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Merryn Williams: Poem for George Dalling (Gallipoli, 29th August 1915)

Poem for George Dalling
(Gallipoli, 29th August 1915)

Merryn Williams

If the remains of my great-uncle
were dug up at Gallipoli,
I wouldn't want his funeral
stage-managed by the military.

Did the Turks - who took no prisoners -
bayonet him? Or did he
expire alone, recalled by only
the few who bear his name, and me?

Far from Devon, from Australia;
why he went - a mystery -
he took his skeleton, his rifle,
leaving no posterity.