Live updates

Anguish of WWI families revealed in newspaper poems

Heartfelt poems written by the grieving families of World War One victims have been highlighted by ancestry website Genes Reunited.

Heartfelt prose was a way for wives, parents, brothers, sisters and orphaned children to express their grief. Credit: PA

Around 16 million people died in the First World War and many relatives published original prose in their local newspapers as a way of grieving for their loved ones who died in battle, often when there was no body to mourn over.

A poem published in a 1916 edition of the Dover Express was penned by the family of deceased 29-year-old Alfred Priest, from the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade.

"Oh! how our hearts do ache," the poem read. "When we think of how you died. To think we could not say good-bye, when you closed your eyes."

Photos and poems of heartfelt prose, published in local newspapers during World War I. Credit: PA

Private Harry Randall's family wrote in the Grantham Journal in 1917:

"His work is done, his toil is passed and he is fully blessed.

"He fought the fight, the victory won and entered into rest.

"But the hardest part is yet to come, when our heroes all return.

"And we miss, among the cheering crowds, the face of our own dear one."

Myko Clelland of Genes Reunited said: "Too often we read of the 16 million who tragically lost their lives during the Great War without really understanding the grief that families went through.

"These 'In Memoriam' poems bring home the pain and sorrow they experienced."

Prince Charles records 'favourite' poem for poetry day

The Prince of Wales has recorded one of his favourite poems to mark National Poetry Day.

Prince Charles has recorded Fern Hill by Welsh writer Dylan Thomas. Credit: PA

Charles picked Fern Hill by Welsh writer Dylan Thomas for the annual nationwide event which is celebrated today.

The Prince said: "For National Poetry Day, I was very glad, if somewhat hesitant - to be able to record a reading of one of my personal favourites, Fern Hill, with its poignant and moving evocation of a rural west Wales childhood.

"I cannot help feeling this is one of the great legacies of Thomas's poetry - that it inspires people to appreciate the incomparable landscape of Wales."

The heir to the throne has made several broadcasts over the years including an appearance on children's programme Jackanory in 1984, reading his own book The Old Man Of Lochnagar, and in recent years making documentaries about the composer Sir Hubert Parry and royal artists.

Advertisement