A Poem for Christmas - The Soldier

#1
Good day to you all,

I am a first time poster on your site, however, have been an observer for sometime. As my username suggests I am a Rock Ape in the RAF. I felt I had to join your site to post the following poem sent to me by a friend.

I don't think there are any copyright issues as the author is anonymous.

Some might see it as sentimental; some will see it as poignant at this time of year. It may not be the best piece of poetry, however, I believe it acts as a good reminder for all of us to remember those soldiers, sailors and airmen who are currently in a 'bad place' whether that be overseas on operations or the many ex serving personnel who are homeless or destitute here at home.

I would ask one thing of members of this site, if you have a smart remark to badmouth my Corps or the intent of this post, please have some respect and keep it to yourself. Feel free to turn on me after anyother post I might make in the future.

Thanks and Merry Xmas

The Soldier

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS...

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT.
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY.
I'D FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER.
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A COMMONWEALTH SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ,
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALISED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWN-UPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN'T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT
A TEAR TO MY EYE.
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY.
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE."

"I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE.
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.

I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOUR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER...
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."

This poem was written by an Australian soldier stationed Overseas on Peacekeeping. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable...

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to all of our service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.
 
#2
visitingrock said:
I would ask one thing of members of this site, if you have a smart remark to badmouth my Corps or the intent of this post, please have some respect and keep it to yourself. Feel free to turn on me after anyother post I might make in the future.

Thanks and Merry Xmas
May I be the first to say welcome and add, a quality first post!

Merry Christmas to you too.
 
#3
Cracking Post. :)

Brought a tear to my eye.
 
#5
Yep, Welcome Rock, I actually started a similar thread yesterday, it is an excellent Poem, I originally found it written for the USMC and it is obviously adapted for whatever Units site it finds itself in...

A Soldiers Poem ... Again...
 
#6
Gundulph said:
Yep, Welcome Rock, I actually started a similar thread yesterday, it is an excellent Poem, I originally found it written for the USMC and it is obviously adapted for whatever Units site it finds itself in...

A Soldiers Poem ... Again...
Sorry Gundulph didn't mean to rob your thread. Just recieved the poem through an email and thought I would post it where it would be appreciated. Have also posted it on E-Goat and PPrune. Got a right tw@t called 'Wizzard' post a reply on Pprune who says the poem stinks and that I am a 'walt' (save any banter about the RAF Regt for another thread thanks). Hope he comes through my AOR soon and I can workout who he is and then we'll see who the 'walt' is!!!
 
#7
visitingrock said:
Gundulph said:
Yep, Welcome Rock, I actually started a similar thread yesterday, it is an excellent Poem, I originally found it written for the USMC and it is obviously adapted for whatever Units site it finds itself in...

A Soldiers Poem ... Again...
Sorry Gundulph didn't mean to rob your thread. Just recieved the poem through an email and thought I would post it where it would be appreciated. Have also posted it on E-Goat and PPrune. Got a right tw@t called 'Wizzard' post a reply on Pprune who says the poem stinks and that I am a 'walt' (save any banter about the RAF Regt for another thread thanks). Hope he comes through my AOR soon and I can workout who he is and then we'll see who the 'walt' is!!!
Thats a bit weird, I don't see how liking a Poem that is written for Soldiers or former Soldiers at Chrimbo makes you a Walt?! I guess we are all Walts then?! You'll always get someone ragging a thread just for the sake of it and for attempting to make themselves popular with their witty remarks, I know we can all be ARRSEs at the majority of times, that's the nature of British Forces, but deep down most former or serving squaddies can probably relate in some way to parts of a poem like that and everyone who messaged me about it actually admitted to liking it!!!
 
#8
Gundulph said:
visitingrock said:
Gundulph said:
Yep, Welcome Rock, I actually started a similar thread yesterday, it is an excellent Poem, I originally found it written for the USMC and it is obviously adapted for whatever Units site it finds itself in...

A Soldiers Poem ... Again...
Sorry Gundulph didn't mean to rob your thread. Just recieved the poem through an email and thought I would post it where it would be appreciated. Have also posted it on E-Goat and PPrune. Got a right tw@t called 'Wizzard' post a reply on Pprune who says the poem stinks and that I am a 'walt' (save any banter about the RAF Regt for another thread thanks). Hope he comes through my AOR soon and I can workout who he is and then we'll see who the 'walt' is!!!
Thats a bit weird, I don't see how liking a Poem that is written for Soldiers or former Soldiers at Chrimbo makes you a Walt?! I guess we are all Walts then?! You'll always get someone ragging a thread just for the sake of it and for attempting to make themselves popular with their witty remarks, I know we can all be ARRSEs at the majority of times, that's the nature of British Forces, but deep down most former or serving squaddies can probably relate in some way to parts of a poem like that and everyone who messaged me about it actually admitted to liking it!!!
Hey, I can take banter as well as anyone. This guy's point was that he had never heard a Rock Ape refer to the RAF Regt as 'a Corps' (we were given Corps status in Apr 1942) and therefore he issued a 'Walt Alert'. Anyway, he is probably the walt.

I will stop ruining my own thread now and go back to PPrune to rip into the geek.
 
#9
visitingrock said:
Gundulph said:
visitingrock said:
Gundulph said:
Yep, Welcome Rock, I actually started a similar thread yesterday, it is an excellent Poem, I originally found it written for the USMC and it is obviously adapted for whatever Units site it finds itself in...

A Soldiers Poem ... Again...
Sorry Gundulph didn't mean to rob your thread. Just recieved the poem through an email and thought I would post it where it would be appreciated. Have also posted it on E-Goat and PPrune. Got a right tw@t called 'Wizzard' post a reply on Pprune who says the poem stinks and that I am a 'walt' (save any banter about the RAF Regt for another thread thanks). Hope he comes through my AOR soon and I can workout who he is and then we'll see who the 'walt' is!!!
Thats a bit weird, I don't see how liking a Poem that is written for Soldiers or former Soldiers at Chrimbo makes you a Walt?! I guess we are all Walts then?! You'll always get someone ragging a thread just for the sake of it and for attempting to make themselves popular with their witty remarks, I know we can all be ARRSEs at the majority of times, that's the nature of British Forces, but deep down most former or serving squaddies can probably relate in some way to parts of a poem like that and everyone who messaged me about it actually admitted to liking it!!!
Hey, I can take banter as well as anyone. This guy's point was that he had never heard a Rock Ape refer to the RAF Regt as 'a Corps' (we were given Corps status in Apr 1942) and therefore he issued a 'Walt Alert'. Anyway, he is probably the walt.

I will stop ruining my own thread now and go back to PPrune to rip into the geek.
Hmm maybe he is a SAC hence an Airman and not a Soldier, after all the poem is about a Soldier, the Rock Apes are after all the RAF's Soldiers are they not? so tell him to beat it...

It would be interesting to see what the more cunningly minded on ARRSE can come up with by replacing some of the verses with a Christmas Tale of an RAF Chappie, curled up in his single accomodation of a 4 bedroom bungalow with state of the art digitally controlled under floor and arse of chair heating on camp etc.....

Again Rock, its an excellent Poem and very apt to any 'Soldier' Army, Marines or Air Force Regiment...
 
#13
Top post, quite a moving poem.
 
#14
:D :D Good post rock, I had a lump in the throat. It's sad to say that this verse has more than a hint of truth in it.

Have a very happy Xmas mate. God bless
 

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