English Class Project Honours Fallen Ex-Cadets Part 2

Over the next few weeks eVeritas will be publishing excerpts from the recently published “The Dark Mist Cast Across the Guns – Poems in Honour of Remembrance Day,” by the 2018-2019 ENE110-1 class at RMC in Kingston. Please note this volume is available for free in the RMC Gift Shop.

No. 17333 Kelly Rae Gawne

Killed in an explosion during MILE Phase 3

CFB Chilliwack, BC

20 June 1988

The Sapper

By M2110 OCdt Edward Leibel

Four soldiers in four corners, none made a sound;

poppies on their hearts, and rifles on the ground.

One says “Engineering! The men are rare

who suffer with the iron ring. You see,

we wanted to make a difference there.

Nous avons fait une différence ici.”

Last was the second; the third led way.

The fourth, the fittest, the lady athlete,

now still shines in the honour Ubique,

shines in the light of Saint Barbara’s feat.

No longer does the sapper yell CHIMO

while the bailey bridge gets built; no C-4,

no dets, and no explosive trains to blow.

Chilliwack lays quiet, whispers of before.

One Comment

  • Ron Stewart

    May 14, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I am glad to see poetry is still alive and well at RMC. OCdt Edward Leibel is to be congratulated for such a moving poem. For the last 15 or so years I have been writing poetry. I authoured a poem honouring Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. The poem was published in Veritas, but I will repeat it here for you to see.
    6940 Ron Stewart class of 66
    The Arch for Nichola

    Blow soft you strong winds over the rich dead
    let bugles sound sad mourning strains
    as we step slow march to the
    rrrrum, pum, pum
    of the kilties’ lament
    on their pipes,
    on their drums.

    Nichola we scarcely knew you,
    but your oath
    to the sword
    and the scarlet
    lived on in your heart,
    in your passing
    survives in the courage
    of your blood.

    We shadow your flag draped casket
    step by step,
    two by two,
    to the beat
    of the drummers’
    slow slide.
    Mortal clay
    uplifted by comrades
    is where youth,
    and valour reside.

    Through the arch,
    the fire and the scarlet
    race wild
    through our deep troubled veins;
    reigniting the steel of our passion
    to honour your young life’s remains

    Chisled stone,
    doorway to past memory,
    foundation and conception of our lives
    the meaning of your words
    still remembered
    Death is life’s only true prize.

    Blow out you bugles over the rich dead
    There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old
    that dying has made us rarer gifts than gold