poemof the moment
In the cold of the morning, In the burning of the day, The thin lines stumbled forward, The dead and dying lay.
about the poem
E. Alan Mackintosh served at the Battle of the Somme and was injured in action. He wrote his poem 'Three Battles' in the aftermath of what became the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front; more than one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.
Image: French WW1 cemetery (Rancourt, France 2012) by Paul Arps, under a Creative Commons licence.
poem chosen by…
Friday 1 July marks the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. An incredible concentration of poets saw action at the Somme: Robert Graves, David Jones, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and J.R.R. Tolkien (who arrived at the Western Front with ambitions to be a poet). Scottish poets saw action too, including of course E.A. Mackintosh. The SPL will tweet lines through the day by poets who fought at the Somme.
E. Alan Mackintosh
The war poems of E. Alan Mackintosh are imbued with a sense of duty to his fellow soldiers. Ewart Alan Mackintosh was born on 4 March 1893. He served with the 5th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders (a Territorial Force unit), which was part of 51st (Highland) Division. He returned to Britain in August 1915 after being wounded in High Wood on the Somme. Mackintosh was killed in action on the second day of the Battle of Cambrai, 21 November 1917.