Voice From a War Grave

A primary highlight for all battlefield tourists, is visiting the beautiful Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Cemeteries. It is always a humbling, emotional experience. Please read the following! It may have a profound. positive effect on your visits. It did for me. Many of my UK based colleagues, recite this poem regularly on their tours, to great effect. I wholeheartedly agree!

George Sewell was moved to write this poem after a visit to the Somme
battlefields where his guide was Jack Horsfall, a former Regular Army warrant

‘On our first visit to a cemetery we started talking in hushed and reverential tones. Jack remonstrated: “Don’t lower your voices” he said. “These lads are soldiers, they’re glad you came, they like to hear you talk.  Don’t stifle your laughter; soldiers like a good joke. Just carry on normally. They’ll appreciate your visit all the more.” ‘


Please, don’t lower your voices
As if you’re in some kind of pain
I can’t tell you how pleased we all are
To see you come back here again

There’s no need to stop yourself laughing –
We all of us like a good joke.
We used to laugh quite a lot in those days,
Despite all the noise and the smoke.

We’re glad that you’ve come here to see us
We like to see friends old and new,
So laugh and talk as much as you like;
We wish we could come to see you.

So, please don’t lower your voices
We’re aware of the pain that you feel
It’s no worse than ours, I can tell you,
And yours is the one that can heal.

George Sewell