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A Soldier's Poem


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#1 JG

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:13 AM

T'was the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney, with presents to give,
and to see just who, in this home, did live?

I looked all about, a strange sight i did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures, of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought, came through my mind.

For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
i found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor, in this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how i pictured, a British soldier.

Was this the hero, of whom Iā€™d just read?
curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed.

I realised the families, that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers, who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grown - ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom, each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder, how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas eve, in a land far from home.

The very thought brought, a tear to my eye,
i dropped to my knees, and started to cry.

The soldier awakened, and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom; i don't ask for more,
my life is my god, my country, my corps."

The soldier rolled over, and drifted to sleep,
i couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,
and we both shivered, from the cold night's chill.

Ididn't want to leave, on that cold dark night,
this guardian of honour, so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "carry on Santa, its Christmas day, all is secure."

One look at my watch, and i knew he was right.
"merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night."

This poem was written by a British Peacekeeping soldier stationed "Overseas".
The following is his request:

"PLEASE , would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can.
Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of the Servicemen and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.
Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our boys and girls, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
Please, do your small part to plant this small seed."

#2 Ash

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:32 AM

Imnotworthy

I cannot think of anything else I could say, well done James. thumbsup

#3 Richy

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:42 AM

I have few mates that are away 'serving' at the moment, two of whom have seen alot of action [one has been shot twice :wacko: ] some of the stories they tell me about the situations that they have been under are horrific..

Thoughts go out to them all :grouphug:

#4 TangoAlpha

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:50 AM

I agree with the sentiments. All soldiers, past and present, deserve our unreserved support at all times, not just Christmas.

But, as usual with these "pass this on" things, they get modified...

http://www.snopes.co...mas/soldier.asp

The line "my god, my country, my corps" is an Americanism and would not be used by a British serviceman.

#5 Ash

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:00 AM

Indeed TA, but by reading it it does make you think about, remember and hope for a safe return for our soldiers.

However, we should also think of all serving personnel, regardless of their branch of HM Armed Forces or indeed regardless of their country. No soldier wants to be where they are, they are there because of their professionalism and at the will of their leaders. Somebody should send this poem to number 10.

#6 TangoAlpha

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:23 AM

Indeed TA, but by reading it it does make you think about, remember and hope for a safe return for our soldiers.

I always think about our armed forces. Not just at Christmas and on the 11th November. I served in the army, my father was in the RAF and my grandfather served in both world wars. I am fully aware of the sacrifice made by countless men, giving up their lives so that we may live free.

I was just trying to make sure the original author was properly credited.

#7 Ash

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 12:20 PM

Indeed TA, but by reading it it does make you think about, remember and hope for a safe return for our soldiers.

I always think about our armed forces. Not just at Christmas and on the 11th November. I served in the army, my father was in the RAF and my grandfather served in both world wars. I am fully aware of the sacrifice made by countless men, giving up their lives so that we may live free.

I was just trying to make sure the original author was properly credited.

No criticism intended mate. thumbsup

What did you do in the Army? chinky chinky

#8 convict

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 12:33 PM

Tommy
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!





Kipling in 1892 - interesting how somethings don't change!

#9 Ash

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 02:06 PM

Indeed. thumbsup

#10 Tashyboy

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 06:47 PM

Mr and missis tash were in Italy at the beginning of November and went down to Monte Cassino with a mate and his wife, Mate served in Iraq a couple of times with the TA. Any way I was reading a book about Monte Cassino and came across a poem which I was going to read to the 3 of um but I got real choked up whilst at the commonwealth graves So I gave it missis tash to read there. Suffice to say she buggered off to a quiet corner for a little sniffle.

We're the D-Day dodgers out in Italy,
Always on the Vino, always on the spree.
Eigth army skivers and the yanks,
We go to war, in ties like swanks,
We are the D-Day dodgers in sunny Italy.

We landed at Salerno, a holiday with pay,
Jerry brought his bands out, to cheer us on our way.
Showed us all the sights and gave us tea,
We all sang songs and the beer was free.
We are the D-Day dodgers, the lads that D-Day dodged.

Salerno and Cassino were taken in our stride,
We did not go to fight there, we just went for the ride.
Anzio and Sangro are just names,
We only went to look for dames.
We are the D-Day dodgers in sunny Italy.

Looking round the hillsides through the mist and rain.
See the scattered crosses, some that bear no name.
Heartbreak and toil and suffering gone.
The boys beneath, they slumber on.
They are the D-day dodgers who'll stay in Italy.

Forgot to say she read that about 2 minutes after she saw her Grandads brothers name ( Frank Whilde ) on one of the Plaques to commerorate the fallen in Italy during WWII. He was killed in Northern Italy Nov 1944, don't know were though.

Edited by Tashyboy, 06 December 2007 - 06:47 PM.


#11 TangoAlpha

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:01 PM

What did you do in the Army? chinky chinky

It was "only" the territorials.

Cannon fodder, then gunner and finally platoon radio operator.

13 Platoon - "Unlucky for some" :D

"D" Company, 4th Battalion, Devon and Dorsets

#12 Yellow_or_black?

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:14 PM

The lines that always stay with me are:

'The old lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori'

from Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est'. The whole poem is heart-wrenching - I chose to read it at assembly once, and will never forget it. Cannot begin to fathom what horrors soldiers etc witness, and are expected to process without effect. How any human can function thereafter, I just don't know...

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! ā€“ An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Edited by Yellow_or_black?, 06 December 2007 - 10:14 PM.


#13 iceman

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:20 PM

Everyday i fight, everyday is! a fight but i only fight for myself, the risks and consiquent gains are selfishly mine. I live in awe and am humbled by those that gave (and still give) so much more of themselves, for others... Imnotworthy Bless them all :grouphug:

#14 john_s

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:36 PM

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! ā€“ An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;


That's so true.

The joys of gas drills... usually followed by someone who screwed up being told "you're f*****g dead" by an NCO and then the whole group getting a beasting. :rolleyes: :lol:

#15 hairy

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:05 PM

Crumbs. Don't know how this ended up in my search, but very deep.






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