I’d just started blogging last year when I first posted a piece about The Étaples Military Cemetery in the Pas-de-Calais department of Northern France. The Cemetery stands on the former site of a vast military hospital complex used by the Allies during the First World War. Being away from the frontline trenches the military hospital was relatively safe from enemy land attacks. The hospital could cope with up to 20,000 casualties at any one time.


Given that we are so close to Remembrance Day I thought a reprise was in order. I was 20 when I visited the Cemetery. There were rows and rows of graves that simply gave a name and an age, ‘Aged 19’. It was food for thought and reflection. The gravestones seem to speak. They told me how lucky I was.


The song itself remains a demo version, nothing more. Just a simple experiment of possible styles of composition and construction. That’s all. It’s what the song’s about that’s important. Nothing else. I won’t post the whole lyric, although there is a link to the song itself that still sits on my old SoundCloud.



On that day I saw a thousand graves

They all said ‘Aged 19’

Wall to wall white marble stone

Stood on grass so green

They went on for miles

As far as I could see

Relics of remembrance

A cosmic storm’s debris


Were they just a band of brothers or just a band of lonely ghosts?

What was good is now on the edge of being the most obscene

It’s a lonely road to travel when you are so young

Where did it all go so wrong? Could it have been foreseen?

Guess that it hardly matters now

When the stones say ‘Aged 19’

Battles fought and lives all lost

Or something in between?

This unholy

Heaven’s door


Copyright © 2016 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.



  1. This is so heartrendingly moving. When in France, on a bus heading back to Germany , we passed the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial where more than ten thousand American soldiers are buried. Here, in my family cemetery are several graves of unknown soldiers dating back to the revolutionary war. It is a never ending cycle. Thank you for the beautiful photographs and the very poignant words.

    1. Thank you. There are so, so many all over France and Belgium. As a kid I was taken to a lot of them. They are special places and as you say are ‘heartrendingly moving’.

  2. They are indeed heartrendingly beautiful. I remember going to the one on Leros in Greece –a ww2 one – but the peace the tranquillity is something I can still remember.

    1. Thank you. One day I must rerecord this demo version. It’s at this time of the year I remember that my song exists making me remember those who died.

    1. I think I am there with WP systems. I am keen on photography. Mainly as a hobby, yet art is art hence photography interests me a lot. I look forward to following you.

  3. We’ve started talking to Blondie about WWII, about her great-grandfathers, and the toll such battles have on homes. Tucked away in Milwaukee, surrounded by the baseball stadium and…I dunno, random commercial places, is the veterans cemetery. Rows and rows of such stones. Though one of these days, I dearly want to take the kids to Arlington. As you know, there is a power to such a place that can’t not move one’s soul.

    1. I think seeing them though a kids eyes as I did on various holidays in Northern Europe means you get a feel for sacrifice early on. After that, the rest of it comes easy. Soul as a metaphor or a belief is pretty much the same thing. It moves as you say. Important stuff I think. Sometimes the best war graves are the smallest ones. I don’t know why.

Leave a Reply