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Thread: Merchant Navy

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    Default Merchant Navy

    Merchant Navy

    A war, a convoy, a letter through the door,
    A wife that is a wife no more
    Her children are called away from school
    To be broken the news so terribly cruel

    “Your father has sailed to a distant land
    And can not be reached by human hand
    No more shall we meet him upon the quay
    He can not come back to you or to me”

    Some days later, when tears have passed
    Her children asleep and quiet at last
    She sits down to wish of one more goodbye
    And to ponder and puzzle and ask merely why?

    The warships guard the convoys tight,
    Prepared to stand, prepared to fight.
    But they are not who the foe will attack.
    They hunt the ones that cannot fight back.

    “My husband has sailed to a distant land,
    Following orders of higher command,
    He sails his ship on a distant sea
    Never again to dock on an English quay”

    Who will remember the warships and crew?
    The soldiers in trenches, the men who flew?
    All will remember the forces of men,
    Who left, never to return again.

    But who will remember the brave men of sea
    Whose ships were unarmed and could only flee?
    Who shouldered the burden of feeding their land,
    In ships with conditions fit for the damned

    I will remember, with poppy and voice
    To tell of the merchant ships and of their choice.
    The tankers, the trawlers, the fishing boats too
    I remember their sacrifice and say Thank You

    Kerry Dainty


    http://www.forcespoetry.com/poemdetails.asp?ID=2073
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Not so much a poem

    NOT SO MUCH A POEM: But a few very moving words:

    OH FOR A GLIMPSE OF
    THE GRAVE WHERE YOU’R LAID
    ONLY TO LAY A FLOWER
    AT YOUR HEAD, MOTHER
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default The merchant navy

    THE MERCHANT NAVY

    The sea is full of dead men; their spittle is the spray.
    Their cold breath is the vapour that blows silently away.
    Their laughter is the frenzy of the surf upon the sand.
    But their sadness is in parting so, without a waving hand
    They lie so quiet; sleeping for their bed is cool and wide
    Their fame comes home to landsmen on the flooding of the tide.
    We are ringed around with heroes who were common men and kind
    Their stones are seaweed covered, their names are hard to find.
    We know them all in England, for they are kin of ours,
    They are the more remembered - They had no wreaths of flowers.
    No funeral processions in the muffled mourning air.
    No carriages, no horses, no silent throngs were there.
    Just the sea upon their eyelids that will do for tears unshed
    While our hearts are filled with gladness and with thankfulness instead.
    That there will be so many who did not begrudge the cost
    Of the gift they gave in serving us, who live the lives they lost

    Author unknown.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default

    FIDDLERS GREEN

    As I roved by the dockside one evening so fair
    To view the salt waters and take in the salt air
    I heard an old sailorman singing a song
    "Oh take me away boys me time is not long

    Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
    No more on the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
    And I'll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

    Now Fiddlers Green is a place I've heard tell
    Where sailormen go if they don't go to hell
    Where the weather is fair and the dolphin do play
    And the cold coast of Greenland is far,far away

    Now when you're in dock and the long trip is through
    There's pubs and there's clubs and there's fair lassies too
    And the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
    And there's bottles of rum growing on every tree

    Where the skies are all clear and there's never a gale
    And the fish jump aboard with a swish of the tail
    Where you lie at your leisure there's no work to do
    And the skippers below making tea for the crew

    Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
    No more on the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
    I'll see you again on Fiddlers Green

    Now I don’t want a harp nor a halo, not me
    Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea
    I'll play me old squeeze box as we sail along
    With the wind in the rigging to sing me a song.
    And I'll see you again on Fiddlers Green..................".


    Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
    No more on the docks I'll be seen
    Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mates
    And I'll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

    Author unknown.

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    Default A seamans “fiddlers green”

    FIDDLER'S GREEN

    Fiddler's Green The mythical Elysium waiting for sailors when they have topped their booms and gone to their rest. Populated by countless willing ladies, equipped with rum casks that never empty, and always a fair wind and flying fish weather.

    The Legend of Fiddlers Green.

    "They say that an old salt who is tired of seagoing should walk inland with an oar over his shoulder. When he comes to a pretty little village deep in the country and the people ask him what he is carrying...he will know that he's found Fiddlers Green. The people give him a seat in the sun outside the Village Inn with a glass of grog that refills itself every time he drains the last drop and a pipe forever smoking with fragrant tobacco. From then onwards he has nothing to do but enjoy his glass and pipe and watch the maidens dancing to the music of a fiddle on Fiddlers Green."

