Christmas at War
'It'll all be over by Christmas' For the second time filled my ears, Try to stay calm - don't make a fuss, Cut out gossip, rumours and fears. By December nineteen forty fourteen hundred civvies had died, The Hun.. although very haughty Couldn't batter the British pride! Our lives went on much as before Though Fathers, sons, were sorely missed, No young men left on Britain's shores Girls beneath mistletoe left unkissed. I was a young boy ten years old Hated the enemy overhead, Nights down the shelter.. freezing cold A lumpy mattress for my bed. Mum did her best - scrimped and saved, Our meagre rations put aside, Most days the bombed out streets she braved To queue for food for Christmastide. Ham, bacon, butter, margarine Turkey, rabbits and chickens, Unless Black market - rarely seen Fruit and nuts were not easy pickings. All the shop windows were shrouded Obscured by anti-blast tape, Yet still around them we crowded, Eyes wide open and mouths agape. Our first Christmas on the ration, Proved to be a peaceful affair, War bonds were sold with a passion, People started to love and care. Presents included gardening tools, Seeds the most practical thing, Old wool gathered on wooden spools Would get knitting needles clicking. The most popular present was soap, Much to the disdain of us boys, Days before we would dream and hope, For train sets, soldiers or toys. Our postman tried to deliver Letters to streets razed by shells, The sight of him made me shiver, He also brought bad news as well! The churches couldn't ring their bells As it signified invasion, Yet still we flocked..escaping hell, No matter what our persuasion. For decorations - paper chains Glued with flour and water paste, Paper was precious, all remains Were hidden away with haste. We sat around wore outdoor coats, Costly coal was in short supply, From Lands end to John o groats Many households were struggling by! Our family pooled our ration points For a huge tin of sausage meat, We couldn't afford the rarer joints But the pie it produced was a treat. On Christmas eve we sat around, Down the hall came a Rat - tat - tat. From in the kitchen Mother frowned, 'Would someone please answer that'. This was to be - during the war, The best Christmas I ever had, I left the room opened the door, And there stood my dear old dad! He'd got himself a two day leave, Before his posting overseas, I held onto his coat. couldn't believe, I had never been so pleased. Next day we sat at the table, Sausage pie taking pride of place, With what we had we were able To celebrate Christmas with grace. We thanked God we were all alive, For many had perished that year, No matter what..we would survive, In our hearts our Lord was near. So that's how Christmas day was spent, No warplanes or bombs from above, Thank the Lord for things heaven sent and one day full of peace and love!