This was written by an air gunner, Harry Brown of 50 and 223 Sqdns after a visit to a Remembrance Service in the little Dutch town of Dronten with the Air Gunners Association.
We did not weep – nor count the cost,
As one by one our friends were lost.
Nor wept we when the war’s great toll
Took all the best of our young men.
We did not weep as we saw them go
Down to the storm of the mighty foe,
We did not weep – not once – not then,
Nor in the years to come,
When on parade to do them honour,
Came Kings and Queens and Chiefs of state
In pomp and splendour to relate,
How their cause was just and justified
By the freedom bought as they fought and died.
We did not weep, not once – until,
In a little Dutch town, in a silence still;
The children came to honour our dead
Quietly – from out of the crowd,
With just a few flowers – their little heads bowed,
In a line they came to lay them down
By the Lancaster prop – in Dronten Town.
And then – and then – despite our will,
We felt our watching eyes o’erfill
With tears – and yet we smiled.
How great the power of an innocent child.