“My Boy Jack”, a poem by Rudyard Kipling, is directly related to at least two of the WWI stories – one of John “Jutland Jack” Cornwell (+16) fatally wounded in the battle of Jutland, as well as of the poet’s own son, John Kipling (+18) killed in the battle of Loos, whose fate was still unknown at the time of writing.
Regardless of the zeitgeist, political background or individual motivations behind such countless lives tragically lost before their time, the history of wars always repeats itself with mirror images haunting all sides of each conflict – often more than just two sides. Disturbingly similar, truly universal stories of shattered families, trapped between the phantoms of posthumous honours, fame and glory, and all too real suffering, uncertainty, grief and everyday struggle to carry on. There’s no closure, and many of those left behind witness further tragedies unfold when parades and solemn speeches are over.
The aftermath is poignantly heavy with voices of heartbroken parents, burdened with an enduring sense of guilt, desperately trying to understand if anything could have ever gone differently.
Our arrangement is based on the song composed by Peter Bellamy, and its heartfelt rendition by Anni Fentiman.