Monday, 11 November 2013

Lest we forget...11.11.13

Lost at Sea.

No cross, no grave, to mark the place
where a plane sank in the sea
taking Seargeant Gooch down with it
on that day in ’43.

He was my Grandma’s brother -
(christened Daniel, known as Jim)
- an RAF air gunner.
Did he think it would be him
who would manage to cheat death
and carry on ‘til conflict’s end?
Did he hope to dodge the gunfire
and a coffin, like his friends?
They only found the pilot:
just one body, washed to shore,
but all the others disappeared
and Jim was just one more.
No cross, no grave for him –
only a poppy, once a year
in the corner of a photoframe,
the picture still so dear.

With Grandma’s death, the ritual ends…
Jim’s memory fades away.

Yet maybe not, for here it is
for you to read today.

Sergeant Daniel Last Gooch, aka Jim

As a child, I remember wondering who the young man was in the photo on top of the cabinet, but Grandma never spoke of him. And every November, the poppy would appear. I wrote this poem last year, when my uncle told me what happened...

RAF Sergeant Daniel Last Gooch was based with 100 squadron at RAF Grimsby. His plane, a Lancaster, ED599 and radio sign HW-S, went down over the sea after flying between Bordeaux and Cherbourg on the 4 March 1943. No trace of the plane was ever found, though the pilot’s body was recovered some 30 miles away and buried in France. It is assumed that the crew went down with the plane.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, Squidge, and I see the smile has lived on. R.I.P. Lancaster crew. x