They'll never know

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Title

They'll never know

Description

Poem and transcription. Lamenting those lost during war.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

Two page handwritten document and typewritten transcription

Language

Identifier

MNichollsJEK2011088-200201-09

Transcription

[Royal Air Force crest]
[underlined] They’ll never know [/underlined]
Those dear lives – now freed from earthly care,
Sons of England! The life blood that she bears,
Undaunted spirits, crushed in one swift blow
By cruel hand of death, but none will know.
Their friends and lovers through the years will wait
Their memories Rancid – maybe touched with hate
And once proud heads [deleted] quite [/deleted] [inserted] in [/inserted] misery will bow
Theyll [sic] never know
For them a uniform with wings at rest
In peace, glory outstretched upon the breast,
A hero, strafing every bitter foe,
Thats [sic] what theyll [sic] know.
[underlined] P.T.O [/underlined]
[page break]
Tis well their eyes are blind with many tears.
So they will never see the take off fears,
For if they did, what hearts of frenzy grow,
If they should know.
Or if they smelt a burning mass of steel,
Of flame & smoke that make the senses reel,
They’d curse the skies wherein these heroes flew
If they but knew.
But God in all his mercy must have given
Them peace of mind – for surely he has striven
Their tortured souls with seeds of courage sow,
And kept from them the truth – lest they should know.
[signature]
[page break]
They’ll never know
Those dear lives, now freed from earthly care,
Sons of England, the life blood that she bears.
Undaunted spirits, crushed in one swift blow
By cruel hand of death, but none will know.
Their friends and lovers through the years will wait
Their memories rancid, maybe touched with hate
And once proud heads in misery will bow
They’ll never know.
For them a uniform with wings at rest
In peace and glory, outstretched upon the breast,
A hero, strafing every bitter foe,
That’s what they’ll know.
[page break]
Tis well their [deleted] their [/deleted] eyes are blind with many tears.
So they will never see the take off fears,
For if they did, what hearts of frenzy grow,
If they [deleted] but knew [/deleted], [inserted] could know. [/inserted]
Or if they smelt a burning mass of steel,
Of flame & smoke that make the senses reel,
They’d curse the skies wherein these heroes flew
If they but knew.
But God in all his mercy must have given
Them peace of mind, for surely he had striven
Their tortured souls with seeds of courage sow
And kept from them the truth – lest they should know.

Citation

J E K Nicholls, “They'll never know,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 28, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/25356.

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