I’ve lost a lot of things worth while my pleasure and my fun,
And the days of my captivity pass slowly one by one,
But as I sit in loneliness, each day more plain I see,
My body may be captive but my heart and mind are free.
Far o’er the wastes of Poland and Deutchschland’s fields of grain,
To woods and fields of northern France I wander once again,
I meet again old comrades, whose laughter I’ve oft heard,
When life was life and fun was fun and death was but a word.
Their fight is fought their race is run, they each have proved their worth,
Side by side they stood at bay they now lie neath the earth,
But though their laughter’s silenced their eyes no longer shine
I meet them all quite often for their souls are free like mine.
They all tell me when I meet them that they’re glad I got away
They say old pal we know each thing you think and do or say,
We know your lot is pretty hard but take it on the chin
Throw out your chest hold up your head, for our sake don’t give in.
You’ve hungered more than once with us, been cold and lonely too
But always in those stormy days our friendship helped us through.
Now our strife is over, yours is the hardest test,
Alone you represent the gang, so give us of your best.
We fought and fell for Britain, and for each other too,
We had a stake in Britain, but we’ve passed it on to you
So if not for yourself old pal, then for our friendship sake,
Be British still, and play the game, and play it good and straight.
We are gone but you live on this coming dawn to see
When peace shall hush a war torn world and Britain will be free.
Can you take the heritage that we have left for you?
If you’ve not kept our flag unsoiled, and played the game all through
So when the goings rough and hard, we know it’s often so
Just conjure up a spirit of all the boys you used to know
They made the greatest sacrifice they died in Britain’s name,
And falling passed the ball to you, so carry on the game.
About this poem
Jon Low, the son of Jack Low, gave the SPL permission to reproduce his father’s poem to mark the anniversary of the 51st Highland Division surrender at St Valery on 12 June, 1940.