Where is the City of Benares?
I’ve searched hard to find its location,
I’ve looked at maps and searched the index of my atlas,
Thinking that it might be the capital of a great nation.
India, South America or the Middle East,
Each of these sound likely places for it to be located,
Then suddenly my searching came to an end,
When I discovered it was the name of a ship that was ill fated.
It was sailing in a convoy from England to Canada,
Ninety children were being taken there for the duration of the war,
Their parents had thought this would ensure their safety,
But very soon the ship way lying on the ocean floor.
The ship had been torpedoed by a German U boat,
Eighty three of the children would never be seen again,
Only seven of the ninety children were rescued,
The parents of the eighty three were left to feel the pain.
During the war many of our ships were sunk,
Countless lives were lost in tragedies at sea,
The Ark Royal, The Prince of Wales and the Hood are still remembered,
The names of other ships are lost to our memory.
The City of Benares will always be remembered
By the families of the children who were lost,
But we have to remember all those other ships,
When we calculate how much our freedom really cost.
History tells us of many cities which have been destroyed,
Sodom, Gomorrah and Pompeii are three we might recall,
But for the parents of those eighty three children,
The loss of the City of Benares was the greatest disaster of them all
By Ron Martin