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We’re Here

Anonymous
Language: English


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1916
Tune: Auld Lang Syne (Il valzer delle candele, o canzone dell'addio)

Born to Irish parents in Fulham in 1895, Edward Dwyer joined the East Surrey Regiment at the age of 16. When war broke out he served in the Retreat from Mons, the first battle fought by the British Army against the Germans. After his heroic grenade defence of a trench on Hill 60 just outside Ypres in April 1915, he became (at the time) the youngest person to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

The following year, recuperating from injuries back in England, Dwyer made a sound recording on the Regal label. It is thought to be the only such recording of a serving British soldier during World War I. In less than six minutes he talks about life at the front, pay and rations and so forth. He observes that, to keep their spirits up, the troops sang songs with their own rewritten lyrics.
Dwyer was killed in action at Guillemont, France on 3 September 1916. His grave is located at Flatiron Copse Military Cemetery, France

Dwyer’s jaunty voice reaches out to us across a hundred years with eerie immediacy. It’s a tragic thought, that the soldiers on the front line had no real sense of why they were on a particular mission or manoeuvre. They got on with the job without knowing what the job was. And laughed about it.
We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here.

We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here.

Contributed by Dq82 - 2020/12/3 - 13:14



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