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Five hundred rosy faces ‘going in’
Three hundred ‘white’ ones coming out
And two days later when our task is done
We find them stiffly strewn around
Two hundred ‘black’ ones in the sun


(July 1944 - Gavrus - Baron - Bridgehead).

She stands astride her headless calf,
Severed short minutes ago by the scything air burst.
She will not let us pass, her horns hooking wildly in all directions.
Brave motherly Friesian with the red defensive glint in her
demented eyes.
As tongue rasps lovingly over the shattered waif
between her clotted hooves.
Suddenly, a shot rings out,
and with one deep mournful low, the pole-axed Friesian
collapses in merciful release, across her red-daubed
‘Child of War....’

(It had to be done - she was badly injured).


(Memories of the Odon Bridgehead, July 1944).

If destiny had frowned on me,
No sons or daughters would there be,
No grandkids bouncing on my knee
Their impish faces full of glee.
No Goldilocks, No Buzzy Bee,
No donkey rides before their tea.
Just one white cross in Normandy
above an unborn family,
Beneath a hill called ‘Calvary’.