Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Saki's Christmas Carol

H.H. Munro, aka Saki, gained popularity before the Great War for his witty and offbeat stories. He could have avoided serving, but Munro enlisted and died at the Somme in November 1916 at age 45. 

According to several sources, his last words were "Put that bloody cigarette out!" before he was shot by a sniper. Munro has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Sometime before his death, he made this contribution to war poetry titled "Carol" —

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
  All seated on the ground,
    A high explosive shell came down
      And mutton rained around.

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