GUNNER WILLIAM ROY FOUNTAIN
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
1ST AUGUST 1918 AGE 27
BURIED: GODEWAERSVELDE BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE
Despite the fact that it has been truncated and has rather eccentric punctuation, this is still recognisably an inscription composed by J. Maxwell Edmonds, a Classics don at Cambridge:
Ye that live on 'mid English pastures green,
Remember us and think what might have been.
The inscription was originally published in The Times on 6 February 1918 under the heading: Four Epitaphs. Edmonds' original four inscriptions together with five others were included in the Victoria and Albert's booklet, 'Inscriptions Suggested for War Memorials', published in 1919. The best known of these is still part of some Remembrance Day services:
When you go home, tell them of us and say
"For your tomorrows these gave their today."
Fountain, who served with 410th Battery, 96th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on 1 August 1918. His father, Thomas Fountain, an iron master in Stamford Lincolnshire chose his inscription.