Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Boys are horrible

Boys are horrible and I should know
I caused havoc wherever I'd go
With a whipping stick in my right hand
I'd join my mates on the farmers land
We'd play hide and seek in the ripe corn
Acting the fool as we'd done since born

The war had been on for a few years
We played and laughed while mum's were in tears
Most kids dad's were overseas at war
She struggled to cope as we were poor
She had to work hard to make ends meet
So she served in a shop down the street

We kids went to school five days a week
I got bullied of course 'cos I was meek
Soon I was with a gaggle of friends
But we'd all meet up at the weekends
Sometimes there'd be a gap in the class
We'd pray for him, he was not the last

Summer we'd walk to school on fine days
Mum came too "It's good for us" she says
We had to be careful what we spent
She's worried where all the money went
Kids minds are ever on other things
Like hearing the songs Vera Lynn sings

We were mad keen on spotting the planes
Or hearing news on Army campaigns
Watching convoys with soldiers aboard
Tanks and trucks now being sent abroad
How we collected such useless things
Like fag cards and feathers from birds wings

In wartime you rarely had a thing
I still recall my mother did sing
She was frightened but hid it from us
With her smiling face we caught the bus
So the war went on we were not afraid
"Your Dad will be home next week" she said

Image found at

Note: This was the situation for many families inn WW2 in Britain however I was luckier as my father who worked in London did come most nights of the week because he was what was described as being in "Reserved Occupation" as he ensured the Electricity supply was maintained there. Most of my cousins dads were in active service in Britain or abroad, but almost nobody was well off with the rationing and shortages at that time.


  1. It must be nerve wracking for the family members during WW2 .. always wondering what the next day, hour will bring. I am glad to know that you were luckier than the rest in those days 💖 during the early 90s we didn't have mobile phones so whenever someone from my house use to go out late in the evening .. my mother would wait anxiously until that person came home. Nowadays thanks to modern technology, with the help of smartphones we are in constant touch. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt, Robin 💖

  2. I love your boyhood memories of the war years, which must have been hard years. Your mom was brave and kept your world secure for you.

  3. Adult life with worries and children-life with joy flowing side by side. A wonderful capture.

  4. Back in those days, there was a definite gap between ‘snips and snails, and puppy dogs’ tails’ and ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’. I think the differences have become more blurred over the years. I remember boys with whipping sticks when I was a child; most girls kept their distance from them, but there weren’t any girls of my age, so I hung out with the lads. I can also remember my mum working hard to make ends meet, but we ate well and have nothing but wonderful memories of home and school.

  5. I enjoyed reading this so much. Though you didn't have the exact experience, you captured the reality of uncertainty beautifully.

  6. Thanks for a soulful share Robin


  7. I loved this. The innocence of youth is a beautiful thing. I love the bravery of your mum throughout those difficult times.

  8. This piece certainly makes the case for the WWII motto: Keep calm and carry on. There's a lot to be said for proceeding through dark times, in such a manner. Hiding your fear, and not giving yourself over to histrionics (when anxiety can, easily, get the better of you) is half-the-battle-won, I think. Nice work on this one, Robin.

  9. You've captured the reality of that time so well.. war - any war- only brought untold suffering on innocents.

  10. This made an interesting read, Robin. The men and women during the World War time endured some of the most brutal forms of warfare ever known.Very well penned. Thanks.

  11. I can feel the great uncertainty and fear of a loved never coming back home in this line, "Your Dad will be home next week".

    You write about war times with such precision and tenderness, and as you depict how ordinary people, families, were affected by the war. Great write, Robin.