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The Story of DOUGLAS HEWITT (my husband) — Part 3

by actiondesksheffield

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
DOUGLAS HEWITT , Hilda Hewitt (Nee Bell)
Location of story: 
Germany, Sheffield
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
30 June 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Julie Turner of the ‘Action Desk — Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Hilda Hewitt, and has been added to the site with the author’s permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

The Story of DOUGLAS HEWITT (my husband) — Part 3


When we have fires with coal again,
And get back on the dole again,
And no one calls a roll again,
How happy we shall be.

When our best girls we hug again,
And don’t need to debug again,
And sit and pull a plug again,
Why then we’ll know we’re free.

When four ‘aways’ are found again,
And feet at night don’t sound again,
And loaves all weigh two pounds again
How jolly that will be.

When we see a picture house again
And never find a louse again,
And Liverpool blokes get ‘scouse’again
Why then we’ll know we’re free.

When we don’t cut for cheese again
Nor out these two doors squeeze again,
When someone shouts “fares please” again
Why then we’ll know we’re free.

When “meat days” do mean meat again
Don’t get parcels, yet cut again,
We’ll be in civvy street again - in 1944.
He who sows courtesy, reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

IF — (P.O.W. version).

If you can keep your clothes from getting shabby,
When those around lose pride and self respect,
And creep about, both mind and muscles flabby,
With lice they’ve bred in dirt and self respect.
If you can bear to stand in queues for hours
To get your little bit of this and that
And still remember sun comes after showers,
And it is said that laughing makes you fat.

If you can take the food that you are given,
Not make a lot of fuss nor great ado,
The chap who issues really hasn’t striven
To save the smallest portion just for you.
If rice or macaroni when you draw it
Seems rather less than that your neighbour got
If you try to forget you ever saw it
And eat yours up, at least you’ll find it hot.

If rumours false, do not make you downhearted,
And quieter do you help them on their way
But try and find out first where they’re started,
Instead of just believing what they say
If sorely tried you keep your temper steady
And bear in mind, that no one's feeling grand,
You’ll find there’s still a chap who’s ready
To give, if your in need, a helping hand.

If you can find the strength, to grin and bear it,
Or make life lighter, with a smile or song,
When you’ve a little joy, go out and share it
And then you’ll find your troubles won’t last long
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With 60 seconds worth of hope and cheer
This camp and all the other fellows in it
Will be the better for you being here.


At the end of the day, when my work is through,
Back I go to a nest, where my dreams come true,
For there I’ll find peace in that haven of love,
Built by the hands of the angels above.

At the end of the lane, she alone waits for me.
Two white arms, I adore, bringing sympathy,
And the sweet voice I’ll hear
Say goodnight Daddy dear,
At the end of the day for me.


We send you this for Xmas boys, its not a mighty lot,
But shows amid our local joys, that you are not forgot,
The best of luck for 43 — good hunting with the Hun
A welcome waits for you, from me, if we meet before you’ve done.
(A message from the Mayoress of Durham to the Army of the Nile).


Oft times my mind returns to the day I left home.
When I bid farewell to Blighty shores, for foreign lands to roam.
At the pyramids and sphinx and other wonders I have gazed
On the battle fields of Lybya, where the burning sun has blazed.

On the graves of former comrades, who for the price of glory paid
They can never be forgotten for the sacrifice they made.
They left their homes and loved ones, to oppose the German might,
To fight for Britain’s freedoms and everything that’s right

Their lives have not been wasted nor have they died in vain
For when the day of victory comes, we’ll remember them again.
There’ll be great rejoicing when we’re sailing o’er the foam
Back to deal old Blighty, and the ones we left at home.


How little we appreciate,
The simple things in life,
The things that make,
This life of ours worthwhile.
How true is that old saying,
You never miss the water
Till the well runs dry.

And now our well is empty,
And we stop to realise,
How much we miss our Sunday tea.
And mother’s apple pie.
How much we’d like to read a book,
In the armchair by the fire,
Or twiddle with the radio,
For the programme we desire.

If I thought,
As I ought,
Of England home and beuty,
I think I could
Be nearly good,
And not scoff all my rooty.

But I find,
That my mid,
Runs solely on the topic,
Large and crude,
Chunks of food.

So heavenly nurse,
Please excuse,
This venture into rhyme,
I must be off,
My stodge to scoff,
As its nearly dinner time.


You can dream of peace and quiet,
When you’re listening to this riot,
Of hammering and splitting lumps of wood.
But you’ll never get a kip.
Till you’re safe aboard that ship
That's taking you home for good.
Yes its Tin, Tin, Tin,
That devil of a din.
As they manufacture stones and drinking mugs
And the only way to stop it,
Is to scrape into your pocket
And to stuff a bit of rag in each lug.


The sun in all its fury,
Blazed down on all that wasted land
And men whose eyes forever swept.
Cursed the burning sand
But just to show its might
The sun would disappear
And turn the day to stilly night
A stillness you could hear.

Then bitter cold to soothe the flesh,
On natures stormy soil,
Crept o’er that vast expanding waste,
Where moses once did toil.
Only then from dug-out deept
Crept men from dark to light,
With but one thought in every mind,
To carry on the fight.


Overheard there’s a ceiling of silver,
And I pray neath its starry dome,
To be safe in the arms of my love ones,
In the harbour of home sweet home.


