William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD


God and the Soldier we all adore
Was written by a fine poet who had been to war
For whatever reason, thoughts that are now long gone
To this very day he remains, an ANON

The danger passed and all things made right
Forget about God. And of the soldier make light
Missing limbs, poor pension, no home and no bed
They called the soldier a bum. That’s what they said

That soldier named Sarge he was never a bum
Though he drinks cheap wine, said the poet’s kind Mom
He’s a thing called shellshock and sad memories it seems
That poor man he suffers from some very bad dreams

Monica Willbond fed the soldiers and her nine kids
With a pot full of Irish stew. It’s a kindness she did
She made us all kneel and say a round of the beads
And ask God to provide for that poor soldier’s needs

Many years later when Monica Willbond had died
at the back of the church some old soldiers cried
There sat the Sarge and his friends, who had been to AA
Now getting handicapped pensions, from Canada’s D.V.A.

For the funeral, this poet, he came home on leave
And he spoke to the Sarge who had come there to grieve
Your Mom is a saint Billy – She’s now an angel up there
An angel down here, she fed the poor when no one would care!

Author’s Note: In the late 40’s after WW2 there was no welfare, no drop in centers, no food banks, no soup kitchens, no unemployment insurance and no help for the homeless. My mother, Veronica Willbond, had a little dog named Bonzo and she would ask the butcher at the A&P for bones for her dog, to which he gave her huge bags of beef bones which she made into Irish stew, scraping the bones clean and scraping out the marrow and adding potatoes, carrots and onions, parsnips and turnips from her huge garden to the pot which fed her brood of nine children and the many transient war veterans who lived under the Somerset street bridge in the west end of Ottawa beside the train tracks. Many years later when she died, some of those former homeless men that she had fed came to the church and sat at the back during her funeral service. They came to pay tribute to a humanitarian who fed the poor in spite of the hardships of raising her own family.

This poem is a tribute to her.

Love Billy