Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer

Anniversary Poem for the Great War

Ok I’ve cracked and it’s only ten o’clock. here is the story of the only guy I ever knew who was in the First World War.

War Hero to Me

He was no child’s idea of a war hero,
quiet and polite, inclined to be grumpy,
stumping along with his stick
and his thick old man’s glasses.

He shared a house with a pal,
in a relationship no-one would mention
until it was legal. They kept themselves
to themselves until he fell ill.

He told visitors then of the Great War
his time in the Royal Flying Corps,
When he’d been magnificent, a young,
flighty experimenter in the new planes.

He’d dodged untried anti-aircraft guns,
flew blind in bad weather, carried
untested weapons, learned to fight
a whole new way of making war.

‘They’d load us up with bombs’, he said
‘and send us over the Channel to bomb
Germans, and strategic targets.
No such thing as non-combatant then.

We’d find a quiet field with no houses.
And leave them, fly home and say
nothing to anyone. You couldn’t go round
dropping things like that on people!






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