Saturday 18 July 2009
RIP Henry William Allingham
RIP Henry William Allingham born 6 June 1896 – 18 July 2009.
As a child of Empire he saw his first century turn,
From victory to war, its slow years rasping,
As a rusted sword drawn from its scabbard,
Cruel in its old age, spiteful to youth,
The path of its progressions led to the Somme,
From calvary charges to belt fed machine guns,
And then beyond even that, to Gulags and Lagoai,
And horrors of fire that could kill the earth.
As another century turned, now through cataracts,
Yet always professing his truth, he stood,
For all that is the best of who we are,
Bearing bright wisdom from its snarl of briars,
Honouring the memory of his fallen comrades,
He taught us all, how we should all seek to be.