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Burwash War Memorial

Burwash Church

Burwash village in East Sussex was home to Rudyard Kipling who lived at Batemans about a mile away from the village centre. Kipling based a number of his books in the area including Puck of Pooks Hill and Rewards and Fairies.

In front of St Bartholomew’s church stands the Burwash war memorial. Amongst those names listed on there is Kipling’s son John, known as Jack who was killed in the Battle of Loos aged 18. He was posted as missing in the immediate aftermath of the battle, and not confirmed killed until three years after. Rudyard Kipling wrote the following in 1915 shortly after being notified that Jack was missing presumed killed. John Kipling is buried

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind —
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

Jack Kipling is buried at St. Mary’s A.D.S. Cemetery, Haisnes, France, plot VII, row D, grave 2. The poem was the inspiration behind the story ‘My Boy Jack’ by David Haig which in turn was made into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe as Jack.Burwash War Memorial

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