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The King's Pilgrimage   By: (1874-1960)

The King's Pilgrimage by Frank Fox

First Page:

THE KING'S PILGRIMAGE

PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF THIS BOOK WILL, BY HIS MAJESTY'S DESIRE, BE DISTRIBUTED AMONG THE PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS WHICH FOR SOME TIME HAVE BEEN ASSISTING RELATIVES TO VISIT THE CEMETERIES ABROAD

"THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE"

[Illustration: TERLINCTHUN

" Standing beneath this cross of sacrifice and facing the great stone of remembrance "]

The King's Pilgrimage

London: Hodder and Stoughton, Limited 1922

The Imperial War Graves Commission has to acknowledge the permission of the following for the publication of the photographs which are contained in this book: Central News Agency, Graphic Photo Union, "Daily Mail," Press Photographic Agency, "The Times," Topical Press Agency, Lt. Col. H. Ellissen, Mr. F. C. See, Mr. A. H. W. Brown

PRINTED IN PHOTOGRAVURE BY THE SUN ENGRAVING CO., LTD. LONDON AND WATFORD

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

May 1922.

I am interested to hear of the proposed publication of the record of my pilgrimage to the War Graves.

It grieves me to think how many relatives are prevented from visiting the graves of their dear ones through lack of means. During my recent visit to the Cemeteries in France and Belgium, I was glad to learn that various organisations are endeavouring to meet this difficulty by raising funds which I trust will be substantially assisted by the sale of the book.

George R. I.

The King's Pilgrimage

Our King went forth on pilgrimage His prayer and vows to pay To them that saved our Heritage And cast their own away. And there was little show of pride, Or prows of belted steel, For the clean swept oceans every side Lay free to every keel.

And the first land he found, it was shoal and banky ground Where the broader seas begin, And a pale tide grieving at the broken harbour mouth Where they worked the Death Ships in: And there was neither gull on the wing, Nor wave that could not tell Of the bodies that were buckled in the lifebuoy's ring That slid from swell to swell.

( All that they had they gave they gave; and they shall not return, For these are those that have no grave where any heart may mourn. )

And the next land he found, it was low and hollow ground Where once the cities stood, But the man high thistle had been master of it all, Or the bulrush by the flood; And there was neither blade of grass Or lone star in the sky, But shook to see some spirit pass And took its agony.

And the next land he found, it was bare and hilly ground Where once the bread corn grew, But the fields were cankered and the water was defiled, And the trees were riven through; And there was neither paved highway, Nor secret path in the wood, But had borne its weight of the broken clay, And darkened 'neath the blood.

( Father and Mother they put aside, and the nearer love also An hundred thousand men who died, whose grave shall no man know. )

And the last land he found, it was fair and level ground Above a carven Stone, And a stark Sword brooding on the bosom of the Cross Where high and low are one; And there was grass and the living trees, And the flowers of the Spring, And there lay gentlemen from out of all the seas That ever called him King.

( 'Twixt Nieuport sands and the eastward lands where the Four Red Rivers spring Five hundred thousand gentlemen of those that served the King. )

All that they had they gave they gave In sure and single faith. There can no knowledge reach the grave To make them grudge their death Save only if they understood That, after all was done We they redeemed denied their blood, And mocked the gains it won.

RUDYARD KIPLING.

I: " Our King went forth on pilgrimage. "

It was our King's wish that he should go as a private pilgrim, with no trappings of state nor pomp of ceremony, and with only a small suite, to visit the tombs in Belgium and France of his comrades who gave up their lives in the Great War... Continue reading book >>




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