The regular, ordered structure of this poem with the complicated and emotional content reflects the public mood at the time towards the war. It was ostensibly calm, optimistic and controlled, but in the reality of the trenches it was chaotic, meek and there was much death.
It is ironic also, that the death of Jack, 'blown into small bits' is not in the least bit 'glorious'. It shows the soldiers were fighting a war that reduced 'heroes' into panicking wrecks trying to get sent home.
The 'woman with white hair' in this poem is a character that echoes the extremely british notion of maintaining a 'stiff upper lip' - '
The false information given to the woman so that she can remember her son as a 'brave' and 'glorious boy' reflects to what extent the authorities covered up the truth about the war to maintain morale and optimism. (Report) Reply
The fact that the word “Mother” is capitalized (1) is significant in several ways. In the first place, the word is used as an honorific title, a term reflecting the speaker’s respect for this particular woman. In addition, this mother is in some ways an archetypal “Mother”—less an individual than the representative of all the many millions of mothers who lost sons in this especially bloody and horrific war. Her reaction is probably similar to the reactions of many mothers who heard the unwelcome news of their sons’ deaths. Women of her time and place had been brought up to be patriotic and to respect authority, and so it would have been very unlikely that such mothers would have protested against the war or doubted the truthfulness of official reports. This mother accepts her son’s death with stoic pride and even admires how nicely “The Colonel” writes (3).