In Flanders Fields

John McCrae
John McCraeOne of the most poignant reminders of World War I is the moving poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’, written by John McCrae, a Canadian army doctor, following the death of his close friend and compatriot Lieutenant Alexis Helmer. Helmer was killed on 2 May 1915 when a shell exploded during the second German gas attack. In the absence of a chaplain, McCrae conducted the funeral service for his friend himself. Grief and the trauma of war inspired his poem.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.