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Updated: 14 September 2001

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Somewhere in France

        Just an empty fireplace,       

       Torn aside;     
      Just the heart-throb of a home    
     That has died;     
    Just the fabric of a dream
Swept away;

Just the echo of a lost yesterday.
Just the heart-throb of a home
That was bright;
Just the shadow of a dark Endless night;
Just a hearthstone that was once

Flowing gold;

Weary as one woman's soul -
And as cold;
Just an empty fireplace,

Scorched by years;

Blackened with the swey* of guns,

Washed by tears;

Just a face with sorrows' brand
On its brow;
Just the heart-throb of a home -

Vanished now!


Bombed out homes
Château-Thierry, July 1918

by Cpl. Arthur William Scherr
107th Field Signal Bn.
32nd Division
found on a scrap of paper in his WWI Diary



"Debussing at Château-Thierry just after nightfall, the troops marched to billets in the town and in small villages in the vicinity.  Up ahead the war was going on, all right.  The sky throbbed with red flashes from the big guns; their constant cough and rumble told us plainly that this wasn't Alsace.  There was some speculation as to when we would be up there, but the immediate concern was in regard to billets.  Some of them were quite a distance from the debussing point and the hike put thoughts of future danger and glory out of our heads.  That night, for the first time since coming to France, many of the men billeted without a roof over their heads - some took to the fields in pup-tents, while others took their chances in wrecked buildings and hoped it wouldn't rain."
July 26, 1918

           Bombed out farm house - Château-Thierry

The above quote taken from The 32nd Division in the World War,
issued by the Joint War History Commissions of Michigan and Wisconsin             

Note by Jacquie Scherr: The word swey is an archaic version of the word sway.  Swey has AMiddle English origins B sweyen probably from. ON [Old Norse]. sweigja to bend, swing, sway; but cf. Also [Frisian] sw~ien, sw~jen, [Dutch] zwaaijen to wield, swing.  Cf swagger. As a transitive it can mean to wield, to weigh down, oppress.  As a noun Athe sweep, force, or momentum of something swaying or swayed; as the sway of a brandished weapon; now, usually, preponderating force or pressure@ These definitions come from Webster=s Unabridged Dictionary  

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