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

TO THE MEMORY OF F/O. HAYDN WALTER JAMES
Harry Whittaker

No tears for ‘Jamie’, it would not be meet

That we should try to add to what’s complete;

Nor by the intrusion of our tears

Obscure the greatness of his gift - his hoped-for years.


No pean of praise for him my song shall sing;

His Fame was wrought in deeds and words would ring

But hollow in the ears of them that knew

Him and his like, and with them flew.


Suffice it that we say we knew them well

And loved them more than words can tell;

Knowing their legacy to us as such

As bids us grieve not for them overmuch.


But rather strive with all our might and main

So to ensure that none shall die again

In bloody sacrifice to that ideal

That we, the living, only can make real.


So by our lives their Glory consummate

‘Tis ours to make it small or great,

‘Tis we alone who shall at last decide

Whether or not ‘twas futile that they died.


We must believe, as they who died believed;

We must give something who have much received.

They gave of their best - what more could they give -

They gave up their lives that others might live.

Written by Harry Whittaker, in memory of his pilot lost on an operation over Hungary in August 1944.

F/O. Haydn James

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 • Last Modified: 28 February 2016, 00:52