On Great Gable

Hello,

how lovely of you to visit me, thank you. This is my latest post in response to Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge The two prompt words this week, to be integrated synonymously, are dignity and success.

Me and my person did a long walk yesterday, up a v. v. v big mountain, called Great Gable, in the English Lake District. Right at the top, fixed to the summit, is a war memorial my person had come to see. This is the story.

On 6th June 1924 a group of people, who had survived the first world war, took this memorial to the top of this classic hill to remember their friends, who had not returned from the battlefields. They were part of a club that used to meet in Wasdale to go rock climbing, in what was then a remote mountain valley. They were the pioneers of this relatively new sport. The date they choose was the exact same day that George Mallory and Sandy Irving disappeared into the waves of rolling cloud with just two more obstacles to go before claiming victory – Mallory’s third attempt – at the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. They never returned and whether they made it or not is the greatest mystery in the history of mountaineering.

You can read lots more about it in a brilliant book called ‘Into the Silence’ by Wade Davis. He puts the quest to conquer the highest mountains in the world in the context of a generation of men made fearless through the barbarous conditions of trench warfare and the horrific sights they had been through, or known their friends had experienced.

My person wrote this poem about it:

memorial g. g.

Memorial placed

On high hill to honour men

Whose death won freedom

 

Unveiling the war memorial

IMG_3863

As for me, I got up to the summit, then bowed my head in memory of more than 400,000 horses, belonging to the cavalry units, that were killed.

Love Ben xx 0

6 thoughts on “On Great Gable

  1. Hallo Ben,
    We have just been sitting in a pub in Norfolk with your person. I can report that she is fine. She has been walking with us in our local woods. Please don’t let her leave you behind next time she is coming to East Anglia.
    With love,
    Mimi, Kera and Merry
    XXX

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! I got goose-bumps reading your tribute to the rock climbers. I read some of the comments above. I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath in the early 1980’s in Air Force. At one point I lived in a small town called Attleborough near Norfolk. I miss the U.K. to this day. I was young when I lived there and I believe the customs imprinted on my soul. I’d love to be in the pub with you right now! LOL! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a reflective and poignant post and poem. There was a documentary made of Into the Silence, but I don’t recall this perspective being shared. I had to do a lot of research on cavalries for one of my books, and oh my, the deaths of horses was devastating. 😦

    Like

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