Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source6
'Gommecourt Wood', a poem by Private G Getley, 1917
(Catalogue ref: WO 95/2686)
  • Private G Getley was a soldier in the South Staffordshire Regiment in the Great War. His unit saw action in many campaigns, including the Battle of the Somme.
  • His poem was written for an evening of entertainment organised by the regiment. Soldiers had a lot of spare time and events like this helped to fill it. There were also boxing matches, football, cricket etc.
  • The tone of this poem is very different from many of the anti-war poems usually published. It may not be of the same literary quality as poetry by Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon, but it is just as valuable as an historical source.
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