Some of them landed at lonely airfields
Far removed from the celebration,
Hung their flying gear in a locker,
Cadged a lift to the railway station;–
Made for home and took for granted
The short-lived thanks of a grateful nation.
Some of them didn’t come home to fanfares,
They dumped their kit-bags down at the door,
Kissed their wives and let their children
Wrestle them down to the kitchen floor,
Poured out a drink, got the paper, and
Searched for the local football score.
Some of them skipped the quayside welcome,
Had no desire to cheer or feast
Europe’s free but war’s not over—
My mate’s still fighting in the Far East.
Some of them missed the royal salute,
The victory parade along the Mall,
Remembered only by friends and relations,
Some of them never came home at all.