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Heroes by David Partridge Don't speak to me of heroes until you've heard the tale Of Britain's merchant seamen who sailed through storm and gale To keep those lifelines open in our hour of need When a tyrant cast a shadow across our Island breed Captains, greasers, cabin boys, mates and engineers Heard the call to duty and cast aside their fears They stoked those hungry boilers and stood behind the wheel While cooks and stewards manned the guns on coffins made of steel They moved in icy convoys from Scapa to Murmansk And crossed the western ocean, never seeking thanks. They sailed the South Atlantic where raiders lay in wait And kept the food lines open from Malta to the Cape. Tracked by silent U-boats which hunted from below, Shelled by mighty cannons and fighter's flying low, They clung to burning lifeboats when the sea had turned to flame And watched their ship mates disappear to everlasting fame. I speak not of a handful but 3O,OOO plus, Some whose names we'll never know in whom we placed our trust. They never knew the honour of medals on their chests Or marching bands and victory and glory and the rest. The ocean is their resting place, their tombstone is the wind, The seabirds cry their last goodbye to family and friend. Freighters, troopships, liners and tankers by the score, Fishing boats and coasters, 2OOO ships and more They flew the Red Duster as they sank beneath the waves And took those countless heroes to lonely ocean graves. Their legacy is freedom to those who hold it dear To walk with clear horizons and never hide in fear So when you speak of heroes remember those at sea From Britain's Merchant Navy who died to keep us free.
In Waters Deep In ocean wastes no poppies blow, No crosses stand in ordered row, Their young hearts sleep ... beneath the wave The spirited, the good, the brave, But stars a constant vigil keep, For them who lie beneath the deep. 'Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer On certain spot and think. "He's there." But you can to the ocean go See whitecaps marching row on row; Know one for him will always ride In and out... with every tide. And when your span of life is passed, He'll meet you at the "Captain's Mast." And they who mourn on distant shore For sailors who'll come home no more, Can dry their tears and pray for these Who rest beneath the heaving seas For stars that shine and winds that blow And whitecaps marching row on row. And they can never lonely be For when they lived ... they chose the sea © 2001 by Eileen Mahoney
LATEST POSTINGS 29.5.2024
"Crossing the Bar" is an 1889 poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Tennyson is believed to have written the poem (after suffering a serious illness) while on the sea - an extended metaphor to compare death with crossing the "sandbar" between the river of life, with its outgoing "flood", and the ocean that lies beyond death, the "boundless deep", to which we return. Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home. Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar.
13th May Minutes
HISTORIC SHIPS
ANZAC Day Pictures Operation Tiger Memorial Pictures
RIP TONY CASHh
Crossed the Bar 30th April 2024
On a sad note, as a branch member, I have learned that Tony Cash, another one of our World War II veterans, has peacefully crossed the bar, just shy of his 101st birthday. Tony was a founder member of the Weymouth, Portland & District Branch and a regular attendee up until now – he was even planning to come to the branch dinner tomorrow. Tony was a lovely character with a wealth of stories and a warm heart. He was on the rostrum at last year’s Festival of Remembrance as a veteran of the Battle of the Atlantic. It goes without saying that I am passing on the Council’s condolences to his family and the branch members. With a number of Council members who are also branch members, National will be well represented. At this time they have custody of National’s standard ready for the Normandy events and I am sure this will be used at his funeral. David Parsons MNA National Secetary
I went to see Tony on Saturday, as my planned trip was cancelled on Friday,due to Car accident, no one hurt, it was,parked, He was his usual cheerful self, full of the information that he had gleaned from Billy Macrees MN Book. We talked and remised about the old days. I met him first late 60s/early 70s it seems like a lifetime away, but in all those years he has not changed a bit. I am still in shock, I am so glad,that I went to see him, he was so happy, and I am glad that he did not suffer, what a way to go, Tony was formally NUS Ships Convenor and a very good one,respected by everyone on what ever ship he sailed from the Skipper to the Galley Boy. A person I knew and respected, and I will miss him very much, RIP Tony A true Shipmate yours, John Bowditch
I suppose at his age it had to happen at some time, however we are both saddened and shocked at how quickly it’s happened. At least he crossed the bar peacefully, which is some comfort. Please pass our sincere condolences to Toni and the family and keep us informed of arrangements. Yours aye, Gareth & Linda Peaston
TONY CASH RIP It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our remaining Founding Member, our Beloved Tony Cash. His loss will be keenly felt. I cannot yet come to terms with this tremendous loss. We shall no longer see that light beaming from his eyes, but his warmth will always stay with us. We have all been privileged to know Tony. His is a story of deep dignity, humility and humanity, a true Gentleman in every respect. One could not but be drawn in by his wonderful personality, he touched everyone he met. His zest for life and his view towards the future and the next adventure, has been inspirational. We have been extremely lucky that his reflections of a life at sea in the Merchant Navy, of which he was so proud to have served, has been permanently recorded and will be a lasting tribute to him for future Generations. I had considered cancelling our Branch Dinner. The Family however, emphatically want the Dinner to go ahead, as Tony would wish. Indeed, Chrissie has told me he already had his medals polished for the occasion and was planning a wheelchair dance! Whilst I know this will cast a long shadow, let us make the Dinner a celebration of Tony’s life, and a reflection of our loss of the late Capt. Paul Compton. They were great friends and worked so hard to create our Branch. Regards David Knight Branch Chairman
And just before his 101st birthday! I saw one of his daughters last Friday at the Exercise Tiger memorial service. She said he'd got dressed up and was ready to be brought to the event but she and the home staff felt it was too cold for him to go out and he was mighty sorry to have missed being there. It was indeed bitterly cold and damp. Please keep us posted. Yours aye Lida Newman
Good Morning David (Knight), So sad to hear the news of Tony’s passing the bar. Please pass on our condolences to the family. You have spoken to me about Tony many times and I remember seeing him on the Rostrum at the festival. I am sure the Weymouth branch will give full support, and if yourself and David Knight can represent ourselves, in any way needed, it would be appreciated. With Kind Regards Ian Captain Ian Hodge M.Mar, MRIN, MNI MNA President
Branch Dinner Tony Cash Funeral Pics Armed Forces Day Pictures