    FIDDLER’S GREEN: The imaginary happy land where sailors go when they die and where there is perpetual mirth, music, ale and tobacco and where the shanty-man’s fiddle never stops playing.

    A last maybe surprising note is that the phrase Fiddler's Green has no relation with violinists whatsoever, but is derived from fiddling or more specific a fid, which is a tool used to split ropes better known as marlinespike.

    So, apparently, Fiddler's Green is a celtic myth regarding where old sailors go when they don't die at sea after a long life, if instead they die in bed and on land of old age ... Their ghosts wander inland and settle in at the first pastoral village they encounter, the mythical "Fiddler's Green. Given an endless cup of booze, they drink and watch the locals dance to the fiddle (according to the legend anyway).

    "Cloughmore, known locally as "The Big Stone", (Irish: An Chloch Mhór, the big stone), is a huge granite boulder found about 1,000 feet above the village of Rostrevor, County Down, Northern Ireland, on a relatively flat area on the side of Slieve Martin (or Slieve Meen) mountain, known as Fiddler's Green." Aha!

    Cloughmore is in County Down in the north of Ireland, where the Ulster Scots lived. So here perhaps is the source of the name for the cabin and for the legend of "Fiddler's Green"-- a green Irish mountain in the County Down, by the side of the lough. A place for sailors to finally rest, where they can see the water and remember their seafaring days.

    K.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default The Ballad of Convoy HX84

    The Ballad of Convoy HX84

    A Poem from Francis Kerr Young

    http://www.electricscotland.com/poet...onvoy_hx84.htm

    (for Grandma Danby)

    From Halifax one cold, dark night,
    some ships got under way.
    Group HX84's sad plight
    is quite a tale they say:
    when merchant ships met Nazi might,
    and it, the Jervis Bay.

    Gone were the days of rich resorts,
    and folk who sought the sun,
    she'd plied the planet's pleasure ports,
    her time was almost done.
    The navy sadly lacked escorts
    when war had just begun.

    They fitted her with six-inch guns,
    one fore, one aft, they say,
    they were out-gunned these mothers' sons
    who died with Jervis Bay.

    The War had waged for but a year
    on that November day,
    a host of ships felt naked fear
    on cold, cold seas of grey:
    In wait, here lay Admiral Scheer
    to fight the Jervis Bay.

    This battleship had little fear
    when stalking easy prey,
    convoys were flocks of sheep to Scheer,
    to slaughter, sink, and slay;
    till one old ewe bleats, "Fegen's here -
    aboard the Jervis Bay!"

    "Convoy dispersing" signals say,
    they flee like hell from here,
    as Jervis Bay steams through the fray
    to ram the mighty Scheer.
    Poor Jervis Bay has gone below
    as though she'd never been,
    she's gone to where good sailors go
    for berths in Fiddler's Green.*

    *Good sailors go to Fiddler's Green when they die, bad sailors go to Davy Jones' Locker.

    On November 5th, 1940, the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer attacked Convoy HX84 in the Atlantic Ocean. Their only escort, SS Jervis Bay, was an old passenger liner that been converted into an armed merchant cruiser. To give the convoy time to disperse, Captain Edward Fogarty Fegen held the Scheer's attention by trying to ram the warship. Jervis Bay was sunk about a mile from her target and many on board were lost. Although five other ships met a similar fate, thirty vessels managed to escape. Captain Fegen received a posthumous Victoria Cross. Signalman Bill Danby, twenty-year-old son of Hamiltonian, Grandma Danby (now one hundred-and-one years old), did not survive the action.

    Another heroic feat was achieved the following day: Tanker San Demetrio , carrying a cargo of aviation fuel, had been hit during the engagement and the crew hurriedly abandoned ship. Dawn found the ship afloat but still on fire. Fifteen men voted to row their lifeboat back to the burning ship where they managed to extinguish the blaze.

    Chief Engineer Charles Pollard got the ship under way. Although the chart room had been destroyed in the flames, Second Officer Hawkins used a school atlas to help him navigate the vessel. They anchored in Rothesay Bay nearly two weeks later (November 16th), adding her vital cargo to the Blitz defences.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default

    Very interesting Keith,
    Thats where I am bound when I snuff it.
    Cheers.

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    Default Up or down

    The sailor saying "Davy Jones' Locker" is actually an idiom meaning the underwater or bottom of the sea graveyard for dead sailors, many of whom drowned at sea. It has been popularized by pirate stories and movies, where the villain makes threats to kill a victim by sending them to "Davy Jones' Locker".

    UP THEN, Thats where I am bound when I snuff it.

    All the Best

    K.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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