remembrance

Explorations of Beauty and Decay


‘in loving remembrance charles gawain raleigh hunter,
lieutenant 2nd battalion the kings own yorkshire regiment,
killed in action at ypres 25th april 1915 aged 21 years,
beloved son of capt and mrs w g hunter.

‘and the spirit shall return to god who made it’

so long the dream of youth
spun from the blood-red love
of the heart for the heart,
and the flesh for the flesh,
whispers to the coming night
elegies of a summer’s day.
beautiful boy,
charles gawain raleigh hunter,
fresh from the shires,
oak of oaks,
flower of flowers,
commissioned on your
seventeenth birthday;
for king and country, regiment,
and the burden of entitlement,
you threw yourself away
so bravely,
so gladly,
so defiantly
on that hell-mired field
of speechless slaughter
that april morn
after the inundations
of flame and thunder,
and the beautiful,
deathly
grass-green mists
that rolled in on
the mourning breeze.
how selflessly you fell,
defying them all
the invisible foe,
the hateful hun,
and never let the men see
that you too were
terrified
in your proud young heart,
and that with your passing
god,
king,
country,
and captain w hunter
should never
smile again.

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5 thoughts on “remembrance

    • thank you!
      no, i occasionally go to hunningham church and found my self very moved by reading the memorial plaque. his name is wonderful and for me conjures up a whole disappeared world. do you know anything about this man yourself?

      • I’m researching & wrtiting the history of the names on the Pirbright (Surrey) War Memorial, including CGR Hunter, who lived here for a short time. Please may I include your fine poem? If you’d like a copy of the piece, I’d be glad to send it you when it’s finished in a few days, with luck.

      • hi jonathan,

        thank you! yes, i’d be very happy for you to use it, just credit me that would be fine.
        i tried to find out about cgr from this end but didn’t find much, so more than a little artistic license came in! i’d be very interested to read more this brave young man. all the best with it!
        mark

      • Hi again, Mark
        I’ve finished Mark I of the Hunter biography & will be happy to send you a copy, but as far as I can see this site won’t take attachments, so please may I have your email address?
        Mine’s basil.foster@hotmail.co.uk.
        Many thanks
        Jonathan

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