This poem is Houseman of course. I was pretty sure, and just checked.
And I wonder did he mean hundreds the way we use it here and now? Or did he also mean it in the sense of the English land measurement? And give the remeinder that these were lads that the land had noursihed and was now giving away?
I like the way the video ends with the man smoking, and sort of squinting and he seems to be laughing across the years at us. I too wish I could talk to them.