My kitbag was a heavy load,
my arms were dead with cramp
as I trod along the Weeton Road
that leads to Weeton Camp.
No transport passed me on the way
the rain was falling fast,
as I stopped a thousand times to say
my favourite damn and blast.
When all seemed lost I saw it,
its gates were open wide
it, was like the new Jerusalem,
where no one was denied.
I entered and forgot my pain
this garden paradise,
like a jewel set in fields of grain
under cloudless skies.
Was this the place they called Weeton
known throughout the land,
as the place that can’t be beaten
for killing aircraft hands,
There are airman in asylums
there are corporals neath the sod
and sgts. mad and raving
in the temples of their god.
For it looks so sweet and placid
as it stretches in the sun
with its neat and flowery entrance
and its lawn so neatly done
you’d never dream from outside
what a hell it is within
and theres no place like the outside
when once you venture in.
But if you care to pause awhile
and remember this is war
and realise just why your here
and what your fighting for
you didn’t come to Weeton
to find your balls upon your doors
your breakfast served on serviettes
and carpets on the floor.
No you came just as your fathers did
not many years ago
in answer to an urgent call
to meet and beat the foe
and he’s moan and groan the same as you
between his pints of mild
and he had his little rendezvous
in some local bird and child.
and there he’d talk of days gone by
of Passchendaele and mens, or friends he’d lost
and friends he’d find
The memories linger on, but you can’t talk
of Passchendaele and all its bloody cost
But you can still have memories
of friends, you’ve found and lost.
But you as great a part have played,
and have fought a Passchendaele on
that - lovely - Weeton - Road.
Found typed in the possessions of W/O. ‘Titch’ Albert Frederick Halliday - it is not known if he wrote it.
Titch served as an air gunner in 75 Squadron RNZAF. He survived the war, but sadly died on the 9th May 1966. A veteran’s page was created for his daughter Ann who also supplied some great photographs during his fathers service.
Passchendaele - A Belgian town, the scene of the first major battle of the first World War - 400,000 allied casualties with nearly 400,000 German soldiers also killed in just four months!
15 July 2022: Terence Black contacted us as follows: I was pleased to come across the poem on your website. My Mother-in-Law (deceased) was stationed at Weeton during the war. When she died, I found a copy of the Weeton poem amongst her things written in pencil on old-fashioned letter writing paper. Note - the 6th verse at the end - 'bird and child' refers to the local pub the 'Eagle and Child'. The lady talked about her time at Weeton a lot.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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• Last Modified: 16 July 2022, 12:42 •