Trevor Morgan

THE LAST CASUALTY

A war widow was found hanged in the hallway of her house. The estate agent handling the sale of her house entered the property to show a potential buyer around. It was then that he found her… Newspaper report

Verdict… she had taken her own life whilst the state of her mind was disturbed… Coroner’s report, Portsmouth, June 1955

IWVPA Bronze Helmet Award of Excellence: March 2005The Barham sank just like a stone
Wi’ a thousand men and more
A widow woman wept alone
Though she’d been here before

Her husband Harry on the Hood
Now slept beneath the sea
Her only son’s now gone for good
A Barham lad was he

A banister was robust where
That rope stopped her dead weight
She’s left behind all worldly care
Where sorrow was her fate

In life she’d loved and did what’s right
She’d helped the poor and weak
She hanged there in some dappled light
So lonely, dead and bleak

So there behind the opening door
The agent felt cold dread
A pool of fluid on the floor
A silhouette of death

It mattered not how good she’d been
Fate took away her hope
Now there’s this horror too be seen
It hung there on her rope

The hallway of the house was bleak
Where she last hugged her son
And she hung there for near a weak
Once her last act was done

Her end had been so sudden though
When vertebrae were broke
She had not done a dancing show
She did not slowly choke

She’d choked with tears for several years
All lonely grim and cold
Through many years she’d shed her tears
But now she’d not grow old

The state had waged its wars at sea
But not all deaths were there
More tragedies are yet to be
When sorrow’s everywhere

Just one last casualty was she
For trauma took her down
She’d hanged, she’d not died out at sea
It’s quicker than to drown

Author’s Note: The Hood and the Barham were both lost. HMS Hood was sunk by the DMK Bismark on May 24, 1941; HMS Barham was sunk by submarine in the Mediterranean on November 25, 1941