Stories behind the poems (2) – The war poems

by Author on December 14, 2010

Although the poem “The Knitter” had always struck a special chord with me that eventually led to the book of the same name, being objective – if that’s possible with your own family – it wasn’t my dad’s “best” poem. His war time poems would vie for that honour, and as always, there’s a story behind the words.

I had never come across either of my dad’s great second world war poems until I was almost finished the first draft of my book. Late one night I was sitting chatting with my mum about the old days, and the book, and how I was frustrated and felt I was “missing” a few good stories; I just didn’t know what they were! I sat, just listening to her clearly recall details of things that had happened 60-70 years before; She was 90 at the time, and is still going strong at 97 today! As she talked about the war, and some of her memories of that time, she suddenly got up, went to her bedroom, and pulled out an old shoe box. She produced a wrinkled, faded, ripped old leaflet – here’s the front page:

Vfund1

She told me – proudly – how dad had designed the leaflet for the V-Fund. This was the government scheme to encourage money raising for the war. The back page had a list of all of the planned events:

vfund2

What really knocked me back were the two poems, written by my dad, that were printed inside the leaflet. It only took one reading to realise these were special, even by his standards. And to see them in their original published, if now somewhat bedraggled form, made them even more special. My version of the story of that leaflet, and the poems, is one of my own favorite sections of the book; this was the story I had felt was missing – you will find it in the “Fighting” chapter.
There’s a lot of my father in these poems. His attitude to war, and that clear distinction he had between wars and the politicians who start them, and the real, ordinary people asked to fight them, comes out clearly, especially in “We Didna Forget”. I’ll close with the original page from that leaflet, still proudly in my possession. In my biased but still humble opinion, the poem deserves a place up there with those of the great war poets we all know – Kipling, Brook, Owen, Sassoon…..and Mallaghan.
vfund poem

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Lidia Dammann January 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

When i visit a blog, chances are that I see that the construction is poor and the writting bad. On the contrary,I could honestly say that you writting is decent and your website solid.

Bet365 Bingo Sites January 5, 2011 at 4:54 am

I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

shrinking hemorrhoids pregnancy January 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I’d incessantly want to be update on new blog posts on this website , saved to my bookmarks ! .

Ladbrokes Promo Code January 6, 2011 at 5:10 am

I typically dont write comments on posts, but your write-up urged me to commend your writings. Thanks for writing this, I am going to certainly common your web site and come back once in awhile. Happy blogging.

Commercial Diving January 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Good Afternoon, did you realise your webpage was linked to from the Stumbleupon homepage?

beachbody coach January 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Couldn’t be written any much better. Reading this publish reminds me of my old room mate! He definitely kept talking about this. I will forward this guide to him. Quite sure he will have a very great examine. Many thanks for sharing!

quick loans bad credit January 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I am not truly sure if best techniques have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your fantastic job is clearly identified. I was wondering if you offer any subscription to your RSS feeds as I would be very interested but i can’t find any link to register here.Where is it?

Online Sports Betting Sites January 12, 2011 at 12:24 am

I already bookmarked your website and will revisit your website again, please keep up your good job. Thanks!

Julius Kaliher January 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Thanks a lot for the blog.Really thank you! Really Cool.

Thomas Delmuro January 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I loved your blog post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

shakeology January 15, 2011 at 6:57 am

Wonderful to be viewing your website again, it is been weeks for m since I’ve been on line. Anyway this web site article is what i’ve been researching for so lengthy. I require this article to complete my university assignment, and your article is often a ideal assistance. Cheers, striking share.

seo software January 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

A very usefull article – Thank you very much I wish you will not mind me writting about this post on my blog I will also link back to this post Thanks

Govindaya January 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later ..

Mardhanaya January 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

Ali Mitchell January 16, 2011 at 1:17 am

After study a few of the weblog posts on your web site now, and I truly like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site checklist and will be checking again soon. Pls try my web page as properly and let me know what you think.

Gwyneth Paltrow January 16, 2011 at 3:49 am

Very very good advice, awesome read, thanks

how to lose weight fast January 16, 2011 at 7:04 am

Hello.This post was really fascinating, particularly because I was browsing for thoughts on this matter last Saturday.

martial arts after-school program DC November 13, 2011 at 11:35 am

hey this is a good website i wonder how you find the time to keep updating it. anyway, keep up the good work.thank you

Cheap 4×4 February 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.

Leave a Comment

Previous post: The stories behind the poems (1) – Human Alarm Clocks

Next post: Stories behind the poems (3) – Wee Ann’s Fairies.