Monday, May 17, 2010

"No Invader shall take our land".

Ennerdale Water and fells, Cumberland (c. 1938)

Even those serving full-time in the armed forces came to respect the role played by the Home Guard, who were defending the people and places they knew at home. The following tribute to the men of the Home Guard was written by a soldier, Private W.D. MacFarlane from Cleator, Cumberland (about 2 miles from Ennerdale) who at that time in the war (November 1943) was serving in the REME in Italy. The letter appeared in the West Cumbrian weekly newspaper, 'The Whitehaven News' in the 'For Troops Only' column.

For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

A poetic tribute to the men of the Home Guard

By Pte. W.D. MacFarlane, R.E.M.E., Italy

Grass-grown slag banks, disused mines, unemployment and poverty made me hate Cumberland. I could not understand why poverty should spoil the beauty of our surroundings. I simply loathed having to spend my leaves in Cleator. The place was so drab and uninteresting.

Since going abroad for my second spell of duty I have suddenly realised that Cumberland is my home. I'm proud of it, too. And I'm even proud that my home is in Cleator. It is a very remarkable confession to make and, if I sound sentimental, then put it down to the war, or if you wish, homesickness.


I should like to pay this tribute to the West Cumberland Home Guard:


No invader can take our fells,
Our lakes, our dales, our flower'd dells,
Or march along our country lanes
To enslave our people and starve our bairns.

No Teuton tyrant will ever stand,
And hold our freedom in a bloody hand,
In village street or on wooded slope
To break our courage and kill all hope.

For on every hill, in every glade,
In Winter's gale, or Summer's shade,
Cumbria's menfolk gallantly stand
To guard and protect our native land.

[Acknowledgements: 'The Whitehaven News' & Cumbria County Archives Service]


Monday, 17 May, 2010  

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