Journal For Poetry Challenge#7 26/02/2012


The Poem is nothing to do with HENRY ALLINGHAM  but he was the oldest survivor of the 1st world war. He died 18th July 2009 age 113yrs. As the oldest man in the world. His legacy will be the memories he shared of a lost generation



THEY ask me where I’ve been, And what I’ve done and seen. But what can I reply Who know it wasn’t I, But someone just like me, Who went across the sea And with my head and hands Killed men in foreign lands . . . Though I must bear the blame Because he bore my name.


Wilfred Gibso

Wilfred Wilson Gibson (1878-1962), a close friend of Rupert Brooke and a protégé of Edward Marsh, was born in Hexham, England in 1878.

Gibson worked for a time as a social worker in London’s East End. He published his first verse in 1902, Mountain Lovers. He had several poems included in various Georgian poetry collections prior to the war. He also wrote a play, Daily Bread, which was produced in 1910.

After the outbreak of war, Gibson served as a private in the infantry on the Western Front. It was therefore from the perspective of the ordinary soldier that Gibson wrote his war poetry.

His active service was brief, but his poetry belies his lack of experience, Breakfast being a prime example of ironic war verse written during the very early stages of the conflict.

Following the armistice, Gibson continued writing poetry and plays. His work was particularly concerned with the poverty of industrial workers and village labourers. Collected Poems: 1905-1925 was published in 1926, The Island Stag in 1927, and Within Four Walls in 1950.

Wilfred Wilson Gibson died in 1962.


I honestly think that is one of the most honest  poems I have ever read. It is straight from the heart and I believe many, many men who returned from the war would of dealt with memories by saying this to themselves…it was not me  it was just someone with my name.

The poem is as true today as it was then, men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq  could easily say the same. War and what men and women have to do in it’s name is as I have said before evil.

There is not much more I can say about the poem as the author says it all so very well. This poem touch my heart and made me cry.

Getty Images


This the Poem I should of published last Sunday, hence the discrepancy in the dates

Poetry Challenge #7 is to create a journal of links and your reactions to poems by established (living or dead poets.) Details are here.  Example response is here. Mr. Linky for Challenge #7 is directly below:

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maiya
    Mar 04, 2012 @ 12:47:58

    Thank you for introducing me to Gibson. This poem is heartwrenching.


  2. fatimasaysell
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 09:26:38

    Beautiful poem. Let’s not forget.


  3. granbee
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 22:03:28

    Oh, his lament, like that of so many returned from battlefields, just tears my heart in shreds. They simply cannot believe it was they themselves who destroyed the flesh of other men!


    • willowdot21
      Mar 05, 2012 @ 22:05:58

      Yes it is so harrowing, I pray God helped them to cope with the memories. Man’s inhumanity to man in the name of a flag??


      • fatimasaysell
        Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:56:26

        Sometimes it is in the name of freedom and justice. I wouldn’t fight for a flag, but I would to protect my family and our freedom of choice.

      • willowdot21
        Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:48:15

        Yes that is true but it is rarely that simple …sadly it is usually the politicians that send the men in ! But yes I agree fight for freedom ……………, freedom of choice and voice.

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