The Unknown Warrior

Dedicated to The Unknown Warrior and In Memory of All Who Fell in The Great War, 1914-1918



Part One

November 10th 1920


Here on the shores of Dover

Gazing across the sea

Who is this crowd of people?

And what do they hope to see?


Ah, silently in the distance

A vessel is drawing nigh

Guarded by six destroyers

Their white ensign floats half-mast high


There on the deck is something

Lying in simple state

Covered with wreaths and crosses

It is for this, the crowd wait


They see as it slides o’er the water

And nearer comes to the land,

With head bowed low, o’er his rifle reversed

A single sentry stands


Guarding all that is left

Of one who gave his life

For King, for Home and Country

In that ne’er forgotten strife


A dull boom rolls o’er the waiting town

As the vessel reached the pier,

Bearing the Unknown Warrior

Symbol of thousands so dear


Hidden with masses of flowers

Guarded with sailors four,

The crowd in breathless silence wait

Till they bring that Symbol ashore


It maybe that unknown warrior

Was a son of lowly birth,

But the greatest of honours were paid him

That ever was known on earth


Because he here represents

Britain’s glorious dead,

The thousands who, side by side

For Britain fought and bled


No funeral dirge was heard 

As they bore him to the land,

The “Land of Hope and Glory”

Was proudly played by the band


And thus he was greeted with honours

Fit for the highest of all,

Greeted by many comrades

Honoured by great and small


The cortege is slowly moving

To the station where there awaits

A carriage in which the brave hero

The journey to London will take


All night that unknown warrior

In London City will lay,

Guarded by his comrades

Awaiting the break of day.

Part Two

November 11th 1920


Today the unknown warrior

Will be reverently laid to rest,

May his soul, for the life he gave

Be numbered among the blest


Slowly the cortege is moving

Towards the Cenotaph,

Where thousands of people are waiting

To watch the Unknown pass


Here while it rested, the King

On the coffin placed a wreath,

Paying respect and honour

To the symbol that lay beneath


After a Prayer, and that grand old hymn

“Oh God Our Help in Ages Past”,

The King unrolled the Standard

That had veiled The Cenotaph


And thousands of souls went to meet their God

In silent and humble prayer,

That health and strength might be granted

To those who had given their share


For many had given their loved ones

And many had given their all

To swell that mighty number

When their King and Country called


Once more the unknown warrior

Is borne slowly on his way

And men of all nations followed

United their homage to pay


For that body lying so silent

Under the old Union Jack,

Today represents to the nation

Their thousands who ne’er came back


Now they have reached The Abbey

That place of historic fame,

Wherein they inter that brave warrior

With honours, but unknown name


The lesson that England should learn

From this great and tragic sight,

That not one of the warriors must want

If disabled in that great fight


Hundreds of such are living

And shame would it be to tell,

If England forgot our heroes

Who fought in that war as well


If the unknown dead could speak

Methinks we should hear them say,

Brethren, Comrades, forget not

The disabled living today


We for our King and Country

Paid the supreme sacrifice

But they, have given for you

What to them, is more than life.


Florence Lily Jones


These two poems were written by my Great Grandmother Florence Lily Jones in November 1920 and transcribed a hundred later by my sister because she had been so moved by the voice of someone so close who had witnessed those events. Florence was 42 yrs old in 1920, her only son – our maternal grandfather – had fought in, and returned from the Great War.