i.m. Captain Keith Douglas (1920-1944)
In Calvados you have your cross
And though you won, you most surely lost.
Your sacrifice, at twenty-four, to modern wit
Is nothing more than a crying bore.
Who now has read Alamein to Zem Zem
Your story of the war in the western desert?
For though you certainly knew how to kill
You knew the cost, for you had no draperies over your eyes.
No deception, no disguise.
And when you were chained to an office,
Hidebound behind the front line,
Somebody laid a coin upon your tongue
And lyric water sprang anew amongst the desert flowers.
You very nearly lost your mind. So in October 1942,
Against orders, you set off to see what you could do.
This venial sin was soon forgotten in the crush of war
And you drove your tank indomitably!
And then on the 9 June1944,
As keen to ‘to do your bit’ as you’d been in 1939,
Normandy took your life
Killed by enemy fire,
Your body was buried in a road side grave:
After the war your dear remains were reinterred at Tilly-sur-Seulles
War Cemetery, south of Bayeux, plot 1, row E, grave number 2
Go, you can see.