No names are carved in bronze or stone,
of those still suffering, those who came home,
with limbless trunks and sightless eyes.
What's life for them can you surmise?
Some never move from their wheelchair,
or leave their beds, taste God's fresh air.
Thinking of the battles on the cruel sea,
of all their pals who used to be.
Of no man's land where shot and shell,
had made it all a muddy hell.
Of steaming jungles and desert sand,
the treks across those foreign lands.
Of air fights over Britain, those heroes every one.
to turn the tide of war till victory won.
Do you ever think of those who nurse,
of those who took them for better or worse,
who feed and bath, tie bows or wipe a nose,
sometimes to dry a tear, or to comfort those.
The wives who minister to their call.
Remember them who gave their all.
Such duty has earned them all our gratitude,
and a coat of arms inscribed, Service and Fortitude.
Sydney T. L. Tilley,
British Limbless Ex-service Association.
The poem was printed in November 1964 as part of the 50th Anniversary of the start of WWI with this note:
None of us needs reminding
that this month has a unique poignancy for the senior citizen.
This newspaper (Saga News?) is honoured to publish this poem from the pen of a Saga member, who, with his comrades, and those who care for them, have forever earned our compassion and our gratitude.