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The SS Grodno - one more trip 1939

by Blackpool_Library

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Archive List > Royal Navy

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Bill Dixon of the Blackpool Merchant Navy Association
Location of story: 
On the high seas
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
27 September 2005

This poem has been submitted to the People’s War website by Peter Quinn of the Lancashire Home Guard on behalf of Bill Dixon and was added to the site with his permission by the staff of Blackpool Central Library.

The SS Grodno - One More Trip 1939
By Bill Dixon

She was old and grey and rusting a bit
Before the war she’d been quite a hit
Sailing the oceans far and wide.
Then coming home on the incoming tide.
The years have passed and times are hard
She’s not worth much at the breaker’s yard.
But wait a bit, what’s the news?
They’re talking war — the shortening fuse.
She should have gone to the yard this day,
If the breaker’s men had had their way.
They are not the type to recognise
A ship’s got pride in a captain’s eyes!
We’re waiting for news, it won’t be long:
Will she be needed if things go wrong?

It’s true, we’ve heard, we'll sail again;
The ship won’t have to bear the pain.
The breaker’s men will have to wait,
Another time, another date;
Before they get their hands on her
And cruel men decide her fate.
Thousands of tons of food she brought,
The U boats tried but she didn’t get caught.
But who knows how long that game will last?
She’s very old and never fast.
A lick of paint was all she got,
That kept her from the smelting pot.

So say a prayer and mean it too,
She’s out some where on the ocean blue.
Tell her we’re waiting to see her pride,
Bringing her home on the incoming tide.

[The author of this piece has written a number of other contributions to the People’s War website. They are:

My last day ashore
My first ship — M. V. Wim
Jumping ship then the Ocean Volga
Convoy preparations
A Lancastrian in New York
Thanks Yanks!
Voyage around the world
I meet the "SS Grodno" and the cook!

He has also contributed two poems:

The SS Grodno — one more trip 1939
The last day of SS Kingswood]

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