Ideas Spanning Over Two Thousand Years

This book is collection of poems and readings for remembrance events, and thoughts about remembrance, war and peace, spanning over two thousand years. Amongst these traditional, ancient and new poems, prayers and readings there may be found pieces suitable for twenty-first century Remembrance and Memorial events, and meetings or services that may focus on issues of war and peace.


Some pieces may suggest ways of developing ideas for commemorative occasions.

A number of the pieces reflect on personal suffering and personal loss.

Several poems are by contemporary servicemen.

Many of the items included in this collection will prove moving, thought provoking and even inspirational.

Contents/Sections of Remembrance Poems and Readings


Poems and Readings for Remembrance Events


Forgiveness and Reconciliation

“Why, Soldiers? Why?”

Brothers in Arms  

Reasons for War  

Patriotism — Patriotic and Uplifting Hymns and Songs

Those Remaining

Reflections on War

Messages to Those Remaining

“Say Not Soft Things”

Personal Loss

Short key statements of International Law and War

Brief Biographical Notes on Living Contributors

Authors’ Notes on Poems

Organisations: Remembrance, Armed Services Support, Peace, Human Rights            

Copyright: Special Permission  
Index of Titles and Authors                                                                   

Living contributors are

The mayors of Hiroshima City, Tadatoshi Akiba
and Matsui Kazumi,

John Bailey,

Curt Bennett,

Graham Cordwell,

Anthony Devanny,

Charles Henrywood,

Maxine Kendall,

Anna Leader,

James Love,

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis,

Bill Mitton,

Owen Griffiths,

David Rivett.

Earlier contributors

John Stanhope Arkwright,

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,  

Arthur Christopher Benson

Laurence Binyon

William Blake

Edith Cavell

Winston Churchill

Arthur Hugh Clough

Emily Dickinson

General Dwight Eisenhower

Anne Fitch, Countess of Winchelsea,

Sigmund Freud

John Galsworthy

John Gower

Vaclav Havel


William Noel Hodgson

Julia Ward Howe

Abraham Lincoln

John Locke

Nelson Mandela

John McCrae

John Milton

Anna de Noailles

Wilfred Owen

Saint Paul


Cecil Arthur Spring Rice

Christina Rosetti

John Scott

William Shakespeare

Samuel Francis Smith

Charles Sorley

Helen Stephen

William Thackeray

Edward  Thomas

James Thomson

Isaac Watts

Frank Westbrook

Israel Zangwill

Texts include

The Gettysburg Address

Glory,Glory, Hallelujah

God Bless Australia

God Defend New Zealand
I Vow to Thee My Country

If I Can Forgive,

My Country, 'tis of Thee

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

O Valiant Hearts,

Quotations from The Bible

Quotations from the Qur’an

Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth

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Extracts from the introduction of Remembrance Poems and Readings

Remembering and honouring those who have died in the service of their country is an important part of our culture and the cultures of many
countries. . .

Today many people wish to go beyond traditional remembrance to include all those who have died and suffered in war and to reflect on human nature and our propensity to resort to war. Sometimes remembrance events seek to find lessons for the future in the suffering of the past. . .

Peace at this time

Today, more than ever before, the human race is interdependent, or to put it another way, the survival of the human race is dependent on mutual understanding and cooperation. The world needs peace as never before. With peace the human spirit can flourish and all things are possible. With war, civilisation is halted or thrown back to the Dark Ages, or worse than the Dark Ages because human destructiveness can now be achieved on a scale to match our worst nightmares.

The twentieth century demonstrated the enormous and positive creative potential of human beings. For so many of us life became better than anything experienced before in history. Yet, at the same time, the human race suffered unprecedented violence and developed unprecedented ability to destroy.

In remembrance events we do many things. . .

Today, states still need their military forces to defend them, but, as far as international law is concerned, states do not have a right to indulge in aggression and attack other countries. . .

Honouring soldiers and other military personnel for their willingness to risk their lives on behalf of their country is an essential element of Remembrance Day events. . .

David Roberts, who compiled this book, is well-known as the editor of The War Poetry Website with its popular Remembrance pages. He is the editor of three successful anthologies of First World War poetry and an anthology of Falklands War poetry, mainly by the soldiers who fought there. He has written on UN reform and the EU. He has written a small amount of poetry and the lyrics to a number of songs.

120 Pages paperback

ISBN 978-0-9528969-6-8

Published by Saxon Books

£11-95 UK recommended price

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