written quotes

Lost quotations

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Young William was a soldier | 08-Dec-09

Young William was a soldier
Who left his mother dear
To fight for England's glory
In the bitter cold Crimea

Does anyone know the author of this poem?

6 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?


The poem relates the story of a dead soldier, who doesn't yet realise it. He journeys through a valley, meeting soldiers from through the ages, WW1, WW2 until he meets his own, the British Army. Sorry, thats all I can remember!
mark carson

my late grandmother used to recite this poem and I too would love to find out the author.

can you remember the full poem?
olivia williams

Young William was a soldier
Who left his mother dear
To fight for England's glory
In the bitter cold Crimea
he was nothing but stripping of 18 years or so
But the army needed soldiers young and old to face the foe
It was the old old story.........little rest.
To keep his poor eyes open William tried his levels best.
He is then found sleeping at his post.

My dad used to recite this. I've never been able to find it in a book.

Steve Chappell

My grandma recited this to us when we were children. She said it was found on the body of a German soldier and was originally written in German and referred to the Fatherland. I don't have the full poem any more but would love to hear if anyone else does.
Jackie Coleman

I have a copy of this poem from my late great grandfathers estate
donald howard

The only part of the poem I know is a slightly different to this one but begins.

Young William was a soldier of 18years or so
and England wanted soldiers young or old to fight the foe
So he went and joined the colours with his comrades quite a host
till theguard one morningfound himsleeping at his post
It was the same old story hard tramping little rest
To keep his poor eyes open he had tried his very best
But the God of sleep at last took possession of his brain
and on his character exemplary at lsst there fell a stain
He was marched away under escort every face held a look of gloom
for they all loved the young lad William and each one guessed his doom
At last came the day of the trial and the court with baited breath
They heard them pronounce him guilty
they heard his sentence death
So the colonel slowly asked him if he!d anything to say
for mercy or forgiveness it was useless now to pray
So William turned to the Colonel and mournful he replied
tell them to keep it a secret from my Mother how I died
For some when war is over may see her dear old face
and I wouldn't like her to know that her son fell in disgrace
And the Colonel turned to William and said your deeds are fit to be chronicled in the pages of military history.

gill atkinson

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