This Sunday is the 77th anniversary of the D-Day landings, when Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy during World War II.
Taking a look back through “The People’s Friend” Archives, there isn’t much said about the momentous day. There are a number of reasons for this, of course, not least of all is the need for secrecy at the time!
Plus, the usual lead-in times for publishing pieces in a weekly magazine apply. Just like today, features in each issue of the “Friend” would have been decided weeks in advance.
We did, however, find this little gem of a poem, published just a few weeks after D-Day. on June 24, 1944.
And the way it takes care to mention as many branches of the armed forces as possible makes us think it might just have been recognising the enormous effort that went into making Operation Overlord a success.
“Pride Of Service”
Just take it from the sailor: it’s the Navy that is tough.
They’ll hand it to the Axis, till the Axis cries enough!
The Navy has tradition, from the shoulders trimmed with gold
To the youngest tar among them, doing service in the hold!
Stop the first one that you come to who has leave ashore to be
And that sailor by will tell you: wars are won upon the sea!
But the lad who packs a rifle has a different song to sing.
He will tell you that the Army in the war is everything.
It’s the soldier with a Bren gun, and the soldier standing guard,
And the boys in all the branches who are trained to fighting hard!
It’s the lads who fight in khaki and get stripes upon their sleeves.
It’s the Army that will win it! Every one of them believes.
So it is throughout the service. Ask the boys who wear the wings,
And they’ll tell you it’s the Air Corps that is really doing things.
But some chap adorned with ribbons who has learned what battle means
Will insist on giving credit to the old Royal Marines.
And I think that’s how it should be. I would want that boy of mine
To believe his branch of service is the finest of the line.
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