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TS PELICAN
SS SHIELDHALL
Heroes by David Partridge Don't speak to me of heroes until you've heard the tale Of Britain's merchant seamen who sailed through storm and gale To keep those lifelines open in our hour of need When a tyrant cast a shadow across our Island breed Captains, greasers, cabin boys, mates and engineers Heard the call to duty and cast aside their fears They stoked those hungry boilers and stood behind the wheel While cooks and stewards manned the guns on coffins made of steel They moved in icy convoys from Scapa to Murmansk And crossed the western ocean, never seeking thanks. They sailed the South Atlantic where raiders lay in wait And kept the food lines open from Malta to the Cape. Tracked by silent U-boats which hunted from below, Shelled by mighty cannons and fighter's flying low, They clung to burning lifeboats when the sea had turned to flame And watched their ship mates disappear to everlasting fame. I speak not of a handful but 3O,OOO plus, Some whose names we'll never know in whom we placed our trust. They never knew the honour of medals on their chests Or marching bands and victory and glory and the rest. The ocean is their resting place, their tombstone is the wind, The seabirds cry their last goodbye to family and friend. Freighters, troopships, liners and tankers by the score, Fishing boats and coasters, 2OOO ships and more They flew the Red Duster as they sank beneath the waves And took those countless heroes to lonely ocean graves. Their legacy is freedom to those who hold it dear To walk with clear horizons and never hide in fear So when you speak of heroes remember those at sea From Britain's Merchant Navy who died to keep us free.
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Updated 25.10 2019
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HISTORIC SHIPS
Weymouth, Portland & District
In Waters Deep In ocean wastes no poppies blow, No crosses stand in ordered row, Their young hearts sleep ... beneath the wave The spirited, the good, the brave, But stars a constant vigil keep, For them who lie beneath the deep. 'Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer On certain spot and think. "He's there." But you can to the ocean go See whitecaps marching row on row; Know one for him will always ride In and out... with every tide. And when your span of life is passed, He'll meet you at the "Captain's Mast." And they who mourn on distant shore For sailors who'll come home no more, Can dry their tears and pray for these Who rest beneath the heaving seas For stars that shine and winds that blow And whitecaps marching row on row. And they can never lonely be For when they lived ... they chose the sea © 2001 by Eileen Mahoney