Untitled Poem

Shared by Ken Marshall


Painting by Nico M. Peeters

I suppose they’ll say his last thoughts were of simple things.
Of April back home and the late sun on his wings.
Or that he murmured someone’s name,
As earth reclaimed him sheathed in flame.
Oh God! Let’s have no more of empty words,
Lip service ornamenting death!
The worms don’t spare the hero;
Nor can children feed upon resounding praises of his deed.
« He died who loved to live, » they’ll say,
« Unselfishly so we might have today! »
Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
He died, that’s all. It was his unlucky night.







Absent Friends


A poem shared by Steve Allen

Absent Friends

Still, I see them marching by
One by one,
Though I know their lives have gone
One by one
But they sing a happy song •••••
And they call: “It won’t be long –
Till you are marching – singing – with us,
One by one

And they tell us to be cheerful and be glad.
Sing and drink and laugh away,
Don’t be sad.
Drink another one for me
For very soon you’ll be
Marching here with us – you’ll see!
One by one

I see them in their flight
As off they go.
Dark in the fading light,
In sunset’s glow.
And I hear the Merlin’s roar,
As to the clouds they soar
Heading out towards the Ruhr,
One by one.

They were young – just boys – but men,
So long ago
Just how they all were then
We surely know
They would smile to hear us sing,
As we make the rafters ring;
Maybe – they all join in •••
One by one.


« Ops on » by Ken W. Marshall DFC


“Ops On”

I dreamed last night I was back again, with the chaps once again I stood;

There was Trev and Jimmy and Gordie – and: Dick in serious mood

Geoff and Jack in a huddle, checking the course and the height,

Making a note of the weather, ‘Buttoning the job up tight.’

The Winco giving his ‘Pep’ talk, Intelligence giving the ‘Gen’,

The Met bloke with the usual Bull, ‘Good cover chaps – bout Ten-Ten’,

But clearing up at the target, giving a spot-on view. ‘

‘OK chaps’ says the Wingco, ‘Best of luck now it’s up to you.’

Out we stream to the crew truck, around the perimeter track,

Off at the kite and start checking, Where’s that b– trolley-acc?’

Give the old engines a warm up, check, them to see they’re OK,

Ground crew busy around us, ‘Right chaps -Chocks away!’

Taxi her round to the runway, ‘There goes the green, this is it.’

Roll her on for the take off, check her for maximum power,

Check skipper’s safety belt fastened; take one last look at the Tower.

Geoff puts the power on slowly, the ‘Old girl’ responds with a will,

We swiftly climb into the darkness, ‘a Night hawk out for the kill’.

– written by Ken ‘Watson Marshall DFC (1949)

The third and final one of Ken Marshall’s  poem next Monday.

`Not Forgotten Lady’


Ken Marshall is sharing a poem

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.

Ken Marshall



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.

Bomber Command by Ken W. Marshall DFC

Ken Marshall’s son wrote me this message to share on my blog…

This one was written by my Dad in 1944, and he later dedicated to one of his friends, Sgt. Reg Castle Hall, who went ‘Missing in Action’ on 5th December 1944. Dad served a full tour as the F/E on Geoff Saunders crew at Burn on 578 Sqdn, from April to the end of September, 1944.

Bomber Command

You knew them when the skies were grey, those carefree chaps with soul so gay.

You knew them in the local inn, you took them home, you asked them in.

You’ve seen their crazy, happy games, you knew them all, but not their names.

You’ve seen them rolling back at night, ‘another crazy airman – tight’.

But did you know the other fellow, cool – though scared, he wasn’t yellow,

When he helped to fly a plane, he prayed that he’d come back again.

Yes, scared he was but on he flew, the night was cold and friendless too,

For out there in the inky black, were foemen waiting to attack.

He longed to see this horror through, he yearned to see his loved ones too,

The home he loves waits his return, ‘Pray God, tonight is not our turn.’

