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Pause to Remember

Arriving at the village church
And thinking I was late
I realised I had 2 hours
So I sat down to wait.
A hot and sunny afternoon
I simmered in the heat
Then a young lad appeared
And sat down on the seat.

I saw a tear come to his eye
and asked who was it for
He said it's for my comrades
Who died while making war.
He said he'd brought himself back home
The coffin he had borne
And asked me if I'd join him
When he went inside to morn

Of course I would be glad to
was my instant reply
And when the hearse at last arrived
We took ourselves inside.
Quietly the vicar stood
His head bowed down in prayer
And it was then I realised
That there was just me there.

The vicar then began
to tell me Billy's story
It seemed he joined the Navy young
In search of fame and glory
But very soon he found himself
Away across the sea
As a gunner with the Merchant fleet
And none as fine as he

Because he served on many ships
In different zones of war
He soon got many medals
And all with pride he wore
Dunquirke saw his finest hour
He gave it all he'd got
You couldn't touch his gun all day
The barrels were so hot.

Then in the North Atlantic
One dark and stormy night
His ship took two torpedoes
from a Uboat out of sight
Adrift in the ships lifeboat
The RN came to save
our Billy and his shipmates
From a watery grave

Safe aboard the frigate
And suffering from shock
He slipped in and out of consciousness.
they thought he'd had his lot
And then when he did come round
And sat up in the bed
The doc he had to tell him
That he'd lost both his legs

Billy wasn't bitter
And never lost his nerve
Soon he learnt to walk again
And then returned to serve
Off he went to sea again
And joining in the fight
Was wounded off the Normandy coast.
But this time lost his sight.

So now as Billy's laid to rest
his coffin is adorned
with one red poppy laid on top
a hero sadly mourned
And though a tear came to my eyes
I could still plainly see,
what Billy did for his country
and what Billy did for me.
Author: UncleAlbert

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