Penysarn War Memorial Poem
by Alix Warren
(Bull Bay, Amlwch)
Penysarn War Memorial
Now if you follow the A5025 out of Amlwch towards Bangor, and just before the road turns left down into Penysarn you'll see a beautifully carved cross standing on a rocky outcrop surrounded by an iron fence.
The cross, its back to the sea and its face to the mountains, is inscribed with the names and addresses of fourteen local men who died during the Great War and also four who fell in the 2nd World War.
Also engraved on this memorial is the name of Airey Neave. It was added after he was killed by an IRA bomb in London. The Neaves owned an estate around the Dulas estuary.
Soft slips the dying day into its watery grave.
Long lie shifting shadows across the muted fields.
Collie dogs rattle their chains at the rising of the moon,
and a little Celtic cross stands on its little hill - remembering.
A Celtic cross stands on a hill, remembering
a time before the blinding of the day,
when the fields were ploughed by quiet horses,
and young men and boys filled the chapels in their Sunday best.
The young men and boys now stooped, remember a time when
the blacksmith rode up from Amlwch and forged the iron fence
around the cross, a fence to keep the cattle out, a gate and six steps
to lead the mourners in - remembering.
A gate and six steps to let the mourners in, remembering
the young men who, for some the first and only time,
rode the iron bridge across the straits, never to return
and walk the yellow gorse spread fields.
Never to return and walk the gorse spread fields, remembering
the other fields, across the iron bridge, where so many
blinded by the yellow gas drowned in the mud,
never to return and lie in the graveyard on the hill.
Did he believe that by these sacrifices
the world would be a better place,
and did he ever imagine that he would be blown
to pieces in a car-park underpass?