Here’s a wonderful old poem that was submitted to the Ballymena Observer in September 1923. The poem was by a Portglenone person, and referenced local friends who fell in the great war.
The Wounded Soldiers
It’s of the wounded soldiers,
I pen you this lament;
Their King and Country called them,
And proudly off they went;
They fought in every battle;
Still they live to tell the tale;
I mean brave Harry Williamson,
And gallant James MacNeill.
There’s another gallant soldier.
Who fought out at the Somme.
And when the shells burst round him,
He thought the end had come.
He called his comrades round him,
Saying if in this fight I fall,
I die for England’s glory:
His name is Tom M’Gall.
There is yet another hero,
Who fought out at Verdun,
And in that bloody conflict,
He strove to quell the Hun;
He’s suffering still from frost-bite,
The winter there being raw.
And the name of this brave soldier
Is private Sam M‘Caw.
There are many wounded soldiers,
To be met with everywhere:
Some wounded on the ocean,
And others in the air;
Salute them when you meet them,
For plainly now I see,
These are the gallant soldiers
Who fought for liberty.
Yes, they fought in every battle,
Gave of their blood the best;
And many a gallant soldier lad
Is lying now at rest.
They’re sleeping out in Flanders,
Where the Southern breezes swell,
And there’s not a stone to mark the spot
Where the Ulster heroes fell.
Poem by A.S. of Portglenone
Ballymena Observer, Sept. 1923