My Boy Jack #poetry #quotes #remembrance

On 27th September 1915 (100 years today) Rudyard Kipling‘s son John was killed in The Battle of Loos.

‘Have you news of my boy Jack?’
Not this tide
‘When d’you think that he’ll come back?’
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

At first he was seen limping on the field of conflict and believed to have been taken prisoner.

“I trust that your great anxiety may be allayed by definite news of his safety soon,” wrote John’s commanding officer. No such news ever came.
Kipling conducted a 2 year search in vain for news of his son. His grief, the same desperate grief of an entire nation (a nation burning with sadness, drowning in tears, sick with pain) was expressed in poetry and in many voices.

‘My son died laughing at some jest, I would I knew
What it were, and it might serve me at a time when jests are few.’

From September 1930 Kipling instigated and funded the nightly sounding of The Last Post at the Loos Memorial where his son’s name was inscribed.

One, Lost in a foreign field. One, Loved in a family’s heart. One, Poppy.
Remembering all those who gave their life in The Great War (1914-1918), commemorating its 100year period.

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2 thoughts on “My Boy Jack #poetry #quotes #remembrance

  1. This solemn commemoration is a matter of interest to me, although I am an American, far, far away in space and time from Loos France and from East Sussex.
    “Smoke” the novel I published in 2015, depicts the journey of a young American just a few years before the Second Great War. The story begins on May 12, 1937, coronation day for King George VI. Young Philip uncovers some sad truths about what is happening in Europe at that time–events and conditions that are still related to what happened during and after the Great War that had ended in 1918.
    As Philip travels through France, he encounters several people whose testimonies about developments in Germany and Russia are alarming.
    Philip has a destination–“Flanders field” in Belgium, specifically a place called Oodenarde, where his father, an American soldier, is buried. His father had been killed in the last week of the Great War.
    Sad, but true. This world is full of such grievances.
    Thanks for posting, Kate.
    Great name, Kate. We named our daughter Katie when she was born in 1984.
    Life goes on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for taking the time to really read and appreciate this important commemoration. November 11th is Remembrance Day in the UK & I have often attended the service at Westminster Abbey to give thanks and remembrance for those who died in the Great War and all wars. The stories and testimonies are all part of an incredible history.


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