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Nerves of steel and a heart of stone
Is what the Army recommends,
If you want to enlist
To be one of the fighting men.

I joined up on the sixth of August
In the year of 1942,
Never could I have imagined
The hell I would go though.

My Regiment Number is 740
I was discharged on the 28 of February of 1943,
Then I re-enlisted on the first of March
To go overseas.

971898 is my Regiment Number now
And a soldier I will become,
I am in the 22nd Battery of the 59th
I am in training for Heavy Guns.

As a soldier of the Royal Artillery
I was stationed at Hildenborough and Newtown,
Also at Tonbridge and Royal Tunbridge Wells
We sure did move around.

While stationed in England and Wales
A lady I chance to meet,
She was in the British Army Training Service
Her beauty and courage could not be beat.

Off duty time we spent togather
Between us all was well,
Just a few months later she discovered
That she was with child.

I was transferred to the 166th
Q-Battery, Royal Artillery,
They were sending me to Naples
Where I would fight in Italy.

I was shipped of to Italy
The date was the 20th of December in 1942,
Aboard the HMS Ciccassia
Across the ocean blue.

While doing battlefield duty in Italy
My precious son was born,
I wanted to be there for his birth
From my body my heart was torn.

If I survive this brutal war
My only wish would be...
To kiss the girl that bore my son
And see my son, Anthony.

On the second of February in 1943
We arrived at Bone,
I marched for four and one half miles
For 23 days this would be home.

There was no comfort for me there
The cold, hard ground was my bed,
My overcoat became my blanket
And my boots as a pillow for my head.

When the vechicles and guns arrived
Orders were given to move out,
Action we would soon encounter
For me, there was no doubt.

The shell fire it lit up the night sky
Bullets whizzed overhead,
Many of my friends were wounded
And many fell over dead!

For every bullet has a name
For each one that passes me by,
I hang my head in sorrow
For a friend that will soon die!

Many hardships I have experienced
Happy times during war times were few,
For I was there to fight the enemy
And that's what I will do.

The fighting for me now is over
I will soon be homeward bound,
Where my family is eagerally waiting
In my home town.

I returned home to Newfoundland
On the 22nd of August, 1945,
I was one of the lucky ones
That managed to survive.

I do not want to talk about
The bloody, brutal horrors of the war,
Just remember why I was there
And what I was fighting for.

My wish to see my new born son
Did not come true for me,
For when the war was over
I was sent home from Italy.

I long to see him before I die
For Anthony means the world to me,
And to let him know
That in Newfoundland, he has a family.

BY: Yvonne Legge

I wrote and dedicated this poem for my Uncle,
George Howell. He was born in Green's Harbour,
Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. He died at The Health Sciences
Center at St. John's, Newfoundland. He was a veteran of World War Two.
This is a factual account of his life during the war.