West Wales Veterans' Archive Logo in White

Managed by:

Age Cymru Dyfed Logo

©  West Wales Veterans’ Archive 2020 | Privacy | Terms of Use | Designed by Jack Lambert and Chiara Fallone

In Silence Stood

Mike Harries | Royal Army Medical Corps

In silence I stood looking over fields where lives where fought
Shell like pits and fallen trees, when time stood still were caught
On beaches lay a reminder barbed wire still in place
Where armies fought in battles, then vanished without trace
No more whistling down the wind the shrill of shell or debris
Looking down a shell-strewn street, no more approaching enemy
No more the siren at midnight calls to shelters running fast
Time for recollection now and to rebuild our past
The blitz of towns and buildings left crumpled and forlorn
Gone in such a horrid way with life and love to mourn

Such valiantly the young and old did pay a price for us
For virtue and for liberty they gave self-sacrifice
No greater loss is that of life, lost that we might live
Lest we forget, unto our shame the all that they did give
Clear now the skies above and ground on which I tread
Ships in port and seas of calm not laden with the dead
No more holocausts, ten thousand in one grave
POW’s thin and worn with little left to crave
No sound of birds’ just silence, seeing how man can behave
Liberators weeping at the sights that they did see

Silence now no more the threat, yet bombs lay intact around
Unbroken not like families searching over ground
Some they are triumphant, whilst others cry and pray
For hope of home and loved ones they search both night and day
Endless days of waiting patiently for loved ones from the front
Soon over with a solemn gram their graves where flowers lay
Possessions turn up in a box, treasured memories are returned
Thumbed photographs with edges worn, others crisp or burned
Yet in dreams your face appears and you wipe away the tears
Stood in silence, all alone, no words are needed here

In war there’s so much tragedy with loss and pain to bare
Some will never see again the sunlight of the day
So many are the injured, scars unseen, struggling to mend
Homes and places all destroyed, our minds can’t comprehend
Let’s pray we’ve learned the lessons from wars and sorrows past
Find a way to live in peace and make this peace to last
Hope for our world that’s seen so much, of wars and endless strife
Remembering those who gave their all, they gave their very life
All’s quiet now over sky and sea, and ground on which I tread
In silence I stand looking at a memorial to the dead

©  Michael David Harries, 20 April 2005 (Revised 2020)


Mike Harries is a retired Warrant Officer. Originally from Loughor, he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps for over 20 years. During this time, he completed two tours in Northern Ireland. Mike now lives in France, where he spends his time either painting or writing short stories and poetry.

See more by Mike Harries