BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

For Johnny: A Remembrance of the Battle of Britain (Poem)

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Poetry

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
Location of story: 
Tilburton, Godstone
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 November 2005

There is a hill I love to stand upon
And watch the changing hues for twenty miles beyond

But in September
When corn runs golden to the hedge below
And blackberries are sun warmed on the briar
I watch the Sunday fliers twist and spiral
In the cloudless sky

Then I remember
I see myself as I was then
A child of six, knowing only war and yet
Secure and unafraid because I lived in England

Those few who died live on
And not in memory alone but in my sons
For there I plant the seeds of knowledge deep
That, which those few died for
A love of freedom, peace and tolerance for all men

So, "Johnny-head-in-air"
Sleep soft your well-earned rest
And I will stand upon that sweet September hill
And breathe the tangy autumn air for you
And gaze upon the breathless beauty of this land
Because you loved it so.

This poem was entered on The People's War Website by Stuart Ross on behalf of Ann Cordell, who fully understands the site's terms and conditions. Ann would also like to acknowledge the poem 'For Johnny' by John Pudney.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Poetry Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy