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Remembrance Day: Bromley readers select their favourite war poems and music

PUBLISHED: 17:50 28 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:24 04 November 2013

Remembrance Day poppies

Remembrance Day poppies

Archant

From patriotic poetry to rousing music, Bromley Times readers have been choosing their favourite war poems and songs.

PoppiesPoppies

Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington, vouched for The Soldier by Rupert Brooke, a former Cambridge student who died before seeing action in the First World War.

The poem, written in romantic prose, states, “If I should die, think only this of me: that there’s some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England”.

Mr Johnson said: “I am reading it to my children for their school work. It is a lovely poem and it is one everyone can understand however old they are.”

Stanley Wright, from the Orpington British Legion, picked the song Run Rabbit Run, which was sung by comedy act Flanagan and Allen.

They changed the lyrics during the war to poke more fun at Germany and the original version was inspired by a German bomb allegedly killing two rabbits.

Stanley, who said the song reminds him of the Second World War, said: “I was six when the war started and I was evacuated to Great Bookham in Surrey.

“We had rationing of course, which included meat, but rabbit meat wasn’t on ration. The locals would go out shooting them because they were plentiful and us kids would go out collecting the empty cartridge shells and would wear them on our fingers.

“Every time I hear it [Run Rabbit Run] the memories come flooding back and the hair stands up on the back of my neck. The memory of one small boy from well over 70 years ago.”

Keith Baker, a veteran who fought in Normandy, chose the big band songs of Glenn Miller as although they are not strictly war songs, they were hugely popular at the time.

Keith said Miller, who signed up to the American army, was feted not only by British and American soldiers, but also by Germans.

He added: “I love all of his songs. People thought we liked The White Cliffs of Dover [by Vera Lynn] but we didn’t want to know about home, we wanted to get the war over first.

“This was dance music, something to take your mind off the war.”

Click here to hear the song and poem choices.

Send your favourite war poems and songs to bethany.wyatt@archant.co.uk.

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