ALL THE FINE YOUNG MEN

Turning back to the huge Tyne Cot CWGC memorial. My friend Noeleen Berry from Dublin went there on a similar visit to mine in April this year. She immediately thought of Mary Black’s version of the Eric Bogle song ‘All the Fine Young Men’ and this video is the result. The song starts a few seconds into the video.

ALL THE FINE YOUNG MEN

Eric Bogle / Munro
They told all the fine young men,
“Ah, when this war is over,
There will be peace,
And the peace will last forever.”
In Flanders Fields,
At Lone Pine and Bersheeba,
For king and country,
Honour and for duty,
The young men fought and cursed and wept and died.They told all the fine young men,
“Ah, when this war is over,
In your country’s grateful heart
We will cherish you forever.”
Tobruk and Alamein,
Bhuna and Kokoda,
In a world mad with war,
Like their fathers before,
The young men fought and cursed and wept and died.For many of those fine young men
All the wars are over,
They’ve found their peace,
It’s the peace that lasts forever.
When the call comes again,
They will not answer,
They’re just forgotten bones,
Lying far from their homes,
Forgotten as the cause for which they died.
Ah, Bluey, can you see now why they lied?

CAMPBELL COLLEGE WWI

Cambell College CCF Pipe Band from Belfast laid a wreath at the Ulster Tower

Our visit to the Ulster Memorial Tower at Thiepval came just after a group from Campbell College in Belfast. We met the CCF Pipe Band as they were tuning up at the nearby Thiepval Memorial and we were just leaving, but it was nice to hear them playing.

Ulster Tower at Thiepval

The Campbell College group laid their wreath at the same time as a group from the Orange Order in Scotland, who we met the following evening at the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony in Ieper.

Union Flag flies at the Ulster Tower built in memory of the 36th Ulster Division

View from the Ulster Tower towards the Thiepval Memorial

Unfortunately we were a day too early for the Campbell College pipe band’s performance at the Last Post ceremony. We also missed them at Tyne Cot cemetery where some of their pipers paid tribute to the Royal Irish Fusiliers whose names are inscribed on the huge memorial as their bodies were never identified and they have no known graves.

Campbell College CCF Pipe Band from Belfast tuning up at Thiepval

The name on the bottom right of this panel is Private Hugh Dalzell of the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers. Two years ago during the Passchendaele 100 commemoration I stood at this spot and read out his name as part of the live television broadcast by the BBC. We will remember them.

Campbell College at the Royal Irish Fusiliers memorial panel 140 at Tyne Cot cemetery

It was interesting to see a plaque the following day at St George’s Anglican Church in Ieper that commemorates all the past pupils of Campbell College who died in WWI and who the pipe band were remembering on their visit, organised by Anglia Tours.

We met some of the Campbell College group again on our fourth day when we went to Tyne Cot. They were visiting Poperinge where the Toc-H house founded by Reverend Talbot is situated. (There will be a separate story on that later).

The visit by the pipe band with some of their pictures (which they have kindly given me permission to use) featured in the News Letter. There is also an interesting website with the stories of the Old Campbellians and their part in WWI. They include a former Irish rugby international, Captain Alfred Taylor from Windsor Avenue North, off the Malone Road in South Belfast.

Their photos and stories have been turned into an exhibition ‘The Men Behind the Glass” currently on display in the PRONI, Belfast.