He landed at Southampton
In the Spring of 43,
That gallant British soldier
From far across the sea.
And there and then made a vow
Never more to roam.
He had fast returned from Africa
A Desert Rat back home.


A cross of red, a simple sign, yet what a place it holds,
Its flag is flown, o’er all the world, all creeds its power enfolds.
Without, nothing could be done, no mission could go through,
No soul could rest, our heart be strong, disasters would accrue.

In times of hate and war and strife, it carries on the same,
The more its deeds are called upon, the brighter grows its flame.
Its on the spot at every call, its sure in night or day,
When fols are sick and things go wrong it gets there right away.

Sometimes we’re apt to treat it light, its works as things of cause,
We pass it by without a thought and never its deeds endorse,
Yet most of us, when things go wrong upon its gifts depend.
And realise that the Red Cross stands out our greatest friend
This thing then lads we vow we’ll do, when freedom we regain.
We’ll do our bit, however small, to help that Red Cross reign.

--------- O ---------

Tis easy to tell the toiler
How best to carry his pack
But no one can rate the burdens weight
Until it has been on his back.

If you’ve a tender message,
Or a loving word to say,
Don’t wait till you forget it
But whisper it today.

All evil thoughts and deeds
Anger and lust and pride,
The foulest rankest weeds,
That chokes lifes groaing tide.


I sit here thinking, in this concentration camp,
My thoughts are ever roaming, but my spirits rather damp.
The atmosphere is gloomy, but your face shines like a lamp.
When I’m dreaming of my darling love of thee.

At night when all is quiet and we’ve had out tea,
We start to play at catch me with the darned elusive flea.
And this goes on till the hour of bread and cheese,
When I’m dreaming of my darling love of thee.

We even go out brewing midst all the rain and muck,
Blowing at embers and cursing at our luck.
And then we find all the conners gone so we have to duck,
When I’m dreaming of my darling love of thee.

We also have a roll call in the early hours of light,
And Sergeant yells “Nah then lads get fell in”.
And when they all roll out of bed “Cor blimey what a sight”,
When I’m dreaming of my darling love of thee.

But anyhow its not so bad, the war’ll soon be o’er,
It won’t be long before we boys step on Blighty shores.
And when at last we meet again we won’t part anymore.
Ill sit and dream my darling love of thee.

--------- O ---------

They died in their glory, surrounded by fame,
And victory’s loud trump their death, did proclaim.
They are dead but they live in each patriots breast
And their names are ingrown
On honours bright crest.

No one is so accursed by the fate
No one so utterly desolate
But some heart, though unknown,
Responds unto his own.

Intelligence and courtesy not always are combined,
Often a wooden house a golden room we find.

Build today, then strong and sure
With a firm and simple base.
And ascending and secure
Shall tomorrow find its place.

Happy thrice happy everyone,
Who see his labour, well begun
And not perplexed and multiplied,
By idly waiting for time and tide.

Enjoy the Spring of love, youth,
To some good angel leave the rest,
For time will teach thee, soon the truth,
There are no birds in last years next

Be still sad heart! And cease refining.
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining.
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life, some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

And that smile like sunshire dart
Into many a sunless heart.
For a smile of God thou art.

The following poem was found in the effects of a companion who had passed to higher fellowship and given to me P.C. Jack Starkey, 35 Mess).

I stood among companions in the room so dimly lit,
Where none but true ex-service men see fit,
To pledge themselves in comradeship officer and man,
To deep and lasting fellowship which service life began.

Silently we stood there, united in our bond,
With thoughts of those still with us, of those who had passed beyond.
When in our midst a vision seemed to fashion in my brain,
Past comrades stood among us attending mess again.

Not only those companions who had joined the F.O.S.
But others living in the hearts of those at mess,
Men from ships and Aircraft, men from no man’s land,
From trenches, gun pits, first aid posts, each gripped anothers hand.

They had met within our mess room their pledges to renew,
And as the vision faded and the scenes more distant grew,
Our toast they softly echoed as from a muffled drum,
To their comrades of the uniform, dead, living and to come.
A child’s prayer — Jodie Johnson (Age — Nine)

50 Years Late (In honour of the men of D-Day 1944).

I am only a child,
And it’s hard to explain,
The feelings I have,
As I sit in the rain,
And think of the men,
Who went off to war,
Knowing they would not
Come home anymore.
I cannot say thank you,
To the men left in France,
Who laid down their lives,
To give me a chance,
I cannot say thank you,
To the ones who returned,
For thank you is not

What those brave men earned,
I owe them my life,
As I live it today,
A life lived in freedom,
Because of that day.
I owe them much more,
Than I can ever repay,
I owe them the lives,
That they gave up that day.
They will live in my heart
For as long as I live,
And my children will learn
Of that gift that they give.



This took place before I went to work away. The bombing took place on the Thursday and Sunday nights, it started at about 7 o’clock and went on until early morning. There were about 8 of us, all sat in a little kitchen, some of them were elderly neighbours. A bomb was dropped at the back where we were and we felt the vibrations of it. It blew some of our windows out at the back.

My Mum and Dad and myself were in my sister’s house with these other neighbours. We lived next door to my sister, her husband and children, and when the siren gave the all clear we all went out into the street, just grateful we were still alive. We could see the glow in the sky from the burning buildings in the town, and the trams that were on fire. There was a Public House up the road from where we lived, and the landlady and landlord were killed. The one that dropped at the back of our house also killed some people.

A lot of the Town centre had to be rebuilt after the war.


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