Sunday, 8 November 2015

Thanks, Private Norfolk

Dear Reader
So many words have been written about wars and their consequences by others far better qualified than I am.   So I just thought I would write a word or two about my own father.  He fought in the First World War as a major serving with the Royal Army Service Corps.  He was three times mentioned in Dispatches, and I have a letter written in January 1916 congratulating my grandparents, from a Colonel Harrison and other Officers, on their son's distinguished conduct and gallantry.  So today I am thinking of you, Dad, and am thanking you for doing your bit, and am sending you my love.


Thanks, Private Norfolk

You left singing, with your pals,
marching for good and glory.
You hadn't yet dug a trench,
killed an unknown soldier,
seen dead bodies, smelt their stench,
heard comrades' last sickening cries.

You gave your life with generous heart,
believed the lies
dispatched by loftier ranks.
And so to you, dear Private Norfolk,
I give my salute,
and my deepest thanks

for swapping your mauve rain-skies,
your white-breast beaches, and beckoning sea,
your level fields of ripening corn,
to fight in foreign fields, for us,
for me.


Very best wishes,  Patricia


Jessica said...

Thank you for this reminder to be ever grateful to our forefathers and that we live in peace and in a democracy, unlike so many in this world.

Eugenie said...

This is a wonderful but haunting poem. Thank you for posting it. I like the quote about Grandpa too—"distinguished conduct and gallantry". Not many would be referred to as that today!