The Original Archives & Historic Environment Record desks are closed until further notice due to the current public health situation. The Hive and our Self Service area are currently open but may close at short notice. Please check before travelling.

Opening hours are being reviewed on a daily basis, in light of staff shortages and government announcements and we will post updates through our media channels.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these changes and appreciate your understanding at this time.

News

    ‘Hopefully’ – a poem to commemorate the soldiers at The Somme

    • 29th July 2016

    The 1st July was the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.  This significant historical event was marked in many ways across the country. Here in Worcester there was a vigil at 7:30am, the time the first soldiers went ‘over the top’, and in the afternoon there was a service at the Cathedral. The service incorporated contributions from school children from around the county through drama, singing and creative writing.

     

    Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service supported the event by running a workshop looking at the experiences of the soldiers through sources from the archives about the Somme, including letters, diaries, regimental history, photos and films. The students then responded by writing poetry or prose inspired by what they’d read or seen, one of which would be chosen to be read in the afternoon. It was a very moving morning, and the writing produced was amazing, and it was shame only one could be chosen.

      Diary of Bert Clements for 1st July 1916

    The poem ‘Hopefully’ by Kate Emsley was chosen, and Colonel John Lowles then read it during the service. We wanted to reproduce it here so it is available for more people to read

    Hopefully, I tell them,

    hopefully, it will be over soon.

    One big push and we’ll get there.

    I’ll be home soon.

    There were six of us to begin with,

    six from my small town,

    friends since we were children.

    I’m the only one alive.

    They promised us it’d be short –

    a few days, weeks at most –

    but the days are all stretched out

    and the weeks became months.

    I’ll be home soon, I tell them.

    In every letter, again and again:

    Remember me to others

    and I’ll see you soon.

    I can’t tell them the horror,

    the number of bodies on the ground,

    the mud, the wounds, the injuries,

    people from my town.

    I try to sound jolly

    with my pen in my hand:

    How are you? What’s life like?

    Don’t worry, I’m fine.

    Hopefully, I tell them,

    hopefully, it will be over soon.

    One big push and we’ll get there.

    I’ll be home soon.

    One response to “‘Hopefully’ – a poem to commemorate the soldiers at The Somme”

    1. Love this poem. It deserved to win the title.

    Related news


    • 18th August 2017
    Archaeology Trainees – WAAS Receives Another Accolade

    We recently received another accolade as were awarded a ‘highly commended’ in the recent Archaeology Training Forum Awards for our archaeology traineeships. To encourage the development of new archaeologists and organisations to provide opportunities for new recruits to develop their skills and careers, the Chartered Institute of Field Archaeologists are looking to help bridge the...

    • 11th August 2017
    Stanley Baldwin Exhibition

    Get up close to one of the famous Despatch Boxes held aloft by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a one day exhibition about Stanley Baldwin 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Stanley Baldwin, the three time Prime Minister from Worcestershire. To coincide with this we will be display documents from his...