Saturday, 1 May 2010

Just One More Step

My great uncle fought in Burma alongside the Gurkhas against the Japanese as a Chindit in the jungle during World War 2.

When he came back from the war he used to suffer flashbacks during the night.

His wife would come down stairs and find him stripped naked in the kitchen in the dark washing himself down from the sink.

She asked him what he was doing and he used to say 'I am washing the blood off' and explained to her that he would have dreams where he was back in the jungle creeping up on Japanese sentries in the dark.

He said you could tell a Japanese soldier as they tied their bootlaces different to the British, Gurkhas and Americans.

So he would creep up on his belly to the sentries, feel their bootlaces in the dark and then cut their throats.

He would wake up and feel and smell the blood over his face, hands and arms which had squirted out of their necks and over him.

This is what he was washing off in the night.

I never really understood the nature of that war, which was a Race War as opposed to the European conflict which was an ideological war, and what the Allied troops went through.

The series The Pacific has really opened my eyes up to the horror those boys and men must have gone through, and the strength of character that allowed them to return home to normal lives again.

I wrote this short poem after watching an episode of The Pacific.

One More Step.

Just one more step,
Just one more yard,
Ever onwards into the darkness,
As the machine guns chatter,
And the bullets whine by,
Just one more step,
Just one more yard,
As we keep on marching,
Toward the front lines,
Where death awaits, killing time.

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1 comment:

Dr Shipman voted Tory said...

When my father came home from the far east he weighted 6 stone. He was very ill and went straight to Woolwich Military hospital where he stayed for 2 weeks.
He is very proud of the fact that while in the hospital he was charged twice for refusing to eat.
He was sentenced on each occassion to spend one day in the basement.
He did get a medical pension after the war which he cashed in to buy a Royal Enfield bike.
He is still alive in his 80's and we have to avoid talking about the 2nd World War as it affects him so badly.
He is 100% BNP.