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History Books

Sit down class. Quiet Please! Right open your books to page fifty four,
Yes, I know, settle down, today were looking at the “history of war”.

But, Sir, Its boring ... we know lots of people have lost their lives,
But sir, they chose to go, chose to leave their families and their wives.

Sir, we asked you once, where did you go? What did you do?
But you never said, no matter how many times we asked you!

I’m sorry class. I was not being rude! Perhaps now I will tell you why?
Let me tell you of a friend, who went to war and chose not to die.

When my friend woke on that fateful day,
He turned to me to say ‘Something’s wrong, I have never felt this way!’

He sent a message to loved ones, but didn’t say “Don’t worry, all is well here”,
Today he simply wrote with a tear, “Don’t Worry, I will always keep you near”.

Then he knelt silently … and started to pray,
I had not seen my friend do that before, it was not his way?

Still he remained silent, as he prepared, no usual joking about the day ahead,
I think my friend somehow knew, by the end of the day he would be dead.

Boots tied tight, packs heavy, tourniquets on arm and body armour ready,
His guns in his hand, ammo live and trigger finger steady.

A brave man turned and smiled, leading his men through the safety gate,
He was proud serving his country and proud to walk to his fate.

Then Helicopters buzzed, the medics all rallied round,
I saw my friend’s body in a stretcher being lowered to the ground.

They worked on my friend until the breaking of the dawn,
But as the sun rose, so did my friend, he was already gone.

My friend gave his life for his country! It was many years ago,
To me, he is not forgotten; he is still my friend and my hero.

But you will never see his picture or read the story of his life,
How he died at war, leaving two sons and a wife.

So when you ask me to speak about the true horrors of war or tell me my friend chose to die,
Don’t wonder why I don’t speak anymore, what I did and what I saw! Can’t all be learned, here on page fifty four?



Makes me think that ...

Accidents at work are all too frequent. Accidental death at work is is not uncommon. When the organisation you work for is the Royal Navy these take on a wholly different meaning. The history of war in books tell only some of the story and the victors write the text. When an employee tells you of their day at work in a navy at war we know the story is different again. Poems by people who serve in and at war are not new and sadly we still have them.


James Tyler-Snow

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