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To all those who served on HMS or HMNZS Gambia but have now crossed the bar
A collection of the poems and prayers from the original HMS Gambia website obituary pages...
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye - 1932
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the Boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness or farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson - 1889
I am the albatross that awaits you
At the end of the world.
I am the forgotten souls of dead mariners
Who passed Cape Horn
From all the oceans of the world.
But they did not die
In the furious waves.
Today they sail on my wings
In the last crack
Of the Antarctic winds.
Sara Vial - 1992
O Lord God, when though givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same unto the end, until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory; through him who for the finishing of they work laid down his life, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Sir Frances Drake - 1587
There are those who call us "wrinklies"
Because we are getting on in years
And they think that we are useless,
And some greet us with their jeers
We may totter with our shopping bags
And our backs are sometimes bent
We are slow, we lean on walking sticks
But our years have been well spent
We`ve been wartime bomb survivors
We`ve been wartime prisoners of war
And lived through harsh realities
Never experienced before
Most of us have battle scars
Now invisibly worn and
Many gave their lives for you
For you in freedom born
So think of us more kindly,
Show respect where it is due
And remember when you pass us by,
Once we were young like you.
When we bow our heads in homage
On Armistice Day each year
And share the minute silence,
We are proud to shed a tear
So though some of you deride us,
Your own passing years will tell
When others then may ask of you,
"Would you have done so well?"
Our hearts ache so much for you
We dreamed last night of heaven
As we followed you there
We felt your presence, heard your heart,
We almost touched your hair.
We remember crying
Just because we missed you so
Though we were right behind you
We didn't want you to go.
We begged for a reminder
To help us see your face
A thing to hold and touch
But it left an empty place.
We looked for you in everything
We asked for you by name
We know that you were with us there
We'll never be the same.
We dreamed last night of Heaven
We ache for one more glimpse
Of the love we felt while near you
And the beautiful heart we miss.