Earlier this week, I took some ‘time out’ to visit a very good friend of mine who lives in Purton, not far away from the office here in Calne. We haven’t caught up in a while as she recently lost her father-in-law and has had the challenging task of clearing his belongings from his flat in Sussex.
Having had a sumptuous lunch and regaled her with numerous stories from recent cases – though changing the names for confidentiality reasons of course! – she shared with me some of the letters, documents and such like that the family had unearthed during their sorting mission. Fascinating paraphernalia which simply cannot be thrown out …. letters from yesteryear, newspaper clippings, photographs and more…. And then came a poem which she read to me aloud from a thick piece of card:
I met her first in Cairo I fancied her on sight,
But she gave me just a glassy stare when my lips met hers that night,
To me she was so beautiful tall, with a golden tan,
And her effervescent sparkle would please ‘most any man,
She was so cool and tempting, her dress was paper thin,
And as I madly tore it off, I knew that I would win,
I held her tightly in that bar, I was hot my throat was dry,
I took her without a struggle, there was no protesting cry,
I took back to share with friends, she passed from man to man,
She was drained of all she had to give as only soldiers can,
Now as I lay upon my bed I wish that she were here,
But I’ve only the empty bottle that was filled with Stella Beer.
Initially, I thought that my friend’s late father-in-law had written this poem, but no! It was the penmanship of Ken Burrows of the 16/5th Lancers of the 6th Armoured Division. He apparently served with Monty’s Desert Rats in the Middle East. How have I come this far without knowing of this wonderful poem? Am I the only one who has missed out? I think maybe it is not commonly known and hence, I thought I would share it with you all today….
[Don’t forget to keep an eye out over the course of December for the hidden message in the titles of FWL blogs…. When you think you know, email us so as not to spoil it for others!]