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Source 2 Transcript    Useful notes 
Poem written by Gilbert Frankau called 'The Voice of the Guns', 1916
(from The Poetical Works of Gilbert Frankau Volume 1 (1901-1916), published by Chatto and Windus, 1923, by permission of A.P. Watt Ltd on behalf of Timothy D'Arch Smith)
  2a   2b   2c              
  2a   2b   2c              
Gilbert Frankau poem, ‘The Voice of the Guns’, 1916

How to use this source:

Study this source carefully. It contains information that could be useful in your presentation on life in the trenches. As you study the source, ask yourself:

  • Do you think the author of this poem has direct experience of the guns?
  • What five words could best be used to sum up this poem? Possible words might be: descriptive, frightening, bitter, accepting, proud, excited, loyal, committed.
  • What does the poem tell you about the impact of the guns on soldiers?
  • Is this impression backed up by sources 1a-c?
  • Most historians believe that artillery was by far the most important weapon in the Great War. Does this poem support that view?
  • Would you say the intention of this poem was to criticise the fact that Britain is at war or simply to describe what war is like?
  • Which aspects of trench warfare does this source provide information on? How could this source be used in your final presentation?

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