My friend Wilfred Wilson WW11 Malta siege veteran passed away recently and I don't want his passing to go unnoticed as with so many WW11 veterans so here is a poem I think says it all plus a link to a recording of some of his memories as a armourer working on Spitfires during the siege of Malta.
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past. Of a war that he fought in and the deeds that he had done, In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, everyone. And tho sometimes to his neighbours, his tales became a joke, All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke. But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Bill has passed away And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today. He well not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife, For he lived an ordinary quiet and uneventful life, Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way; And the world wont note his passing, 'tho a soldier died today. When politicians leave this earth, there bodies lie in state, While thousands note there passing and proclaim that they are great, Papers tell there life stories from the time that they are young, But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung. In the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man? Or the ordinary fellow who in times of war and strife Goes off to serve his country and offers up his life? A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives Are sometimes disproportionate to service that he gives, While the ordinary soldier, who offers up his all, Is paid off with a medal, and perhaps a pension small. It's so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago That the Old Bill's of our country went to battle, but we knew It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys, Who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys. Should you find yourself in danger with your enemies at hand, Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand? Or would you prefer a soldier who has sworn to defend His home, his kin and country and would fight until the end? He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin But his presence should remind us we may need his like again, For when countries are in conflict then we find the soldier's part Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start. If we cannot do him honour while he's here to hear the praise Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days, Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say; OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.