On the wooden bench, outside the Granny Smith’s,
Johnny Rumblesby, that frail old soldier, sits,
He now perceives his world through cataract bleary eyes,
He knows about the truth and all those propaganda lies
And only fading memory gives way to any doubt
Of what his gruesome army days were really all about.
As a weary Private he saw his best friend slain
For just another trench and twenty yards of allied gain.
He it was, victorious, who returned to village toil
While many of his comrades found their rest in foreign soil,
A medal decorates his shrunken chest for one heroic act
Now hidden in the mists of time is fiction mixed with fact?
Again he asks the question ‘Was I brave to come back whole,
While many did no more than I and had to sell their soul?
I’ve wrestled with my conscience for fifty years and ten
And I’ve tried to do the best in life for all those missing men,
Everyone of them deserved a medal, like the one they gave to me”.
Says that wizened, frail old soldier, Johnny Rumblesby.