Clean dry socks, Falklands 1982.

entry picture

We sat and cleaned,
We sat and polished,
We sat and oiled,
We sat and checked
The action.
We sat and checked
Our mags.
We counted spare mags,
Filled them with caress.
We counted grenades.
We looked to the horizon.
We looked for the airport.
Changed our socks.

We were cold,
We were battered
And we were soaked.
Thank god there’s
Always a joker.
The great artiste
One in every room.
We huddled together
Mingled warmth
And shit rations.
Shivering.
And we were angry.
Many had surrendered 
themselves into early graves.

The airport was next.
After the lofty heights.
They were dug in.
The SAS reconnoitred.
Recce squad had reconnoitred.
Morters were pointed.
Artillery was zeroed.
We ate shit rations.
We drank tea.
We joked a bit
We didn’t discuss
Fear.
I thought of my girl.
Then forgot her
And thought about
Dying.

The Colonel
Surrounded 
By his officers
His maps
His radios
And a cup of tea.
Pointed and spoke
Machine guns here
20mm canon there.
Slit trenches
Morters.
And men ready
To kill.
Us them.
Them us.
But we had the high ground.
We had the training.
Ready to move
Sisters first!
Twins.

Stanley surrounded.
Airport surrounded 
Bombed by harriers
And Vulcans.
Then the colonel
Gathered everyone.
They had abandoned
The airport,
Run to Stanley.
Panicked.
Scared and seeking
Shelter
From the storm.
The colonel
“Gentlemen”
“There are white flags over Stanley”
And that was that.

◄ Leaves up.

Jack Dempsey New York New York. ►

Comments

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Paul Sayer

Mon 28th Sep 2020 17:34

Philk another masterful stroke of your pen.

And

Razor shape mind.

Remember we talked about the missing Vulcan that made a slight detour and was relieved of its excess baggage?

The one that is sitting on the tarmac just a few miles from me.

The amazing man in his flying machine would have turned eighty this month Phil.

My daughter in law made him a surprise cake which she delivered Sunday. Sadly this true hero will never get to taste it.

I will send you a photograph.

You, sir, are a true and gallant unsung hero.

God bless you and all who served.

Paul.

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raypool

Mon 28th Sep 2020 12:30

Brilliantly conveyed Phil. Your profile title is a reversal of the truth, unless i'm much mistaken. That palpable sense of being suspended in time with it's awful consequences is well worth a post.
The only thing I remember is having to always play Land of Hope and f...g Glory after every function band occasion. The Thatcher principle was rife with hopes and feelings of the country's self worth. Basically the taste of more money released into the overblown market.

Ray

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John Coopey

Mon 28th Sep 2020 10:38

Marvellous picture of what it must have been like “on the ground”. So simple yet so effective.

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Greg Freeman

Mon 28th Sep 2020 09:52

Fascinating, eye-witness account of a very strange, brief war that nevetheless claimed lives on both sides. Quite unlike Iraq or Afghanistan or indeed Northern Ireland, but it took its own toll, both at the time and afterwards. And arguably deeply affected British politics - but this isn't the place to go into that. I remember being in the newsroom during this war. But there is never any substitute for the account of someone who was actually there. I hope it doesn't keep you awake too much at night - but I suspect it does. Have a medal for writing this.

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