The Last Tommy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Losely based on the last English tommie, Harry Patch

Submitted: May 03, 2012

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Submitted: May 03, 2012




(Humbly dedicated to the last veterans of World War One,


He stares through the window

In wheelchair he knows,

Gabriel is just a pause behind him.

His last duty, to open a door in his mind

Of memories torn from 1917, where he left,

Jack Fred and Bert, Pals forever



A moment singled out from a thousand days of torment

Bully Beef, Baccy and sweet tea in the Morning.

A pair of socks from a loved one,

And friendship forged in the baptism of War.

These were his treasures, His only relief



Then the guns of Britannia, manufacturing widows by the gross, as

Gas and Shell screamed for their quota of today’s carcass.

For a moment Harry felt sadness for his foe

Then it was gone

No time,



Heart Beating, Breath quickening, Stomach in Knots,

Fear held in check to avoid the Officer’s gun,

No time left, Stay Close Jack, Fred glanced,

While Bert squeezed a locket around his neck

A quick nod, The Soldiers farewell

Then the whistle, Gabriel’s Horn, over the top



His refuge abandoned, for the embrace of the fog,

It masked the land, as if to avoid offending God

Slowly creeping its vale of death,

Gun in hand they walked into the grey.



Fodder for the Machine gun, No defense, we fall.

Once more our lads are summoned into oblivion.

There blood sanitizing the soil with England’s youth

Like a red carpet, for their comrades to walk the next day.


Then the retreat, back to his rat infested trench

Gods reward he thought,

Then Roll call, Silence for Jack, Silence for Fred, and Silence for Bert

Harry felt shame in answering, for a second; he too wanted to embrace silence with his pals.



But Soldiers must go on, as do the righteous

And England expects

For I fight for a Heavenly cause, so I’m told,

Though I do not know what that is

All I know is fear

Although this impostor, I can live with



You see my friends are gone;

My humanity is lost

And my soul awaits its next trial

Is it a blessing that I am alive

Or  just a delay,



For death stalks me, waiting for his reward.

My sanity saved only by the sweet tea and a fag,

Dry socks, and a letter or two from home.

No time for sentiment, the whistle,



Memories, memories.

Oh, there you are Gabriel welcome.

Hello lads where you been.




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