Lost in France

He went back ever year

Back to France

To visit graves of lads

Who never stood a chance

Mown down on that foreign shore

There they lie forever more

Names on stones worthy of our glance

 

A pal of his died in his arms

Father of a three-month baby girl

All his years of searching

Sixty years on he finds

The plot where his old pal

Laid down to rest

 

Every year he made that journey back

A journey of remembrance to his pals

Important to remember those who fell in France

Honour those who never got the chance

 

My father never journeyed back like that

He’d seen too much in Africa

Normandy and that

He wouldn’t even visit local graves

He sat outside the cemetery

The day we went to see

His parents’ final resting place

That Sunday before tea

 

It puzzled me at first

But now I know

He had no need to trigger memories

Or re-visit long ago

Let them lie in peace

Let me get on with living

Just pray for sense

And pray that wars may cease

 

Brian Fahy

26 April 2022

 

+ Harry Billinge, a D-Day soldier, who landed on Gold Beach on 6th June 1944, is buried today, aged 96. He returned to France to visit the war graves every year. My father never wanted to know about cemeteries. We are all different.

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