John McCrea’s poem, ‘In Flanders Fields” undoubtedly is the most well remembered poem emerging from WWI and hauntingly reminds us of why we remember the tragedy of this brutal war.

The S.A. National Society, by way of publishing this poem, wishes to remember and pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice made by all of the armed forces and support services.

Click on image for full page view.


We received the following poem from Gillian v.d. Heijden who sent us the poem below that was written by her late mother Frances Emily Katz, at the time of the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1918.

She has also added an interesting footnote about her brother who went on to become a strong anti war activist.

Scarlet the Roses

White is the damask

Gleaming the silver

Scarlet the roses symbolic of blood

Suave are the manners,

Deep are the pockets

Where finance meets finance

They say for man’s good.

Servile the waiters,

‘Yes men’ of dictators

Who grovel and smirk where the honest rebel

These are the men truth must sweep from her tables

When life could be heaven they serve to us hell!


Oh where is our manhood that keeps women weeping?

And lets the babe starve from the impoverished breast

While strumpets go strutting the mother’s lie sleepless

Can find for their sorrows no solace or rest.

Scarlet the roses symbolic of bloodshed

Sick are the hearts of tired mothers through years


God is compassionate,

But will He forgive men

For drenching the earth with their blood

and their tears?

Oh God, take our hoardings,

our Godless Dictators

And give to us courage for freedom and truth

Unfurl the banners, march onwards Christ’s soldiers

The world still holds promise

Not death for our youth!


Scarlet the roses

The candles have flickered

The tables are silent and gone is this day

Teach us, O God, full truth of Thy wisdom

For only through love

Can Peace come to stay.


By Frances Emily Katz (nee Ashton) on the Peace Treaty 1918



My brother (son of F.E. Katz born Manchester 1935)  Kendrew Lascelles (matriarchal family name) is  renowned for his anti-War poem THE BOX which was sung by John Denver of Denver Colorado. Lascelles was then playwright for Denver Theatre.1970-73.  The poem sold four million copies and helped to topple the Nixon Vietnam war machine.   The statue of John Denver stands as a monument on the mountain above the City of Denver Colorado;  beneath the statue is a plaque of Lascelles’ poem The Box. Kendrew Lascelles is found on You Tube under his name and the title THE BOX;  John Denver is simultaneously found



WWI – Poems – Remembering the Armistice