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Poetry of Direct Personal Experience
Our Collection of Aviation and Military Poetry

On Hunshelf Bank
Norman Llewellyn Clay

On Hunshelf Bank I take my stand

One April morning. See, the land

Falls from my feet to rise again

To Greno’s wooded ridge. The men

Who won the pasture from the wild

Penned it and pieced it, but their piled 

Stone barriers do not break the sweep 

Of quiet landscape. In fun

He waves his wand: the sober green 

Vanishes. Sweet and bright and clean

The valley smiles, smiles, until

Its joyous mirth now seems to fill

The happy stretch from stream to hill.


So when I knew you as a boy,

I often shared your sun-like joy,

And watched a gentle jest invade

Your artless features, well repaid

For any wit to see your face

Smile slowly with unequalled grace.

I see you still - in the marquee

Banishing dullness with your glee;

At football, bending down to pick

The ball up that had done the trick - 

Still smiling. Wonder not that I maintain

That smiling you left England in your plane.


Understood to have been written and read out on a remembrance occasion for F/O. John Kay 129348 RAFVR who was shot down and killed whilst serving with 76 Squadron. Halifax V DK177 MP-H Flown by P/O. Arthur Pullan - all seven crew also lost their lives. (Sent in by Margaret Teremetz, daughter of John Kay's sister)

John Kay

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 • Last Modified: 03 September 2015, 21:33