THE OWD GREEN PLAQUE
I laced up mi boots and buttoned mi coat
cos I fancied a walk owert Low.
Weather wasna very clever like
but I thowt it were a good day for a blow.
I shortened mi stride up Higham Lane
when I heard a strange sort of wheeze.
That conna have bin me I said with a gasp
So I put it down to t’ breeze.
On threwt farm yard and up gravel path
until I finally reached very top.
Then I heard that wheeze again
And I thowt it were time for a stop.
I lent ont railings at cenotaph
an I read thowd green plaque agen.
How many men were it who ne’er come back?
Ahh that’s reet, seven hundert and ten.
I tried to picture that day in mi mind
whent cenotaph were first revealed.
And owe th’Heyd folk came up to remember
as thousands were crammed on t’ field.
There were school kids, churches an dignitaries.
Thousands o’ folk who braved the cruel chill.
Mothers, wives, faythers and childer
made thi pilgrimage up to t’ top ot steep hill.
Thi listened to bands, heard speeches and prayers
on that cold windswept day long ago.
When everyone stood and sadly remembered
Th’Heyd lads who fought the King’s foe.
We know now what these young men owe went through
in scenes carved straight out of Hell.
The trenches, the mud, the bullets and bombs,
the vain charges when so many souls fell.
So many Heyd homes must have hung up black drape.
So many mothers and wives lost their men.
So many young boys who never returned.
Now remembered as the seven hundert and ten.
Just like the folk who gathert that day
I come back up here each November,
and while that cenotaph still looks out over Heyd
I know we will allus remember.
I confess there was a tiny tear in mi eye
when I decided it were time to walk back.
But before I turned and walked down th’hill
I gazed one more time at that plaque.
It’s a place that means a lot t’ me
as I think about owe wars sin then.
All th’Heyd lads who’ve fought and died.
Now it’s a lot more than seven hundert and ten.
© Bill Lancashire March 2012
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