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Uncle Alf Ireland



1944 A.Ireland Gunner 84th H.A.A.R.
The war memorial entry read
Its Stark list from both wars
A reminder of the village dead.
All my child hood I walked past
On my daily school walk
Not really seeing as I engaged in
Schoolboy play and talk.

Now I am older now, myself
a Veterans of a very different war,
Older than any age you ever reached
And I think about you more .
Did you know I existed,
Ever hold me to your chest
Did I snuggle in your arms
Contented and at rest.

Or did they tell you by letter
Did you even know I was here
My birth and your death
Happening in succeeding years
Learning anything about you
Seems an impossible task.
There's nobody left to tell me,
Nobody left that I can ask.

It didn't seem important then
When those you knew were there
Somehow it does seem to now
When I'm  the only one left to care.
There are the dull old records,
An Entry on the Arboretum wall
Just the bare facts that tell me,
Really nothing about you at all.

Did you die quickly
Manning your gun.
Was there enemy action
Your position overrun.
Did you die bravely,
Conquering your fears.
Did you leave a special one
To mourn you with her tears.

Where are you  buried
Where is your memorial stone
Do you rest with your mates or
With strangers, isolated and alone.
I stood in the village and read
Your name not so very long ago
For awhile stood deep in sad thought
About those things I'll never now know.







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