Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

The Battle of Verdun- 1916

In August 1914,

Charles Holland Haynes
Left Vancouver on a troop train
For military practices
In Valcartier, Quebec
“Brittania Rules the Waves”
Was the catch-phrase
Of the times
Those upstart Germans
And their allies
Daring to compete against
The British Empire and France
Taking over lucrative
World trading markets with
Cheaper inferior wares.
That first fatal shot
Had been fired
And every good Colonial boy
Was prepared to fight
For the Mother Country
Two years later in June 1916
Charles was reported
‘Missing in Action’ from
The Battle of Verdun.
He was officially presumed
“Killed in action”
In March of 1917

Historians now refer to
The Battle of Verdun
As the “Greatest and lengthiest
Battle in world history”
Nine months of bloody conflict.
More than
Seven hundred thousand
Dead, wounded, missing.
The battlefield less than
Ten square kilometers.
No place to hide.

The devastation carrying on
Long past
Any reasonable conclusion
Degenerating into
“A matter of prestige.
Two nations fighting
For the sake of fighting…”

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