- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Mrs Rebecca Cook
- Location of story:
- Farm near Hitchen
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 31 May 2005
'This poem was submitted to the People's War site by Jenny Ford (i.e. the volunteer) on behalf of Mrs Rebecca Cook (i.e. the author)and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the sit's terms and conditions'.
I remember, I remember, when the country
went to war
When the threat of Nazi Germany was shadowing our shore
When the voice of Neville Chamberlain came on the air to say
"The British Isle is now at war" upon that warm September day.
I remember, I remember how little, lost evacuees
Came, invading our school playground, gasmasks banging round their knees
Cheery, sad and poorly clad, We eyed the strangers up and down
Country children out of danger, Cockney kids from Canning town.
I remember, I remember-was it fifty years ago?
How everybody pulled together then against the common foe
'Save-not spend' 'Make do and mend' and 'Dig for victory' they said
How little waste there was in those days, how valuable a loaf of bread.
I remember, I remember, signs of war were everywhere
Army lorries on maneuvers Blenheim bombers in the air.
"Right men! Left men! R.A.F. men Someone's husband, brother, son.
Off to fight for king and country in the war against the Hun.
I remember, I remember when it wasn't really strange
To see an air-raid warden call and hastily to rearrange
The blackout curtain, just In case the man should see a chink of light
Giving signals to a German overhead at dead of night.
I was just a schoolgirl then and-well, it has to be confessed
I didn't mind, when in the middle of a horrid history test
The air raid warning went and caused an interruption in the class
As we hurried to a safer place for fear of falling glass.
I remember, I remember how the village was bereft
Of all the able-bodied men as one by one they upped and left
Ken and George and Dick and William. Cousin James and brother Jack
All recieved their call-up papers. Many never did come back.
I remember, I remember just before we went to bed
Standing on the lawn and watching as the distant sky turned red.
Not alas the evening sunset; this was London in the blitz
Only thirty miles from us were people being blown to bits.
I remember, I remember how the chiming of Big Ben
Reverberated round the room as dad turned on the news again.
Parents' thoughtful sombre faces as they heard how planes were lost
Ships torpedoed, soldiers missing. Freedoms terrifying cost
And again I can remember being frightened as i saw
A doddlebug* come chugging past as i stood rooted to the floor
Watching, waiting at the window. "Please dear God don't let it stop"
For when the engine coughed and cut out, then the dreadful thing would drop.
O and then I can remember when the darkest days were there
How the British people gathered for a national day of prayer.
Backs were up against the wall and situations such as these
Brings a nation back to God and brings it down upon it's knees
Was the apple blossom blooming sweetly on the orchard bough?
Were the Willow and the Chestnut lovely then as they are now?
Did the bright Clematis gambol gaily round the cottage door-
And did the Blackbird sing it's heart out just as though we weren't at war?
Yes, from what I can remember, as i look back and reflect
Heartbreak, death and devastation on these things have no effect.
God has set the wrold in motion. Man alone is given a choice
Nature follows His instructions, Man can just ignore his voice.
I remember, I remember that Tuesday on the 8th. of May
And how the world was given the tidings. Peace at last. "Twas Victory day"
Church bells rang, bonfires were lighted, There was dancing in the square
"Now thank we all our God" we sang-and many people left Him there.
Once again we need to gather, crying out 'What have we done,
What has happened to our nation since the war was fought and won.
Then we turned to God to save us in our time of desperate need.
Now men worship other gods and follow in another creed.
The lesson seems to be forgotten, That is why the memory
Must be preserved if only as the guardian of our liberty;
But the words our dear King gave us, that first Christmas of the war
Still apply to all of us today as ever did before.
"I said to him who i saw standing at the gateway of the year
Give me a light so i tread safely in this unknown path I fear"
And he replied "Go in the darkness. Place your hand in that of God.
It shall be a better light. Safer than any path you've trod".
*V1 Pilotless plane.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.