For the Fallen, and other poems
‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old’, the first line from the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’ will be familiar to anyone who has attended a Remembrance Day service. The poem was written only weeks into the war and was first published in The Times in September 1914. As the number of casualties grew the poem became a eulogy for the country’s grief. Binyon was 45 in 1914, beyond the age for military service. He volunteered to work as an orderly in a British run hospital for French soldiers in France, an experience that inspired later poems. ‘For the Fallen’ has often been described as the most frequently quoted war poem, having a resonance for all wars and all nations.