He sees the target up ahead, a stick of greens, the fading red,

The time has come to keep the date, ‘Press on you chaps, we can’t be late.’

His brow is cold, and yet it’s wet. ‘It’s too damn cold, it can’t be sweat.’

He feels his pulses beating fast, how much longer must this last?

A voice speaks – somewhere in the nose, ‘Left, left, steady – there she goes.’

The aircraft lifts, the bombs away, another little debt to pay.

The flak is rather heavy now, a little frown is on his brow.

A sudden jar, a burst of flame, a shell – it must have had his name,

He strives like mad to gain control, to get back home his only goal.

But all his struggles were in vain, they saw  his prang, they felt his pain.

They came back home the tale to tell, how well he flew, how brave he fell.

Your eyes grow dim, you droop your head, you can’t believe that he is dead.

Your soul within you now is stirred, your mind recalls a poem you’ve heard,

He is not dead, he could not die, so young he was and gay,

So gallant and so brave a soul could never pass away.

Ken W Marshall, DFC.


Please note that the word ‘gay’ in this poem is used in the sense of its original true meaning (Happy and carefree). NOT what it has come to mean today.

Betty’s Bar

This is the list shared by Dave Donaghy. He does not know who listed the names on the mirrors.


collection Laurent Lamontagne

The list…

J. Abilies

Flight Sergeant D.F.Allen, 408 Squadron

F.M. Anderson, Penwortham, Lancashire

R.M. Arevetham

Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand, 27.04.40

M. Ashton, 1st North Riding, Strensall, York

John Averwell

G.C. Baldwin, F.A.A. Squadron, S.K.U.A.S.

N. Ballantyne

Charles Barbein, D.C.

Butch Barton 03.07.39

Geo Aubrey Barton

Guy Barton

John H. Barton

H.S. Bath

F. Beckwith

B. Beetmont

Flight Sergeant R.G. Bell 408 Squadron

All Bellingham


Ray Berlsheiser

A. Betty, 1948

W.F. Beverley

General Carl Bin

S.B. Bird

R.B. Birken

M. Bitherlang, Mayoress of Leeds, 1936

A.C. Blair, 1235688 Hutch, Holme on Spalding

K. Bloor

W.N.C.A. Bonnally, B/A R.A.A.F.

G. R. Adam

Allan Allison

Pillipha Ann, 1942

N. A. Arnold, 1939

Sanib D. Arthur

R.H. Aulton

C.S. Awin

Richard Backwell

Billy Bangwell

Discip Barney

G. Barries

Geo Y.W.D. Barton

John Barton

C. A. Basket

P. Baxter

E.V. Bedford

E.V. Belapour

W.F. Bellerby

T. Belt

Ted Benson

J.H. Berrin

E. Bettys


Joan Binkers

Derek Birdes

Criss Biscomb

A.C. Bloom

H.E. Bloor


R. Bond

Boucard, Joseph, (Sailor) Nantes, France

Goe T. Boyes

E. H. Bradley, K.D.G.

S.C.O.M. Bradwell, 1st North Riding A.T.S., Strensall Camp 1939

G.H. Brewer

F.H. Bright

J. Brook

A. Basil Brown

G.H. Brown

L. Brown

R.E. Sapper Brown

L.F. Brunt

H. Buaan

Derek Buder

Sergeant Bullingen

B.L. Burne

Frederick Bush

G. Butler

Al Bryson

R.H. Cairns

D.M. Cameron, South Rhodesia

J.A. Campbell, R.C.A.F. Alberta, Canada

M. Carley

Andrew Castle, Cloumbus, Ohio U.S.A.

