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It was after the fight one autumn night, in the province of Lorraine | 07-Oct-09

Enquirer is looking for a poem written around the time of the First World War, possibly called "The House with the Open Door", that begins "It was after the fight one autumn night, in the province of Lorraine".

7 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!

Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


This is a poem, possibly by Kipling that I learnt as a child from my father who served in the RFA in WW1.

I know the first few lines.....
It was after the fight one autumn night in the province of old Lorraine.
When a couple of wounded English lads emerged from a country lane.

Unfortunately I have forgotten much of the rest......it is a lengthy poem, that I knew as the "House with the Open Door" as stated.

I also would like to find a full printed version as it was my father's "party piece" which brought tears to everybody's eyes, as there are references to an execution of a priest by "Von Kluck" (!) for sheltering the English lads
Ian Lambert

The full version found on the internet is

"The House With The Open Door
It was after the Fight one Autumn night,
in the Provence of Old Lorraine,
A Couple of Wounded English Lads, had emerged
from a country Lane,
They had forced their way thro the German
Lines, into a village street,
But no one dare offer shelter there or a
morsel of food to eat,
For Death was the penalty Old Von Kluck had
Promised any of those,
Who dared to shelter an English man
or one of the Allied Foes,
Our Wounded Lads limped painfully on till
they came to a village store,
Where they paused for a while as their eyes
Caught sight of, one House With an Open Door,
So they walked inside an old Priest came, and
Offered each lad a seat,
then he saw to their wounds and saw to their food,
and bathed their tired Feet,
And they spoke of the Fight, of the enemies Plight
And how many a Chum had Died,
As the old man Gazed on his, Rosary,
Wars. a terrible thing he sighed,
For the men must fight, for the wrong [missing word ]
the right, While the Women are left [missing word]
Then he gave up his bed, to those English Lads
and went to a chair to sleep,
It was early dawn when the prussians came,
With their clanging swords and spurs
And one of the [missing word not understood] Officers said, You ve,
been Sheltering, British Curs,
Then the Priest Replyed. I shelter all, The
Ill, the Maimed, and the Poor
For this House of Mine has always been -
The House With The Open Door,
And the Germans Jeered, in the Old mans
Face, as his pale Lips moved in Prayer,
They [word erased] seized him roughly and marched him
out to be Shot in the village square
I am ready to Die", the old man said, like
others have gone before
And may Heaven Forgive the Men who have
[piece missing] Closed the House With The Open Door" ,-
On the Morning Air a volley rang Out,
and the old Priests race was run,"
To the terrible list of the enemies crimes add
another terrible one,
There s a Judge to be met by the War Lord yet
When he answers for Rheims and Louvaine
For the Outraged Women, the Murdered Priests,
and the Innorcent (sic) Babes he has Slain,
and when that day comes he will kneel
him down, and for Mercy beg and Pray
But I would not give much for the
Kaisors chance,
On The Kaisors [guess] Judgement Day"

Ian Lambert
Ian Lambert

Thanks so much Ian Lambert for finding my poem 'The House with the Open door' It was recited by my Mother to us children in the 30's. Your help has ended a long, long search - thanks again
sheila Lambon

My Nana and Mother used to recite this to us as kids and I've never been able to find it so it's great to see it here. I'll have to ask my sister who still remembers it, if she can fill in any of the blanks.
glynis shaw

does any one know the missing words, request from Norway .
my brother in Norway would like to know
Thank you

monica kidney

I have just done a comment on this poem and remember two of the missing words are "While the women are left to TO WEEP "
my mother used to recite it. I am trying to dig out of my brain the other words missing
monica kidney

My mother used to recite this poem when I was a child. Just before she died she wrote it down and she told me it was by F.V. St. Clair, but I have not been able to find find this poet. There are one or two differences which are:-for men must fight for the wrong or the right while the women are left to weep..... then they seized him roughly.....but may Heaven forgive...........and when that day comes he will kneel him down and for mercy beg and pray but I would not give (snap your fingers,the person who is reading the poem) that for the Kaisers chance on the Kaiser's judgement day.
Christine Jermey

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