Cassino revisited

Douglas Street

This place did catch a vast pox from off the Moon;
Crater and wrinkle all are here,
And we are travellers from another Time;
This place keeps its own infected counsel;
The most thin atmospheres of loneliness and fear
Still make a heavy labour for the heart;
Yet tribes, I know, lived here, those loved and clumsy tribes
That men call regiments; one tribe would start
The day with telling of its beads; the men of one
Would talk of killings with the knives, and rum;
Yet others talked of the clean unchronicled Antipodes,
Of pasture and a blue haze of trees;
Some had left their private silken skies behind,
Folded neatly with the storemen, out of mind;
And all read letters smelling of the mules,
And talked of two myth-planets, Rome and Home;
For battle cries they used shy word - 'Perhaps' or 'Fairly soon'.
From Oasis into Italy -- Shepheard-Walwyn Ltd (1983)

Douglas Street was commissioned in 1/7 Middlesex (Medium Machine Gun) TA, British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 3rd Division, at Dunkirk. Chief Instructor, Intelligence Staff Course. Liaison officer with General Leclerc of the Free French forces. GSO I (Intelligence) with 8th Army. SOE in Yugoslavia and Greece. Commanded Allied Information Services under General Sir John Harding.