‘The Battle of Blenheim’ by Robert Southey has been studied this term and some of the best work resulting from it will be in this term’s ‘Draconian’ magazine.
I hope that in the future my English VIth form will appreciate the English poetry I have given them to learn, its rarity and interest and beauty, and also my efforts to get them to become poets too!
Young James Alford (aged 13) is the author of this poem. It recalls the day the Armistice was declared last November, when James was at home, following our decision to send all our boarders to their families at a time of considerable concern over the influenza epidemic.
Sadly, James leaves us at the end of this term to go to Rugby School.
THE ARMISTICE (Begging Mr. Southey's pardon). It was a winter morning, My French that day was done; I sauntered down into the town For exercise and fun. The board-school children could be seen A-sporting on the Richmond Green. Just then a hideous syren Sent up a frightful sound The guns at Kew and hooters too And church-bells all around, And flags and shouts announced the fact The Huns had been severely whacked. The shops in flags were shrouded Banners were waved about, Munition-workers crowded To drink the publics out, And all day long the vast mobs swell From Kensal Rise to Camden Hill. And when the dark had fallen And the bright day had gone, I went to bed with weary head And slept until the dawn; And thus if rightly I remember I spent the 11th of November.