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Massacre at Dunblane

Massacre at Dunblane

Deep in a filing drawer, and always dark,

Between Dumbarton and Duncombie school

Its story folded in a paper shroud

Whose trees once drank the air

and roots once clasped the earth,

Forever printed on the mind

Now lies Dunblane.

Between the classroom tales

Of nineteen sixty-eight and eighty-two

Those files of text now silently recount

That brief memory of sixteen lives,

Their laughter and their games.

They were Dunblane's children.

Let us not forget their names.

The cuttings tell of horror and of pain, The violent deaths by gunfire

Of these infants and their teacher

In black and white recorded here

The blood, the screams the sudden hush ...

Oh they were Dunblane's children:

Let us not forget their names.

Wrapped in reporters' words

The unbelief, the parents' woe.

Oh why such hate?

The questions without answer come

From burning need to know.

For they were all our children.

Let us not forget their names.

We will remember Mrs Mayor,

So wickedly to silence sent,

Who died so bravely there.

And twelve who lived and suffer still

The nightmare horror and the pain.

They, too, are Dunblane's children.

Let us not forget their names.

An archive of a nation's grief,

These fragile papers handle now with care.

Though we forget the front page lines

We will remember sixteen faces

So bright in life so white with death

Forever in their classroom places.

We will remember you Dunblane.

Though they were Dunblane's children,

They were all our children.

So let us not forget their names.

Virginia Purchon is a former teacher and now a librarian at The TES. Part of her job involves filing newspaper cuttings.

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