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Why I went back

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Why I went back 

A posthumous poem in the voice of Walter Tull – 28.04.1888 to 25.03.1918


Until you’ve been under fire

hunkered down in some funk hole

you’ll never know terror, the horror

or the damage to the soul

that just one barrage can do,

before you ever hear the whistle’s blast

that, sadly it’s true

for all too many,

signals this’ll be your last.


So, some have asked me why I did it,

why I returned to the front.

Some have asked me why I did it,

was it just some newspaper stunt?

Some couldn’t understand it.

Why would I choose to go back?

Some couldn’t understand it

Partly, because I was black.


But, on many fields, have I battled

fought to win honour and respect

demonstrated I was at least an equal

in matters physical… or of intellect.

While all the time being shot at

with whizzbangs of undodgeable abuse

and always treading, oh so carefully,

lest there were cultural land mines to defuse.


And in my darkest moments

leaders have shown me the way

and in those darkest moments

as I’ve bowed my head to pray

I imagined one day I’d inspire

men to see beyond the melanin I inherited

to follow me, because they could see

my authority was merited.


So, no final cup hurrah for me,

no victory lap of Ibrox back in blighty

But I’d never swing the lead you see

So now I’m with the lord almighty.

Amid the nightmare of the Somme

I saw my some of my dreams come true

And while you may be sad, that I’ve moved on

I hope these dreams inspire you!


©Mark ‘Mrt T’ Thompson 16.01.2020

BiographicalcharacterTrue StoryFact BasedWalter TullBlack HistoryBritish HistoryWorld Warww1The SommeFootballFootballerIbroxSpursNorthampton TownwarThe horror of warThe trenchestrenchesblack BritishBritish ArmyArmySoldierbiography

◄ Drowning in the Drought

My absent companion ►


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