L. Cawood

J. Clark

R. Clayton

Sandy Carlos Clarke, 23rd Hussars

R. Clough

G.R. Colt

Bin R. Boredg

K. Boyes

J. R. Bradley, Scarborough

W.L. Brewin

Audrey Brocklebank

J. Browerken

Christine C. Brown

Jean Brown

Meb Brown

G. R. Bruckshank, F.A.A. Squadron, S.K.U.A.S.

Taffy Bruten, 231 Squadron

D. Buckton

J. Bucket

J. Burkton

Geoff Burnley

Geoffrey R. Butcher

Betsy Butson

Jast Byer

Camerons, 1940-1946

E.J. Canham

Bob Canton

Margaret Carlyle-Ball

L. Carter



T. Clarke, London

F.H. McCleary

C.R.P. Cole

G.W. Paul Cambe, IIIIXXXXX

J.T. Common

W.A. McConnell

Len Cooke R.A.F. Engineer

J.H. Wilson Cooper

G.M. Copeland

H.J. Corer

M. Could

Reg. Cowling

C.S. Graig

Tom Cramer Switzerland

Even Cranswick

Tom Creson

G. Croot Wests Australia, R.A.A.F.

E.J. Cunham

R. M. Curray

G.W. Daniels M.B.E.

R.L. Davis

M.W. Day

Dagwood Diving

Margaret Dodds Newcastle

Bud McDonald-R.C.A.F. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

J.F. McDonald

J. Dook

Ray Doral

Ami Dougall

Cyril Dowler 1941

E.S. Dudley

J.W. Duggs

J. Dullan

K. Dunn

J.V. Dyson

Val. G. D.

Bill Ear

R. Edwards

K. Fahy

Edward Farley

G.E. Feaser

W. Comstock Royal Montreal Neg (Reg?) 17.12.33

Anthony Cook

D. Cooper

W.M. Cooper Lord Mayor 7.1.39

R.L. Corby

F. Corpland B.N.A.F. C.M.F. (Paratrooper)

Glen Cove

K.D. Cox 485 Squadron, New Zealand

Mary Craig

R.H. Crampton

L. Cranwick

G. Crook R.A.A.F.

S.L. McCullock 12731 R.C.A.F.

D.C. Cunrew

G.C. Daniel Ghent, Belgium

M. David R.A.F. 92 Maintenance Unit

Lewis L. Darloys

John Dirke

J. Dixon Leeds

J.W. Dodworth

J. Donald

F.E. Donkerley

Paddy Joc Doolin 231 Squadron
E. Doris

Guy M. Dougall

J.R. Drury

G. Dudson Leeds

John Duke

Digwood Dumping

L. Dunn

J. W. Dyson

Vally D.

D.J. Eastham

El Ellon

K. Falim

Chaior Farmers Canada

Margaret Naef Finnish

C. Gamble

A. Gautholma

D. Gibb

W. Gill Aitkinson

J. Gladys

J. Goddard

M. Goggile

F.O. Golding

Leonard G. Golding

J. Gordon-Rice

J. Gouterworth

Peter J.S. Grant
G.W.G. Gray Skelton

S. Green Spr 20805507 49th DN/N.Yorks

J. Greenwood

D.T. Griffiths 1939

Nanette Greves Smith

W. Gull

G.S. Hally Palmerston Both, New Zealand, R.N.Z.A.F.

G.R. Halton 19.1.41

W. Hardal-Spink

L.O. Harrison 12.9.39

A. Harrogate

Cyril Hatton

A.B.J. Hayward

R. Hay****

Jack Henderson

G. R. Henley

R.S. Henley

Blanco Heslop

J.C. Hevero

P.W. Hilliard


D.B. Hobson 22.1.48 ?

W. Holden

John G. Hollis

A.E. Hopper K.D.G.

E. Horsley D. Crew

Ray Gardener 405 Squadron

A. Gawthorne

Cyril H. Gibbs R.A.S.C. 26.6.40

Jack F. Gilly U.S. Army 20.12.42

S. Glover

Weston George

E.P. Golding

F.P. Golding Rushton

Jean Goldsmith

Terence Gorora

R.C. Goy

Gas Gray

R.M. Gray

Winifred C. Gregory

C. Grook Durham

A.W. Guest

K. Guyatt

D. Hanover Ontario, Canada

J. Harrison Texas U.S.A.

Ron Harrod 11 R.T.R.

