Arnhem

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Honour them most high,

All those who dropped into Holland,

From the sky,

For us they fought,

For us they died,

Those who wore the red berets,

At the battle of Arnhem.

Time or our deeds can never shame,

Their valiant name,

Glory they rightly claim,

Those who wore berets of red,

At the battle of Arnhem.

I had a brother, his name was Joe,

At the coal mine Joe earned his bread,

He was married and lived quite content,

Then one day they came,

To take our Joe away.

That terrible day,

“You must fight for your country,”

They said.

No banners were waved,

No beating of drums.

I was a child that day,

When our mother and I,

Went to the station, to wave Joe goodbye.

That terrible day we hugged Joe,

And kissed him.

The sadness of parting brought tears to our eyes.

That terrible day,

They clad Joe in khaki

Gave him a gun

Was all so foreign

To our mother’s son!

That terrible day,

They marched our Joe away.

Into battle…a hell on earth,

They were not there,

That terrible day.

Someone blundered - they say,

All hell broke loose,

That terrible day,

When my brother was dropped from the sky,

Brave souls were slaughtered,

That terrible day.

My brother Joe died that day,

Killed in action – they say,

Joe was just,

One of the thousands that gave his life,

In that botched,

Market Garden affray,

At the battle of Arnhem,

That terrible day.

Now Joe’s gone,

Far away,

Lying in some alien clay,

But at home we remember,

Our Joe,

We that are left will never forget,

That terrible day,

They came,

And took Joe away.

Now ‘Market Garden,’ solemnly blooms,

Row after row of cold stone tombs,

The flowers of humanity mown down,

Victor and vanquished,

Valiant and brave,

Left side by side,

In Holland’s earth grave.

A grim reminder of the horrors of war,

Now and forever more,

Let it be said,

Of those brave paratroopers,

That wore berets of red,

At the battle of Arnhem,

‘Theirs’ is the Glory.’

Eve Jobling