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Thread: Rolling home in convoys 1939 - 45

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    Default Rolling home in convoys 1939 - 45

    ROLLING HOME IN CONVOYS 1939 - 45

    Rolling home in convoys five miles wide or more,
    Our hardy merchant seamen await the night in store,
    A crawling speed of eight knots from Halifax to home,
    Escorts interweaving, darting though the foam.

    The wolf pack will be lurking, waiting in advance,
    To shoot a damn torpedo when they have a chance,
    These men that run the gauntlet are wary all the time,
    Hoping that their own ships avoid the firing line.

    Keen to get the cargo through but sitting like a duck,
    Trusting to the Navy boys and large amounts of luck,
    Fearing of forsaken ships and fires that light the sky
    Foretelling of the danger as fine men sink and die.

    Counter measures not so good against the U-boat’s tricks,
    Resulting in foul carnage and spreading oily slicks,
    Staunchly sailing on, through the weeks of dread,
    Keeping lifelines open while flying flags of red.

    Some steaming back to Liverpool and also to the Clyde
    Freighters bound for Barry and Avonmouth`s big tide
    Tankers make for jetties all around our shores,
    With extra miles zigzagging making wide detours.

    Still they run the risk, of colliding with a mine,
    Or bombing from a Kondor patrolling over brine,
    Plus the usual hazards known to all seadogs,
    Hurricanes and storms or blinding ghostly fogs.

    When and if they sail through, after trips of trial,
    Seamen don a brave face with grim or cheery smile,
    They’ll endure the war, `till victory bells are rung,
    Then carry on seafaring - bravery unsung.

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

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    Default Re: Rolling home in convoys 1939 - 45

    Dear Captain Earl,

    Thank you so much for this great poem... ! It says all what there is to say about these brave men who brought about victory in both world wars. Most of our younger generation unfortunately is not aware of this anymore. Like all other silent heroes these seafarers must neve be forgotten.

    Best wishes,

    Winfried Schumann
    Master Mariner

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    Default Re: Rolling home in convoys 1939 - 45

    Added this for Winfried:

    TELL THE CHILDREN

    A Special breed of men my friend - a special breed of men,
    I’m talking of the convoys and remember once again,
    Seventy years have passed proving what we owe,
    Our debt is all the greater from all those years ago.

    Our Mariners endured, intrepid and low paid,
    With stubborn sense of purpose carried on their trade,
    Still they served our country sailing there and back,
    Hauling vital cargoes in times that looked so black.

    These doughty Merchant Seamen knew their cruel fate,
    If struck by cunning sea-wolves lurking there in wait,
    If they lived to tell their story and strived to stay afloat,
    They struggled on with hardships aboard an open boat.

    Life goes on of course, we age, and youngsters grow,
    Ask them about the convoys find out what they know,
    Show them our Red Duster, explain our island race,
    Shed light upon the Nelson touch and put the seaman’s case.

    Spell out the wartime rations and shortage of supplies,
    Clarify the fight they had risking of their lives,
    Tell them of the oceans and lifelines to supply,
    Our Children have their freedom and should know the reason why.

    More at: http://joesverse.simplesite.com/160596375

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

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    Default Re: Rolling home in convoys 1939 - 45

    Hello Capt. Earl
    Your poem is particularly poignant as I sort through my Dad's photographs taken during the convoys he was involved in. He was a 2nd officer in the Merchant Navy and served throughout the war but was trained as a photographer. So I have a legacy of many of his negatives that I'm developing and the photographs he took during these troubled times.One I'm working on today shows half a cargo ship with a rescue going on at the stern of the ship. He came home from his Atlantic crossing to the port among others that you mentioned - Clyde, Barry and Avonmouth. I am writing a book about his life at sea that will take a while to complete and wonder if you would mind my including your poem?


    Pam

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    Default Re: Rolling home in convoys 1939 - 45

    I can say it will not be a problem but,
    will have a word with Joe and ensure
    you have something more concrete.

    Regards,

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

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    Default Re: Rolling home in convoys 1939 - 45

    No problem cheers joe

    All OK.

    Keith.

    I can put you in contact if needed.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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