J. Hastings

Raymond Hawks R.G. R.A.A.F.

A.B. Hayward

W.S. Hayworth R.A.F. Poclington 12.1.42

J.H. Henderson

Pt. Henley H.M.S. Alynbank

G. Herbert

Bertram Hesmond-Halgh


John Hillman

J. Hird D. Crew

Derek Holdband

R. Holderworth

K. Holman

Sally Horlner

D.G. Hudson

Bill Howard A.A.R.E. September 1939

E.M. Hulse

John Hutchinson

G. Hutton South Combe

Paul Hybon

G.C.M. Ireland

N.C. Jackson V.C. 106 Squadron

R.N. Jackson

A. Jalyn


S. Johns

E.R. Jones

Maris A. Jesting

John Kaye

Mark Keer

H.W. Kemp

J.R. Kendall

Shorty Keough U.S.A.


B. Langley H.M.S. Express, Rsweir (****)1946

Lambert Langton

J.R. Larkin

C.H.I. Larsone

Peter Lawman

Brian Leckley Ulster, 1957

F. Lee R.A.F.

G. Letters Barney

L.S. Lidingham Lt. R.A.A.C.

R.G.D.E. Little

Snr. C.T. Levette 11453 New Zealand, R.C.C.N.Z.F.

C. Lowey

J.T.C. Lund Rask B.E.F.

W.B. Mackley Auckland, New Zealand

Frank Maise

Andrew B. Mamedoof U.S.A. Eagle Squadron

Sergeant Marmwick 143 Squadron, 3.9.43

B. Martin R.A.A.F. Australia 405373

Johney Hughes R.A.A.F.

T.W.B. Hutch Holme-on-Spalding

L. Hutchinson

Pat Hybein


R.N. Jackson

A. Jaill


G.C. John****

Thomas Johnson

G. Jones K.D.G.

John H. Key

D. Keeler

Con Kelway Victory and B.C.

John H. Kendal

J.K. Kender Derby


G.A. Peter Koiley

Tom Laplank R.C.A.F. Toronto, Canada

Bun Larmon

Sask Latton

F.B. Leach Sunco Leeds


Tempjos Lenna

J. Lewis

J.D. Lithouse

Rose Lockwood

Roy Lumba

H.M. McKey

T. Maher


D. Margery

V. Mart


Thos. H. Neddar

H. Nelson R.C.A.F.

J.T. Neolham

G. NewleySpr. 2081409 49th A.A.Br.R.E. Sept 12.39

K. Newley-Eric

W.A. Newman

C. P.L. Nicholson W.H. Nomson

Charles Nydd

Maggie Olso Whitley Bay

H.R. Omen

Dodley Osen

N. Palow

J.H. Parkington

B.G. Parrish

Happy Pays

A.B. Percy

Sergeant Peter T.W. Drayton, York

Chris Plaston

Jervis Pomley

N. Puck P/O Poland

Alfred E. PugarS.S. Northumberland 21 31.12.40

P. Quinn

Len Rahaley

G. Rawdin

Les. H. Read

Jim Revill

Allen Reynolds S.A.A.F.

Tom Riley

Elmer A. Rithe

Jean Robertson

J. Roberts


S.A. Roe 1939

Joyce R.B. Roisey

Allen Rose 1940

Jack Rosemary


Tom C. Nelson

B.R. Netherfood

Tom Newman

B.N. Nicholson

Peter Noble April 15th 1946

R. Norris

Chap Oleven

H.R. Omar

M. Optunbery August 14th 1939
A. C. Palfreema

Roy Pana

R. Parkington

J.D. Paterson Scottish Horse

D. Pearce

J.H. Perrin

E. Pinder

J.A. Poad


Bell Punch

H. Rafferty R.A.A.F.

Res. G.E. Rarghchroft K.S.L.I.

