Eleven (The Number of Remembrance)
There is silence.
It is the silence that follows a shattering noise.
And in that whistling, unbelieving moment – nothing can make sense.
Then, sight and sound intensified, every sense is focused on this part,
A moment of sensation,
Of awful realisation,
A wound struck at the heart.
Instinct, yet still disciplined, dictates what men must do,
As clouds of dust, rising, close the skies,
And shattered walls trap now unseeing eyes,
Comrades claw at rubble to reach their fallen few.
A helmet, stained and dirty, lies dented on the ground,
Torn and muted metal shall no more fill with sound.
Yet no foul act of treason can ever cause to fall
Traditions of Britannia – rich seams on which to call.
Eleven spaces in the ranks – Defiance marches out,
Eleven silent instruments to drown all evil’s shout,
Eleven stolen souls still honoured to this day,
Eleven names upon the stand where still musicians play.
The town of Deal remembers well the scar that cut you through,
These men – Musicians of Marines – were rightly our sons too.