PAPA v2

Grandpa Walker on his Wedding Day, a man I never knew yet had a huge influence on me. A man of great courage, kindness and compassion. He was the Police Officer in charge of our town and his exploits are legend including arresting  cop killers unarmed, who were later executed and arresting a Luftwaffe pilot who had bailed out. The papers described the German as an ardent Nazis, Papa however thought him a nice enough chap ! My favourites are the woman who lost her husband in the war, who as a result became an alcoholic. He refused to arrest her and instead got her home, by wheelbarrow, every week. The other concerns troops stationed in the area. There was always one or two ‘bad’ boys that needed to be locked up until they went to war. Sgt Walker let them out for a pint if they promised to return ! they always did.

Papa wasn’t into music as such but mum remembers he used to sing to his children, ditties and folk songs, this one ‘Joe the carrier’s lad’ is one she remembers he sang. Mum is now 87 and can remember every word of this song she last heard as a child.

 

PAPA

I have but a single memory of the man I adored,

him in a hospital bed, the ward painted green.

I hid behind mum, shy and frightened,

but he caught my eye, grinned and winked.

I couldn’t close one eye, so smiled and blinked,

happy to have been seen.

 

Though I search the depths of my past ,

I cannot see his face, nor can I hear him speak.

I was so very young when one day they said

grandfather’s passed away, Papa’s dead,

and left me with answers to seek.

 

I never tired of the stories told,

about Sergeant Walker, brave and bold,

and I now tell them all to my son,

and of a little boy’s loss,

when his life had just begun.

 

I hope he would’ve been proud of me.

9 thoughts on “PAPA v2

  1. Beautifully crafted, Nige ! I can see the courage, kindness and compassion runs in the family. He sounds like an amazing man. The memories told can last a lifetime and keep those loved ones close to us. I’m sure he would’ve been most proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sure he would have been more than proud Nigel. I would have loved to have learned my trade under the wing of Sergeant Walker. Excellent poetry and post. (What is it about Police Sergeants and their dashing good looks?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ! Must be a requirement Davy . He was most proud of the fact that all 3 of his constables who went to war came back, one from Arnhem wrapped in a German Army blanket that I made dens with as a boy. The murderers were Ostler & Appleby who were disturbed robbing a dept store and shot a pursuing sgt in a ‘let him have it’ type case. He never got recognition for the arrest but the Inspector by the gate did !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He sounded like a someone to sit and have a few pints with Nigel. It was one of the unwritten rules of being a Sergeant, – doing the hard yards while the seat warmers at ranks above got the credit. Do you know what happened to Oster and Appleby?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sgt Walker, a young constable and an Inspector were to arrest Ostler in the village of Hawksworth, just outside Guiseley. Mum remembers him pacing, awake all night clearly scared. On the morning of the arrest the Inspector told the constable to knock on the door and Sgt Walker to wait with him, the Sgt refused, insisting he knocked himself. The Sgt who was shot was told in hospital he was dying whereupon he made a statement to say the trigger man shot after his accomplice shouted ‘do I’m !’, thus making them both guilty of murder. They were both hung in the north east where the crime took place. While trying to find info on this I came upon a family history post from the USA seeking info on Appleby, it said ‘ we believe he may have got into trouble’. I was going to respond with ‘No shit Sherlock !’ but decided to not get involved.

        Liked by 1 person

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