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Michaelbully1
Member

Hove
United Kingdom


43 Posts

Posted - 27/06/2016 :  21:10:06  Show Profile Send Michaelbully1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good evening,

Seems a while that I posted !

Part of the Great War at Sea Poetry Project's original aim was to see an anthology of related poems published in time for the Jutland Centenary . This didn't quite happen.
The blog and website carry on still and now planning to transform them into a more general 'War at Sea ' project.
Particularly as found some magnificent World War 2 poetry.

The latest webpage features World War 2 Royal Navy serving poet Charles Causley writing about the Battle of Jutland, that took place a year before his birth.
http://greatwaratseapoetry.weebly.com/jack-cornwell.html

The latest blog post is about Jutland, and the next post is likely to be about World War 2 Royal Alan Ross.


http://greatwaratsea.blogspot.co.uk/

Regards, Michael Bully

shrubshall
Member

United Kingdom

152 Posts

Posted - 28/06/2016 :  11:16:05  Show Profile  Visit shrubshall's Homepage Send shrubshall a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In Memory of Chief Petty Officer Fred Maynard

The White Beret


We’re moored alongside the jetty
And the Captain’s just come aboard
A quick last look at the dockside
Is all that we can afford
As the Skipper calls to the crew
“let go fore’ard” & “let go aft “as well
It’s the start of another voyage
Which may take us to edge of hell
As escort Destroyer for a convoy
And for Russia we are bound
To make sure our group of merchantmen
Reach the destination safe and sound
Although we know that many of these ships
Ancient and in need of repair
Will never survive the journey
Because of the the dangers lurking there
Beneath the North Atlantic
The U-boats of Germany
Wreaking havoc on British convoys
From their sanctuary beneath the sea
To guard their precious vessels and cargoes
Is every Destroyers task
But to think of a trip without incident
Is a little too much to ask
Then suddenly an explosion and smoke, in plumes
Rise from the rearmost ship
The first torpedo’s hit its mark
And the U-boat will try to slip
Away from the scene of carnage
‘fore the Destroyer makes a full speed sweep
With salvo’s of depth charges going down
To seek out this cowardly enemy of the deep
But they can also see the survivors of the blast
And no assistance can they give
For they know that should the Destroyer stop
Another crew of Sailors might not live
For there was ever the threat that the U-boat might return
Or another from the same pack
Ever hopeful that they would get the chance
In another catastrophic attack
But once again they are on there way
In a very sombre mood, with the eyes of the operator
As though to the Sonar glued
Awaiting the sign of another submarine
Or even raiders from the air
As all Atlantic convoys suffered at length
Even with the greatest care and skill from unarmed sailors
In vessels that shouldn’t really be there
But showed the resolve to fight and win
Rather than give in to despair
Their cargo’s were desperately needed
As a lifeline in the theatre of war
With sometimes super human efforts
The like of which the World had not seen before
Time and time again as they journeyed through the sea
To that destination in Russia far away
They would witness once again, with terrible distain
The traumatic happenings of this day
But time and time again
Convoys travelled on this route and
Oh! so many ships and crews were lost
The outcome we now know was a victory
Paid for by Mariners at such enormous cost
To face these trips so many times
I feel it is fair to say
Those Sailors well and truly earned the right
To wear the coveted “White Beret”


Dennis Shrubshall 26th June 2008

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SapperG
Member

United Kingdom

523 Posts

Posted - 29/06/2016 :  06:31:49  Show Profile Send SapperG a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello Dennis,
You tell of the tragic terms of engagement employed during these perilous convoys.
To brave the lurking menace of the 'U-Boats' was one thing, but to then (through operational orders) having to abandon survivors to the cold dark waters of the North Atlantic, must have troubled the minds of all concerned for years afterwards.
Many at the Remembrance parades may not be too familiar with the significance of the White Beret’s; now thanks to your words they will have a better understanding of just how hard earned each one of them were.
Thank you my friend for honouring their memory.
God Bless Richard
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Michaelbully1
Member

Hove
United Kingdom


43 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2016 :  20:47:38  Show Profile Send Michaelbully1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good evening Dennis, that's a great poem.
Has it been published elsewhere? There seems to be quite an interest in the Arctic Convoys at the moment and what those men went through deserves to be highlighted whenever possible.
I remember that the Maritime Museum at Greenwich had a small but very moving exhibition on the Arctic Convoys a couple of years ago.
I have just added some more on Alan Ross and his service on the Arctic Convoys to my blog.

http://greatwaratsea.blogspot.co.uk/

Regards
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