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Gheluvelt

Ist Battalion Queens Own Surrey Rgt in Aldershot in August 1914 - John Dopping Boyd at back at extreme right
Ist Battalion Queens Own Surrey Rgt in Aldershot in August 1914 – John Dopping Boyd at back at extreme right

One of the quirks behind Gheluvelt was not alone was our Donegal freind of Longford extraction in the field, but it was the battle that gave the war legs to a certain Adolf Hitler, an Austrian to have a global prominence. The 16th of which Hitler was part of were decimated in the fighting, their proximity to Doppings Boyd unit Ive not figured out just yet.

Three hours rallied round against the odds
Two hundred men, by a mere Lieutenant led
Battles sound was the cries of the War Gods
Who by the blood of the fallen their hunger was fed.

Saxons faced the Saxons on Flemish soil
A little Austrian was among their ranks
Messages up and down his lines he ably carried
Who again upon these bravery fields would send tanks.

John Dopping Boyd DSO - he led the 200 men who did the street to street fighting that won the village of Gheluvelt, and afterwards for the next 24 hours provided the cover that allowed the rallied remnants of the British forces to retreat to their positions as ordered by the generals.
John Dopping Boyd DSO – he led the 200 men who did the street to street fighting that won the village of Gheluvelt, and afterwards for the next 24 hours provided the cover that allowed the rallied remnants of the British forces to retreat to their positions as ordered by the generals.
But this was to be the day of Boyd
Of Longford stock, who grew up in Donegal
Forgotten by most, the hero Hardy in the Chateaux
The real hero Boyd and his men, them all!

The village retaken, but at what a cost!
What a price from the defenders they extracted!
That was the battle fire that tempered the little Austrian who lost
All innocence of war he believed was enacted.

Such it is the dance of war those who won
Retreated from their winnings as if defeated
The defeated took the spoils as the dance begun
So the waltz of war was repeated.

Gheluvelt, let the name be said
Another proud theatre of Longfords fighting men
No matter their side, with pride lead and were led
Longford to battle fields shall send its sons again!

Reference:

Account from John Dopings Boys quoted in an article on John MacGregor Smith, one of the fallen.

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