Fifty years on



Fifty years on


Poem of four verses of seven lines each in remembrance of those who flew and the freedom that they died for.




One-page typewritten poem


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[underlined] FIFTY YEARS ON [/underlined]

They flew
Up and into the blue
From a corner in England
In days that were desperate
and in black nights that were moon-less.
Fifty years on, still in the pale
dawn hours I hear and tremble at the sirens call

So few
For what they had to do
Silhouettes in a searchlight,
Moths in a white devouring flame,
They damned the tides and history
We stood, while cities round us burned,
Fearful, to count how many had returned

They knew
The fear but glory too,
The strength and joy of oneness
of purpose, to fly in the closeness of brotherhood, for them
no question how or why but rise
for single-handed battle in the shattered skies

Now, through
the world, freedom that’s new
and fierce enough to breach walls,
springs from the seeds sown five decades
since by quiet heroes who
leave us this debt, hard to repay
because of them we live, remember them today

Theresa Turk



Theresa Turk, “Fifty years on,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 1, 2024,

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