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recording of Challenge by John William Streets.

Read in English by Algy Pug; Bruce Kachuk; Christie Crews; David Lawrence; Newgatenovelist; Greg Giordano; Hats4cats; Ian King; J. McDougall; Lee Ann Howlett; bean420; MaryAnn; Maria Kasper; Ruth Golding; SamanthaBraswell

The editor of the volume Made in the Trenches includes these poignant notes:

Corporal Streets, in submitting these sonnets some months ago, wrote: “They express not only my feelings but the feelings of thousands of others who, like myself, are on the verge of departure from England.”

Cpl. Streets, in a letter accompanying later poems, also wrote: “They were inspired while I was in the trenches, where I have been so busy that I have had little time to polish them. I have tried to picture some thoughts that pass through a man’s brain when he dies. I may not see the end of the poems, but hope to live to do so. We soldiers have our views of life to express, though the boom of death is in our ears. We try to convey something of what we feel in this great conflict to those who think of us, and sometimes, alas! mourn our loss. We desire to let them know that in the midst of our keenest sadness for the joy of life we leave behind we go to meet death grim-lipped, clear-eyed, and resolute-hearted.”

He didn’t survive, killed in action on 1st July 1916. – Summary by Ruth Golding

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