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This collection of Poetry was compiled by my late father, George Matthews, who in his teenage years enlisted in the Army in World War One. He was sent to France and seriously wounded. He did not talk much about the War, veterans are not inclined to talk about their experiences and all the horrors they endured, but he did tell me he remembered the shell hitting the trench in which he was. He remembers running for cover but when he was found he was thought to be dead. He was not however, and possibly due to the delay in finding this out, gangrene had set in and he had to have his right arm and left leg amputated. During his stay in hospital in London he underwent thirteen operations, and right up until he died at the age of 62 there were still pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body. He was the most wonderful father to me and we shared many things including his love of music and flowers. He had a wonderful bass voice and sang in concerts many times. He was the most courageous man I have ever met, nothing daunted him, he even walked without the aid of a cane or crutch. He had, however to learn to write with his left hand and by way of practice gathered up this collection of poetry. His book was discovered years after his death and because of the effort it must have been for him to do this, I thought I should try in some way to compile this collection in book form. His writing was so clear it took no effort on my part to make a copy. I have included some words I wrote after he died expressing my love and admiration for him called ’The Dearest One I Knew’. I hope you enjoy the variety of his work and on next Armistice Day, spare a thought for men like him who survived the horrors of war and still do, but face life with courage and fortitude. Aline Hanna (Matthews)
- Xlibris, September 2010
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