One miserable morning
in black forty-four.
when the forward commander was told to sit tight
when he asked that his men be withdrawn.
And the generals gave thanks as the other ranks
Held back the enemy tanks - for a while.
And then the Anzio beachhead was held for the price
Of a few hundred ordinary lives.
And kind old King George sent mother a note
When he heard that father was gone
It was, I recall, in the form of a scroll
with golden leaf and all.
And I found it one day in a drawer of old photographs,
And my eyes still grow damp to remember
His Majesty signed with his own rubber stamp
It was dark all around
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free
And no one survived from the Royal Fusiliers Company C.
They were all left behind.
Most of them dead,
The rest of them dying
And that's how the High Command
Took my Daddy