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I remember the Battle of Britain


This is a poem written by me, about my memories as a boy of the Battle of Britain.

“I remember when barrow boys hawked through our roads,
Bellowing loudly and selling their loads
Whilst Brewery Shire horses with black stunted tails
Tugged giant wagons piled high with real ales.

The sound of the sirens from far then near places,
Stopping us playing to upturn our faces.
Irregular throbbing from South-Eastern skies raised grubby forearms to shade seeking eyes.

Heinkell’s, Dornier’s and other flying things
Flickered the sunlight with hundreds of wings
As children we scurried from all adults sight,
before they could stop us from watching a fight.

We each heard our mother out calling our name,
and skulked low in silence enjoying our game.
SO we saw some Hurricanes, clawing for height,
just scrambled from Tangmere to join in the fight.

I remember their Merlins, and stuttering guns, when Dowding’s ‘Young Chicks’ started mauling those Huns.

Shelters were filling with folk and their prattle, when everywhere echoed loud sounds of the battle.
And when the conflict came straight overhead
Down toppled shell cases fighters had shed.
An old man then shouted, “Look, Spits are about, they’ll give the Blighters a good hefty clout.”

We next saw a Heinkell with an engine aflame, pursued by a Hurrican with fantastic aim.
The Bomber was sinking we saw it go down, as the Hurrican victor was crossing the town.
It just skimmed the roof tops, thrilling our crowd, before soaring aloft seeking foe above cloud.

But high in the heavens was more for the eye,
long woven contrails divided the sky.
Whirls of dark smoke showed, where fighters had spun, sparkling bright cockpits reflected the sun.

We all heard the warring sounds gradually fade, and gaped at the sky at the sketches they’d made.
It was then that our fighter boys, briskly returned, dispersing the smoke where the fallen still burned.

We waited until sirens declared it all clear, then had to face mother and got a thick ear!

Frederick Norman Burtenshaw

About poetreecreations

I am an author writer publisher web administrator I run poetry workshops in the community. My published Manners childrens poetry book can be found at

2 responses

  1. walttriznastories

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. during that period of time that shook the world.
    You are part of a history that is fading all too fast


  2. thick ear! I guess mothers are all the same!


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