Jutland and after

HMS Chester was a light cruiser that got within range of German battleships.  She fought and survived but at a terrible cost.



Closing in for action – Jutland May1916

Across the sea there to the east
Grey forms were steaming fast
Some spewed smoke like some ancient beast
This day could be their last

Great waves form patterns so beware
They roll before the eyes
With complex movement everywhere
Beneath those eerie skies

Each pattern’s change in motions strange
Form part of destiny
So as two fleets came into range
Then what will be will be

The rapid firing of each gun
Resounded through the hull
The belching smoke that dulled the sun
Went on without a lull

A flash upon the forecastle deck
One gun then ceased to fire
It had become a twisted wreck
Become the gunners’ pyre

Another gun fell silent too
Its crew tossed all about
Without legs what were they to do
The lucky soon bled out

One untouched man stood in a daze
A boy bled at his post
As sense came back within this haze
Hell had a new outpost

The horror of the scene was grim
Good mates were bleeding free
His training then it guided him
Like all men on that sea

The toiling crew worked to put out
Some raging fires below
There was no time for hope nor doubt
Before that deadly glow

Those legless gunners got some care
Their stumps were tourniqueted
But Fate it can be so unfair
Each Death was just delayed

The two survivors of the blast
A man and dying boy
Each in their way would be down cast
And never now know joy


From: “Jutland and After”
Dedicated to Arthur Wicks who lived through the battle and relived it for 50 years.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s