White Berets

by | May 7, 2009 | Poetry | 0 comments

Will they be there again on Remembrance Day?
Have too many crossed the bar (or passed away)?
The snow white berets of those proud navy men,
march past the Cenotaph to the toll of Big Ben.

They braved many foes on the Arctic Convoys,
World War Two quickly made tough men out of boys.
There were U-boats hunting alone and in packs,
German ships from Norway launched surface attacks.

When the moon shone brightly on any clear night
the Luftwaffe would put on their own deadly fight,
But far worse was the unleashed might of the sea,
that had no care under which flag you may be.

In the summer months there was abundant light,
ships stuck out like targets by day and by night.
If into that icy cold brine you were cast,
you only had minutes or you couldn’t last.

The winter runs, deadly on thunderous waves,
too many went deep into watery graves.
Ice covered all things like a ghostly white coat,
freezing breath cut a pathway down in your throat.

Black walls of water over forty feet high,
get tied on to something or it was “Goodbye”.
All clothes soaked through and chilled right to the bone,
How did any of those seamen make it back home?

To each British ensign, the Red and the White,
I salute them both and their courageous fight.
Only those who face the harsh Northern seas
know the Atlantic Ocean you can’t appease.


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