F.O. Rawlinson

A.A. Redbond R.A.F. Rolls Royce Ltd.,


Cliff Richards R.A.A.F.

Jean Ritching

I. Ritson

A. Robinson

D.H. Robson

L.Rodgers 22.6.46

Vera Rosamund Roe

J. Rorum

Sylvia Rose

J. Rosergh F. 3Hornsea

Ronnie the Rotter

G. Rommelly

Bert Rusty 1942

Hash Ryan

Yvonne Scarfe

S.H. Sedgewick

Rose Seth Sutherland 49th D.W. West Yorks. A.A.R.E.

Billy Seward 1949

John Shaw

K.B. Shepard

L. Sheppard Spr. 2088050

Diana Sheridan

Alan H. Simpson

Biddery Snith

Eric Smith

Grager Snith York 194?

S.V. Snith Tayape, New Zealand

James E. Sneeton

N.W. Stewb Preston

A.C. Story

John D. Strughia

Ben Stubbs

M. Suthe

D.S. Sykes

W.M. Taishef Jap

Storm Tanner Pilot, R.A.A.F.

J. Taylor A/C8 H.M.S. Rodney

W.H. Taylor

J.R. Thomas

E. Thompson

H. Thorp

D.H. Peare Trent S.S.R. Regina, Canada 11.3.41

Pike Turner 231 Squardon

J. Underwood

D. Vally

N. Verity

W.J. Wallace Valparaiso, Chile, South America

Frank E. Walker

Sergeant Rowland 408 Squadron

Keen Rudy 55th Parabridge 6.10.43

A. Ryan Ducks, Puududel

R.E. Sapper-Brown


Willy Semple R.A.F. Mug

C.E. Sharp

S.K. Shaw D2 Post Observer 1942

W.S. Shepherdson

L.W. Sheppard 2608TT8

J.L. Sim Montreal

B. Smith 485 Squadron (New Zealand)

C.H. Smith London

G. Smith Stockton

Jasa Smith

W. J. Smith

Fred Steward

R.H. Stiles


Mary Stuart

J.D. Suride

G.P. Sutherst 2/8th Lean, Australia

C. Trevor Taafe Hastings, New Zealand, A.S.C.

W. Taisher Brown

A.B. Taylor

R.H.R. Taylor


Tommy Thomas 231 Squardron

L.P. Thompson

J. Toddard

T.C. Tyeson 67 Squadron

G.D. Val

Jack Vendles

Edward Victor 2.2.39

J. Walker

E. Wallis

E.M. Walton

J. Ward

Bryan Watson 12.9.39

Eva Watson

J. Webster 19.1.41

Roy Webster D Crew

J.F. Westwood

R. Whillsden

A.D. White

L. Whitely

H.M. Whittles

Johnney Willis

G. Wilkinson

S. Wilkinson 1939


L. Wiltshire

R. Winship

F. W. Wood 408 Squadron

Frankie Yates 12th May

Allan H. Walsh

Bill Ward

J.C. Waterhouse

R. Watson

Percy Webb 28.4.48

Ray Webster S.S. Dundley

R. G. Wenley

J. Wett I Parkhead, Glasgow

Chally Whit

Kay White

G.C. Whittick

Biddy Williams

L.A. Willmott

Roger Wilkinson

J.H. Wilson

Terry Wilson

L. Winn

Terry the Wolfe 231 Squadron

Charles Wydd

Requiem for an Air Gunner

Ken Marshall had shared this on his Facebook page.

This one was written by a R. W. Gilbert, whom I suspect may have been a gunner. It’s called……

The pain has stopped, for I am dead,
My time on earth is done.
But in a hundred years from now
I’ll still be twenty-one.

My brief, sweet life is over
My eyes no longer see,
No summer walks, no Christmas trees,
No pretty girls for me.

I’ve got the chop, I’ve had it.
My nightly ops are done.
Yet in another hundred years
I’ll still be twenty-one.