For #TBT: The Grave of the Unknown Warrior, Westminster Abbey, July 2007

West entrance to Westminster Abbey
West entrance to Westminster Abbey, July 2007

Back in July 2007, I visited London for a week, after spending the two previous weeks in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia. It was my first trip to London, and I loved the city. One of the more moving events of that trip was my visit to Westminster Abbey, where I stood among the graves of people like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Henry V (“Harry the King” from Shakespeare’s play.)

Upon leaving the Abbey, I came across the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. Having just finished the section on World War I in Manchester’s biography of Winston Churchill, I feel compelled to repeat it here:

Beneath this stone rest the body
Of a British warrior
Unknown by name or rank
Brought from France to lie among
The most illustrious of the land
And buried here on Armistice Day
11 Nov. 1920, in the presence of
His Majesty King George V
His ministers of state
The chiefs of his forces
And a vast concourse of the nation
Thus are commemorated the many
Multitudes who during the Great
War of 1914-1918 gave the most that
Man can give life itself
For God
For King and country
For loved ones home and Empire
For the sacred cause of justice and
The freedom of the world
They buried him among the kings
Because he
Had done good toward God and
Toward
His house

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