Friday, 16 July 2010

Sutton Green Air Raid Shelters (re-)Discovered

An interesting snippet from the BBC. They report that council workers in Sutton have (quite literally) stumbled across the remains of communal air raid shelters on Sutton Green after a partial collapse of the buried roof.

See full story at:

This includes a nice AP showing the structure outlined in dry weather.

If anyone has any photos or recollections of this structure then they are asked to contact Kath Shawcross of Sutton's Archive Collection on 020 8770 4745.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy's poem marking the deaths of Henry Allingham and Harry Patch

Last Post by Carol Ann Duffy

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin
that moment shrapnel scythed you to the stinking mud ...
but you get up, amazed, watch bled bad blood
run upwards from the slime into its wounds;
see lines and lines of British boys rewind
back to their trenches, kiss the photographs from home -
mothers, sweethearts, sisters, younger brothers
not entering the story now
to die and die and die.
Dulce - No - Decorum - No - Pro patria mori.
You walk away.
You walk away; drop your gun (fixed bayonet)
like all your mates do too -
Harry, Tommy, Wilfred, Edward, Bert -
and light a cigarette.
There's coffee in the square,
warm French bread
and all those thousands dead
are shaking dried mud from their hair
and queuing up for home. Freshly alive,
a lad plays Tipperary to the crowd, released
from History; the glistening, healthy horses fit for heroes, kings.
You lean against a wall,
your several million lives still possible
and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food.
You see the poet tuck away his pocket-book and smile.
If poetry could truly tell it backwards,
then it would.