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Must See on The Somme
Dream Within The Dark
Old Guestbook Archive
A Dream Within The Dark (a Derbyshire poet in the trenches during the Great War), by Victor Piuk
Born into the ordinary mining community of Whitwell, Derbyshire, Will Streets
had little choice but to go down the pit although he hungered for the very
different world of art and literature. He was becoming a poet of some promise,
but it was 1914 and war loomed.
"The thunder of the guns, the scream of shells
Now seem to rend the placid evening air;
Yet as the night is lit by many a flare
The thrush his love in one wild lyric tells."
Just weeks after writing these lines, this young coal miner poet was killed
on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916. Like the thrush
he left a lyrical memorial: letters and poems that illuminate the idealism of
those early days of war and give insight into why clear-sighted, intelligent
young men like him volunteered, knowingly, to sacrifice their lives.
Will Streets was both ordinary and extraordinary.
This is a review in Stand To! a publication by the Western Front Association:-
Victor Piuk is a former Chairman of the WFA East Midlands Branch, and his
book tells the story of a lesser-known war poet, Will Streets, who died at Serre
on 1 July 1916. Will Street's early years with his family in Whitwell,
Derbyshire, are described in detail, with family photographs and exploration of how
the boy developed artistic sensitivities which resulted in him writing some
evocative and moving poetry when he found himself in battle in a foreign country.
Obviously much affected by the loss of friends, one poem was entitled
"Those who I've known, admired, ardently friended
Lie silent there wrapp'd in a soldier's shroud;
Death broke their dreams, their aspirations ended,
These sanguine youth, noble, brave and proud."
A very readable tribute to a poet whose work deserves to be better-known.
The book is now A5 size and retails at 15 euros. But for the website the
price including P&P is £18. Sterling cheques are fine made payable to:
Mr V.J. Piuk
sent to our home address:
10 Rue du Mantier,
80360 Hardecourt aux Bois,