What If (2) The Screamer - Poem by Barry Conway
HE CAME UPON HIM
SCREAMING HELP HELP
AND SAVED HIS LIFE
HE WAS JOHAN JAMBOR
AND THIS WAS THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME
THE WORST THAT 1916 HAD TO OFFER
THE SOLDIER HAD INJURIES
SUFFERED BY A SHELL BURST IN THE TRENCH.
TO THE ABDOMEN AND ONE TESTICLE,
ALTHOUGH THIS CLAIM HAS NEVER BEEN PROVED,
THE SOLDIER WAS INJURED IN THE GROIN
BUT THE PROOF
THAT THIS LITTLE CORPORAL
WAS SAVED IS PROOF ENOUGH
OF HOW FATE, OR BLIND CHANCE
TO TURN THE WORLD
INTO RIVERS OF BLOOD.
THE MEDICS CALLED HIM
FOR THAT IS WHAT HE DID.
HE SCREAMED AT THE WORLD
ONE TWIST OF FATE
WOULD SEEM ENOUGH FOR ANYONE
BUT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE
MYTH AND MYSTERY SURROUNDING
SUCH AS HE
BUT ANOTHER HAD COME BEFORE
WHEN THE LITTLE CORPORAL ENCOUNTERED
WHO WAS TO BECOME THE MOST HIGHLY
DECORATED BRITISH PRIVATE OF WW1
AT THE BATTLE OF MARCOING IN OCTOBER 1914
A WEARY GERMAN SOLDIER
WANDERED INTO THE LINE OF SIGHT
AND TANDY RAISED HIS RIFLE,
BUT SAW THE SOLDIER WAS WOUNDED
AND THAT HE DID NOT RAISE HIS RIFLE
TANDY CHOSE TO LET HIM LIVE
AND LOWERED HIS RIFLE
THE GERMAN SOLDIER NODDED HIS THANKS
AND MADE HIS ESCAPE.
THE SOLDIER SAW A CLIPPING OF TANDY
1N 1918 BEING AWARDED THE V.C.
AND KEPT IT
In 1937, Hitler was made aware of a particular Fortunino Matania painting
showing a soldier purported to be Tandey carrying a wounded man at the Kruiseke Crossroads in 1918, northwest of Menin.
HITLER IDENTIFIED THE MAN
AS THE SOLDIER WHO HAD SPARED HIS LIFE
In 1938, when Neville Chamberlain visited Hitler at his alpine retreat, the Berghof, for the discussions that led to the Munich Agreement, he noticed the painting and asked about it. Hitler replied:
'That man came so near to killing me that I thought I should never see Germany again; Providence saved me from such devilishly accurate fire as those English boys were aiming at us.'
According to the story, Hitler asked Chamberlain to convey his best wishes and gratitude to Tandey. Chamberlain promised to phone Tandey in person on his return, which apparently he did. The Cadbury Research Center, which holds copies of Chamberlain's papers and diaries, has no references relating to Tandey from the records of the 1938 meeting.
SO IS THIS ANOTHER 'WHAT IF'
THAT CONSPIRES AGAINST MANKIND.
100 MILLION CASUALTIES
AND 60 MILLION DEATHS
AND ANOTHER WORLD WAR.
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