The Turn of the Tide
By Bob Scott
Today spare a thought for the Men who fought until the end
To fight in some of the bloodiest rear guard actions
So that so many others may return home.
Vessels of all shapes and sizes evacuated most
These Vessel’s in epic proportions great and small
Plied their lifesaving trade for the thousands against all odds
But, what of the men, such as the Durham Light Infantry
Welsh Fusiliers, Royal Berkshires Regiment, to name but a few?
Three days they did battle against the German might
Of the heavy armed Panzer Divisions of tanks and men
Then captured – “You Men, have nothing to be ashamed off“
So a German Officer said, “You put up one hell of a fight”
This place was the Village of St. Venant
On the Belgium/French border, it was the last Line of Defence
This Village that never forgot those Men so Valliant Be
Most killed in the action - what remained were captured POWs.
Our Les! A Royal Berkshire man true, was one of these
Taken to a prisoner of war camp in Beutem, Western Poland
Four years he was held there a prisoner, until fate stepped in.
Les! His boots all worn out, sent his Dear Mother a special plea.
I do desire a pair of new boots, as no longer do my soles exist
Boots arrived at the POW camp, as by the hand of fate
As opportunity he did see, as the guards mistakenly
Turned their backs on him, now this was his moment not to be missed.
Have a plan - no time for that! Other than to depart in haste
In a south westerly direction he did travel
He walked and walked, forage on the move
Laid his head down in a barn or two, or three, or four
Or more, keeping out of sight on his travels.
In the spring of 1945, arrived at the American lines in Bavaria
Our Les, now in his 95th Year in this 70th Centenary year
Of the Evacuation of Dunkirk.
Like so many of his Comrades
Forgotten by the many – Remembered by the few
Honoured by the People of St Venant who so remained true
Whilst our Les thanks his Boots that made his escape his due.
Dedicated to all those that never made it home.
Let’s Honour these Men that helped make it possible
Our Les Kerswill - was one of them.