Worthington Soldiers Poem
by Ralph Walker
We are all very much intrigued with the publication of poems by Ye Olde Yawny Boxian. They are all most interesting with the first verse of the mushrooms poem being an excellent piece of verse an and worth repeating,
Over sun-drenched fields
At the crack of dawn
Heading for the meadows
Where the mushrooms spawn
Should the poet come out into the open, blow his own trumpet and receive the acclaim of the Parish? Many think he should.
I think I belong to the other camp, considering the position is best left as it is, providing we keep receiving more interesting poems.
There was another poet in the village many years ago, so it might be appropriate at this time to publish his poem. It is a poem from a soldier from this village serving in North Africa with the First Army in 1942/43, and this poem was published in the Coalville Times. I would imagine that this poem is lacking in names of routes and places because of the tight censorship during wartime, even extending to soldier's letters and enclosures sent home. He writes: -
Worthington Soldiers Poem
The sea was calm, the sky was grey
The journey began we were on our way
To do our share to win the war,
To enjoy peace for evermore
Excitement grew as the days passed by
The mighty seas were running high
But in our minds we had one thought
To do our best 'til the Hun was caught
We stood and gazed at the boundless deep
With its billows so low, and sometimes so steep
The swirling foam was never still
With furious wrestling against its will
We entered a sea so calm and blue
Which gave our minds eye a heavenly view
The sun was shining in a tinted sky
With its golden rays displayed from high
We think of that island across the sea
The land adopted by you and me
Where we shall rest for evermore
It's really a land worth fighting for.
We see the Arabs, a curious race
The women wearing veils of lace
Clad in robes, not silk, not gold
But robes in tatters, worn and old.
The hills of Africa met our gaze
Slightly hidden in the feathery haze
T'was here we had our job to do
With no respite until it was through.
The ships moved on in stately grace
Until anchor was weighed at the chosen place
A wonderful sight before our eyes
Of huge white buildings against the sky.
It was strange to set foot on foreign soil
Where mules and donkeys do all the toil
Where oranges grow and wine is made
And one's only wish is to be in the sky
And when at night our work is o'er
We think of those with an open door
To welcome us home with joys and smiles
After a journey of perilous miles.
Now I must cease my tales of woe
Our job is to beat the German foe
And back again o'er land and foam
To our dear wives and sweethearts at home.