[Image] JACKY PLATTEEUW

AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN.......

[Image]
1/14th Battalion London Regiment (London Scottish) Memorial Messines.
November 2001.

Copyright © Jacky Platteeuw, 2001


THE MESSINES ROAD
"An highway shall be there, and a way"

        I

The road that runs up to Messines
Double-locked with gates of fire,
Barred with high ramparts, and between
The unbridged river, and the wire.

None ever go up to Messines,
For Death lurks all about the town,
Death holds the vale as his demesne,
And Only Death mows up and down.

        II

Choked with wild weeds, and overgrown,
With a rank grass, all torn and rent
By war's opposing engines, strewn
With debris from each day's event!

And in the dark the broken trees,
Whose arching boughs were once its shade,
Grim and distorted, ghostly ease
In groans their vexed souls and afraid.

Yet here the farmer drove his cart.
Here friendly folk would meet and pass,
Here bore the goodwife eggs to mart
And old and young walked up to Mass.

Here schoolboys lingered in the way,
Here the bent packman laboured by,
And lovers al the end o' the day
Whispered their secret blushingly.

A goodly road for simple needs.
An avenue to praise and pains,
Kept by fair use from wreck and weeds,
Blessed by the shrine of its own saint.

        III

The road that runs up to Messines
Ah! how we guard it day and night!
And how they guard it who o'erwean
A stricken people, with their might!

But we shall go up to Messines
Even thro' that fire-defended gate.
Over and thro' all else between
And give the highway back its state.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN EBENEZER STEWART

8th Battalion Border Regiment
4th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment
Born: 1889, Coatbridge, near Glasgow
Educated: Glasgow University

Killed: 26th April 1918. Age 29.

Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Passendale, Belgium.

1/4th Battalion London Regiment (London Scottish) Memorial

Location: The memorial is to be found on the road from Wijtschate (Whitesheet) to Messines (now Mesen). From Ieper Square take the direction of the Rijselpoort (Lille Gate) follow the N 365 (Ieper - Armentières) to the roundabout at St. Elooi. Follow the road towards Wijtschate, pass the village and go direction Mesen. The London Scottish Memorial is about 2 miles down the road on the left hand side.

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