While we are on a war theme, here is a poem that I wrote after meeting Major John Howard, DSO, (as portrayed by Richard Todd in the film, The Longest Day) at Pegasus Bridge:
Generous gesture – German flag festoons,
hoisted with the Allied banners. Bunching,
fussy boudoir blinds. Here swooping platoons
like death’s head moths, stealthily came gliding.
Across the bridge John Howard bravely strode,
piper in tow, deflecting sniper shot.
Now European coaches block the road;
the dispassionate stamp postcards they’ve bought,
sending snapshots of Hell to those who knew
the mark of Caen first-hand. Wish you were here!
He was: a fact to startle and imbue
those that have eyes to see and ears to hear.
The café’s bright umbrellas shelter all
from noonday’s heat, so you could fail to spot
cool nonagenarian. By the wall,
hero’s crutches propped, ready for action.
His longest day is past; his time now short:
German beer his major satisfaction.