Walter Panton(1889-1917)

Dulce et Decorun Est Pro Patria Mori by Wilfred Owen

I think this is one of the most powerful works about war ever written.

Wilfred Owen’s poem had a huge personal impact on me. Suddenly war was very real, not just something I had viewed on the television.

I was reminded of this poem again when I encountered yet another dead WW1 soldier, Walter Panton. Twenty eight years old, in what should have been the prime of his life, instead(almost exactly one hundred years ago), it  had become the end of his life. Walter was the son of Frank and Mary Panton and great grandson of James Panton the town crier. I doubt it would ever have occured to James that one day his great grandson would die on the battlefields in France.

The following statement was published in The Lincolnshire Chronicle, 26th May 1917.

 

Mr and Mrs Panton of 7, Motherby Lane, Lincoln, wish to thank many friends for the kind expressions of sympathy shown to them in their sad bereavement.

A whole generation of young men was decimated, suffering in horrific conditions on the battlefields.  Those who did survive, had often suffered horrifically long after hostilities had ceased. One family member I  remember who had experienced The Somme, had always seemed distant and broken. Another uncle who had been gassed at The Somme, according to his daughter, would wake up at night screaming

I am suddenly tired of this-tired of the terrible carnage of these  poor young men as I remember yet another of our fallen heroes, on the website Lives of WW1.