Rock Poetry

An ode to forgotten heroes 

'Twas twelve o'clock on Christmas day, the sky was grey and dim.
Their trench was damp with sodden clay, they were soaked in every limb.

They waited for their corporal's call, to say they must commence. Each knew that half were sure to fall. They waited silent, bodies tense.

"You know the object of the day, said corporal speaking slow. "I feel that all will be ok, we will destroy the foe."

"Objective that machine gun post on top of hill D'amoure,
they're ten of number at the most, and their condition poor.

"You Jim and John give covering fire whilst Pete and Fred move right. Me and Jack will move up higher, and meet you out' their sight"

So saying they opened up with bren, the enemy kept low.
"That's it men give hell to them, Ready ... then let's go"

Out of the trench they jumped as one, and followed instructions clear. They could hear the cracks of the enemy's gun, but none had time to fear.

Pete and Fred reached the meeting place, and waited for Jack and Bill, but Bill had been hit in the side of the face, and Jack was lying still.

Bill crawled his way to the other two, his face ran wet with blood. "The rats" he cried, "their deaths are due", then he died there in the mud.

Fred looked at Pete whose eyes were teared, "We'll get them for this" he said. "Look down" moaned Fred, "'Tis what I feared. Jim and John are dead"

Fred's face turned white, he grabbed Bill's sten and raced off up the hill, he fired from hip when near to them with sole intent to kill.

Pete was quick to follow suit, a mills bomb clutched in palm. He heard the foe commence to shoot, blood spurted from his arm.

The other fell in front of him, the gun still firing lead. Pete threw the bomb after pulling the pin and dropped 'longside of Fred.

Explosive roared and played it's part, no life was left to kill. Pete put his ear to old Fred's heart, and found it beating still.

He looked at his own shattered arm, and knew the end was near. A shell through vein had done the harm, and the pain he had to bear.

Closing his eyes he thought of mum, of dad and sister too.
They would all be enjoying their Christmas fun of opening present new.

He thought of Jill, his bride to be. His eyes came filled with tears. Her face and body he could see, and this did calm his fears.

So with these thoughts he passed away, a smile had lit his face. The Red Cross found them that very day, and took them back to base.

The surgeons fought to save Fred's life and this they finally won; then they sent him home to his lovely wife, his daughter, and his son.


(I wrote this in the 1950s when I was just eighteen and whilst on the London tube of all places. What prompted my imagination I can't begin to remember. G.B.A. 2007)
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