Remembrance to me means memories of all those young faces left behind. And as age catches up with us, those words, “They shall grow not old as we who are left grow old” could not be more true.
Also the memories of the first of September 1939, when all Territorials were called up to fight the evils of Nazism, as I see my Mother standing on the doorstep crying her eyes out, and trying to wave me goodbye at the same time.
She had 3 sons and 4 son-in-laws already in the Army, and now her Baby was going, I was the youngest of 11, she obviously wondered if she would ever see us again. She had seen the horrors of the Great War; gassed, blind, wounded, and many thousands never to return home.
It was many years later, whilst saying good night to my mother’s photo, I started seeing the tears pouring down her face again, and wondered how many Mothers were thinking and doing the same in 1939.
It was at this point I wrote this Eulogy and called it Mother’s Sons
“My dear son, is growing fast , but, not knowing, how long it will last
My dear son, is now eighteen, with many a friend, and girls of esteem
My dear son will soon be going , the dark grey clouds are growing, which say, the Hun is coming.
The time now comes to wave goodbye, Mother at the door, with tears in her eyes,
She had seen it all before, many of her friends, had made the fall.
Son, now trains with his gun, in his excitement, to meet the Hun.
It is his commitment in the end, to make all bodies, see peace again.
Son now in some foreign land, Blistering heat and deep deep sand.
He has pride in his job, and, still going strong, with his char and wad.
But that is not much good against 88, but that, is a British heritage, on any date.
Son writes at last, he says, the Hun is running fast, and It wont be long, for this war to last.
The time goes by and then, a knock on the door, Mother turns to Dad and said, I have heard that before,
It is dark out there, I cannot see, but, she already knew, it was he.
Home at last, safe and sound, but away again, I’ll be bound.
Son leaves home at last, he has to go to finish the task.,
But he is not very far away, as he now trains for another day.
It was one hot day in June 44, she heard the news of our lads on the shore, the name of which she is not sure.
The Tanks and Guns are pouring in, to beat the Hun, for their great sins.
Mother, just knew her son was there, she then knelt down, and said a prayer.
Please dear God, make him safe, his duty he will do I am sure, but, I , require him more and more, for should he die, I would too.
Not that I ask for him alone, others there, are also Mothers sons.
So please, dear Lord, hear my prayer, so that others, know you care.
Son writes home again, news is brief, for this is war on a nearby shore.
Poppy fields in sight galore, and, there is more and more , as I have never seen before.
Mother dear, I remember afore, of the excitement of going to war.
We were young in those early days, now I wish, it would go away.
The horrors of war leaves a scar, as we look around, for mates, gone afar
The poppy fields have gone a brighter red, it is the blood of all those mates.
Mother dear I have to stop, the sergeant shouts, it is time to go over the top.
We have a task we all now fear, because the Hun is so near.
The Tiger Tanks surround the hill, as we advance with little thrill.
The Guns Roar, Machine Guns Chatter, how many fall, it does not matter.
The battle rages too and fro, first it us, and then the foe.
Twelve long days the fighting goes, and, don’t we know.
For as we look around each day, another Mother’s son doth lay.
Little shelter have we got, ripe yellow corn on its stock, and, every move we make , it shakes its head , as though to say , please, don’t make me your bed.
We now have reach the top, a ten acre plateau, is all we have got.
One more effort somebody shouts, then the D.C.L.I. takes up the fight.
Victory is ours, another cries, He is right, it is within our sights.
The wood in the distant is our goal, but with many a son lost it has taken its toll.
Not much cheer for the D.C.L.I .the battle won, but with many tears in their eyes.
A memorial stands to the 43rd Division, on Hill 112, it is to their lives that was freely given.
There is another next to this, it is to liberty which Normandy sorely missed.
To suffering in those early days, which altered there lives in many ways, Churches destroyed, and schools too , but they were always ready to offer us a brew.
Chocolates for children, cigarettes for Dad, was there cry, we, thought they were mad, shells and bullets they didn’t care, they knew, freedom was theirs.
With there memorial it doth say, let us have peace every day.
There is a memorial that should be there, after fifty five years, don’t any one care,
Wait, Lo and behold, somebody comes along, it has taken its time, but it is mine.
I was a Tankie for all to see and stare, as we brewed up, with many sons never freed,
Trapped in their metal coffins from fire on the ground, crying for help, but nobody came.
Now the memorial is in its place, other mothers of sons, can say their grace,
May no sons ever be forgotten in our haste, as we wonder, was it a waste.
Please dear Lord answer our prayer, so that we remember them lying out there,
As we know, they were all, Mothers sons, with their lives, they gave their all.
So please say these words more and more.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Copyright Albert Figg 2016
- The word ‘Hun’ is a abbreviation for Germans
- Char and Wad is an Indian word for tea and cake/bun – all the troops used these words during the war.
- An 88 was a very powerful German gun which destroyed hundreds of our Tanks with many of the crews burnt to death,
- D.C.L.I, is the Duke Of Cornwall Light Infantry who formed part of the 43rd Wessex Division