The emergence of the British Empire and subsequent military obligations saw throughout its existence, millions employed in the Services for long periods overseas, especially in Africa and India. Their common bond was pride in their Unit and love of their Country, whether Scots, English, Welsh or Irish. Many left their homes as boy soldiers or sailors to return years later as men.  Many never returned, settling elsewhere, or having paid the supreme sacrifice through conflict or disease.  The following poem reflects the feelings of one as he dreams of his native land.




There’s a gem of a Country far to the west,

Where the grass lies green to the shore,

‘Tis there my mind wanders, my body at rest,

Recalling youth’s ventures of yore,

And I weep for the land that I love.


I see jagged crags with tumbling shale,

Sheep and cattle grazing along,

The boat on the wave with buffeted sail,

Fiddler, Fifer and Crooner in song,

And I weep for the land that I love.


I see Swift and the Swallow flit on the wing,

Falling rain and hear the winds roar,

To again brave the cold that the snows bring;

Oh! To be at home once more,

And I weep for the land that I love.


I hear the raised lilt of my Mother’s voice,

Chiding those younger than me,

I see Father at toil, in his labours rejoice,

Harvest meadow, field and lea,

And I weep for the land that I love.


Here where the Snake and the Scorpion thrive,

And the Sun scorches the skin,

I’ll do my best to serve and survive,

Someday to again see my kin,

And I weep for the land that I love.


Monty Alexander 27.10.98




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