Taxi Charity committee members, Dick Goodwin and Ian Parsons, recently accompanied seven Arnhem veterans on a memorable four-day visit to the Netherlands, to take part in the 71st Wandeltocht (Airborne March).
One of the veterans, John Crosson, described the visit as being, the “best time I’ve ever had here.”
If you fast forward the video to 2:10, you can hear this quote from John and find out why this trip turned out to be so special for him.
Committee member, Ian, had this to say about the trip:
"Our visit gave me the opportunity to get to know John, and at one point he began reciting some of his wartime poetry to me.
I found his words extremely moving and asked him to write them down (see below), because I think others should also have the opportunity to experience them.
I know John would be very pleased if his poetry could be put on to the Taxi Charity website."
BIRTHDAY ODE by John Crosson Ne’er does the sun set nor yet arise Without remembrance of full-laden skies. Drone and swish, glider and ‘chute The military stomp of marching boot. A foreign land where friendships formed Amid the chaos, fear, blood and wound. Seventy years have come and gone yet Treasured friendships carry on, Will we meet this year and more? Before we knock on heaven’s door.
MEMORIES by John Crosson Tiredness, hunger and parching thirst, bullet, bomb and mortar burst, The German army doing their worst; the noise, the smell, who will die first? Danger from sniper and hand grenades; the sand is a nuisance, where are the spades? Diving and ducking, running for cover, who will be left when this is all over? There must be a God, why else am I free? I crossed the river, why, oh why, me?
WOODHALL SPA AND A BRIDGE TOO FAR by John Crosson Airborne troops from near and far prepared for war at Woodhall Spa. Monty and his big idea, although intelligence was clear An air armada of monstrous size flew in quest of Monty’s prize Into Holland, gun for gun, our mission was to fight the Hun And fights were fought but seldom won. Yet I survived and fought no more, I might have died in forty-four. Free of anguish and of pain, home to Woodhall Spa again To a welcome I shall e’er remember, good folk of Woodhall, each September.