Once A Marine Always A Marine

Members Poems

                                                                                                               October 2012

Spean Bridge...

When sunlight finds the statue, casting shadows to the ground

Can it cast the frozen fury, that these Royal Marines once found
See the courage in their faces, see the pride which each one loved
Their faith in one another, that forged a bond of brotherhood

In bronze and Scottish stone, see how strong how proud they stand

In their honour and their glory, with a brotherhood of man
The ones who died at Carlos, did not give their lives in vain
God took them from that frozen hell, and blessed them in his name

Royal Marines who died in battles, from WWII to Seven Sisters Hill

Call from the grave, remember us, as this statue says we will
Our missing brothers call us, from some place so grim and drear
Remember our misfortune, we answer, never fear

Their cause is not forgotten, for we surviving mortal men

Place this wreath and pray a prayer, that the wars will all soon end
When moonlight casts the statue, across this gleaming silver ridge
Let the spirits of the ones who died, enhance this statue here at Spean Bridge

We ask our God for guidance, as we stand in silent prayer

Our tears say that we miss them, as this statue says we care
So blow the bugle softly, let its lonely echo sound
Let the music and our memories, dedicate this Scottish ground.

David Lilburn MBE

David Lilburn

17 July 15:33

My Son, A Royal Marine...

When my son joined the Royal Marines,

It was such a proud day,
He went from a boy to a man,
The old fashioned Royal Marine way.

The King Squad marched up past the stand,

A tear in every parents eyes,
He looked straight ahead and never swayed,
As his parents looked toward the sky.

His parents asked the Lord above,

To protect his son the teen,
The Lord told his proud parents,
Yes, I'll protect your Royal Marine.

The Royal Marines is a way of life,

It's not just a little boy's game,
He joined to serve his country,
not for money, girls or fame.

Honour, Courage and Commitment,

These aren't just words to say,
These are the Royal Marine values,
That they all use every day.

As my son prepares to leave training,

To go to a distant shore,
Our family will keep praying ,
For my son who joined the Corps.


Old Bootnecks never die.

I met him at the Staffordshire Wall, that cold November day,
His eyes were clear and bright, although his hair was grey.
He wore a faded jacket, and as he knelt and prayed,
I looked in admiration at his medals on display.

Proud of my own new uniform, I stood up straight and tall,

Beside this older bootneck, now weeping by this Wall,
His hands seemed somehow faded, like the tiny badge they held,
He stumbled slightly as he rose; I now his cane beheld.

And as he looked at me, his eyes still filled with tears,

A smile of recognition came, despite my fewer years,
One glance up at my uniform, another at my chest,
Told him of my recent past, my face told him the rest.

“In WW2 they said we won;” deep pain now filled his eyes.

“But I remember, yes I remember, the agony and cries.”
“For many years I’ve kept this badge, and carried it with pride,
In memory of our brothers there who fought and bled and died.”

“I tried to re-join,” he said, “They said I was too old.”

“And this old leg feels greater pain, ‘specially in the cold.”
My own eyes now filled with tears as he gave the badge to me.
“Carry this for all the others who died to keep us free.”

I think about that old bootneck, who passed to me his dream,

Whilst kneeling here with all my kit beside an Afghan stream,
I swear by all that’s holy that I will do my best,
To save his dream, then touch the badge now tucked into my vest.

“Duty, honour, Country,” now becomes my creed,

I serve the cause of England, I ride on freedom’s steed,
As we get on board, the Chinook, to Afghan plains we fly,
I touch this badge and now recall, “Old Bootnecks never die.”

 David Lilburn MBE

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