This poem was written by John Montgomery (JM) Rose-Troup while in a German prisoner-of-war camp having been taken captive by the enemy at the Battle of Ypres in Belgium.
He actually wrote several dispatches from the trenches and his imprisonment to his family.
He had attended Harrow School and the University of Oxford and his parents lived in West Hill in Harrow on the Hill. His mother was American and the Cambridge Tribune, the newspaper of her hometown Cambridge in Massachusetts, said in October 1914: "Mrs Rose-Troup has been very active in the War Help Society."
Captain Rose-Troup, who had been studying law at Inner Temple, survived the war and held a position in the British War Office before becoming assistant director of programme administration at the BBC and eventually director of talks.
He was married to Marjorie Ambler, of Hatch End, and, oddly, his engagement was announced in 1918 while he was apparently interned in The Netherlands at another prisoner-of-war camp.
In 1922 he was elected Master of the Lodge of the Freemasons' Herga Lodge.
He stood for election to Harrow Urban District Council as an Independent in 1923, attracting 674 votes as part of a joint ticket with fellow Independents Bernard Ashworth and Douglas Bradford.
During a by-election the same year, he was elected unopposed, and resigned three years later.
The military ran in his blood: his father, also called John and who died in 1919, was the last survivor of the Emin Pacha Expedition and his grandfather was General Sir Colin Troup, who had served as a governor of an Indian province.
by J. M. Rose-Troup
(Friedberg in Hessen, June 20th, 1916)
"Let us now praise famous men"
A weary time, a dreary time, a time of hopes and fears,
The weeks that pass, the months that pass and lengthen into years.
My heart goes back to Harrow, to Harrow far away,
And Harrow sends a message to cheer me on my way.
"For good come, bad come, they came the same before,
So heigh ho, follow the game, and show the way to more."
Mourn not for those whose names are writ in gold,
They fought for England, gladly gave their all.
Kept Harrow's honour spotless as of old,
Nor feared to answer to the last great call.
They showed the way to more, their names will ring
Through all succeeding years of Harrow's fame,
Whatever changes after years may bring
Their sons will follow up and play the game.
O Mother Herga, all our thanks we give
For all your care of us, your watchful eye:
You made us men, you taught us how to live,
And in your wisdom taught us how to die.
The strongest bond of all, the bond of friends
Made in our youth, a bond that naught can break,
Binds us to you until our journey ends,
We live, we fight, we die for Harrow's sake.
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