ones who must fight
By J. D. and Archie Delves-Payne
All around me earth and wood,
Covering the ground, grass and mud.
Bombs fired close, bombs fired there
Destruction and chaos hang in the air.
The bitterness of war brushes my face,
Love, hope and joy have all been displaced.
The barbed wire slashes and cuts my skin,
Soldier’s bodies are weak, dehydrated and thin.
Murmurs and cries of home…oh home…
Where is the glory in this war story?
By Amalie Burnham
In the day we go and we try
For our families we cry.
A day to dread
Filled with fear
When will we be dead?
The Struggle of War
By Mason Thomas
Smoke fills the air
The taste of acrid soot in my mouth
Bullets fly in No-Man’s Land
People die in No-Man’s Land
Endless piles of bodies
Of plagued innocent men
Hope lies dead with the fallen.
This is the struggle of war.
By Hannah Barnes
Unbelievably it is the start of the day
Gun fire has already begun
It’s time for us to get prepared
The weather is sunny, but cold
We are suffering from dysentery
We are bored…
Yet filled with love.
There is no going back,
We have come this far.
By Harriet Fisher and Khaliel Young
Crossing the line
Feeling terror flood my brain
No turning back
They need to take cover
We are coming to fight back.
“We’re ready to attack!”
Piles of fallen men lay dead upon each other
In No-Man’s Land
The dread rivets me to the ground
My last breath, my last smell, my last chance
To see the world
By Joshua Powel
The sun rises once again
The time has come
I must go to war – my sack all packed
One million thoughts running through my head
Filled with horror and dread
I must try to survive
Already longing for home
The thoughts of my family drive me on.
By Samar Singh
Second by Second
Hiding in the trenches
Days go by
By Jamie Johnson
I saw a man fall
How long? What next?
Would it be me?
Thinking of home
Another innocent soldier wounded
I long for my home
Home is where I need to be.