This poem was in all probability written by the brother of Robert Henry/Hendry one of Blantyre’s sons killed during the Second World War. Wilma Bolton has recently sent it over to Blantyre Project for archiving.
BROTHER! How sorely we miss you—
you so wholehearted and true;
Sacrificed in the blast of war’s madness,
when the stirring call came through;
Honoured your memory is with us, nobly you stood the test,
And God in highest judgment claimed you as one of the best.
Remember that cheerful Christmas, just before you went away?
The parlour, decked in splendour, the lights as bright as day!
Everyone of us so happy and primed with festal joy,
We drank and sang together with our trusty sailor boy.
How we grieved when we parted and you embarked upon your career,
Encouraging words and well wishes and a rousing family cheer,
And throughout the days that followed as to our tasks we went,
We watched, alert and patiently, for the letters that you sent.
But you have brothers left who shall continue the fight,
Your example to follow for justice and right;
Your life you have given, Freedom’s cause top defend,
And onwards we shall follow to the dim journey end.
In our solitude we miss you, brothers, sisters and all,
Comforting bereft parents who presented you to the call.
Victory’s price is costly, we can only do the best we can,
The Book of Life demands it in the Master’s wondrous plan.
It is so hard for us to believe that you forever gone,
While war and its despairing horrors goes mercilessly on and on.
In the House of many mansions may you dwell until we meet—
A faithful band of pilgrims at the eternal Mercy seat.
We miss you dear brother! But it’s just good-bye for now,
And all are assembled for the fleeting, farewell bow:
The greater love—for God, Country and King,
Obedient, sincere and loyal, ever to your memory shall we sing.
Source: D Henry. Blantyre ,
8/11/1940, Blantyre Gazette. Page 2.