Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Ode To Tumbledown

While I was stationed at Ajax Bay looking after prisoners of war one of the REME Armourers took it upon himself to paint a mural. He really was very talented and as well as painting he made all sorts of bits of furniture out of old pallets. He even made some paper mache horses and a huge dice which we used to play horse racing.

The mural consisted of a roll of honour to the dead we suffered on Tumbledown surrounded by cap badges of all the units that were with the Scots Guards that night. He borrowed mine for the Royal Army Pay Corp crest that he painted. Finally was added the following words:

It was the Guardsmen of the Crown
Who scaled the Heights of Tumbledown
And fought that night a bloody fight
To see victory by dawn's first light.

From crag to crag amongst the rock,
They skirmished on, numbed by shock.
Through shell and mortar fire they moved,
Till at last the ground they'd proved

Port Stanley lay there ...just ahead,
As they began to count their dead.
But where the glory, where the pride,
Of those eight brave men who died?

They who made that lonely sacrifice
And through each death paid the total price
In their final and heroic act,
Did surely speed the warring parties pact.

Each one who there his life laid down,
Saved countless others from their own unknown.
So those of you who live to talk,
Let your pride hover as does the hawk.

And never let men these acts forget,
Nor the memory of our dead neglect,
But once returned across this vast sea,
Remember then just what it was to be....
A Scots Guardsman.

Lt Mark Mathewson, Right Flank 2nd Battalion Scots Guards
Ajax Bay, Falklands Islands, 20th June 1982

I often wondered what became of that wall and recently I read it was moved to the museum in Port Stanley. I hope thats true, would be nice to see it again.


Cowboyo said...

Nice Poem

Rip Fellow Guardsmen
From EX Welsh Guard 82

Anonymous said...

very touching, I hope he gets to see his wall, he deserves to

Anonymous said...

Wonderful poem, from the heart.would love to see it myself.Where is Mark Matthewson now?

Unknown said...

RIP Guardsmen BRB my brothers from a ex coldstreamer

Steve Martin said...

RIP brave men Respect from an ex Coldstreamer BRB Brothers