Memento Mori (Gallipoli, 1915/16)

Hopeless force the Dardanelles
Shells, death knells and straits to hell
Terra firma, firmer terror
History puts it down to error
Wounded yet still predatory
Terrorise for territory

Ground of flesh and rocks from bones
Lay out wire for telephones
Cable London, cross terrain
Thousands dead, a few yards gained
Must despatch a good news story
Inched a bit more territory

Generals can’t admit defeat
If soldiers’ lives were yards and feet
Perhaps they would be valued more
Than corpses from the landing corps
So make this our memento mori:
Deaths per foot of territory

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