TO HELL AND BACK
If there was hell on earth, this was the door.
Normandy beach, June, 1944.
They would never forget the sights they saw
and it was there that Eddie went to war.
They searched for cover, hugging the ground,
their comrades were dying all around.
If they were to live they would have to reach
the sandy dunes, that were above the beach.
They followed Eddie as he led the way
many had the ultimate price to pay.
The rest made it through, it was better then,
but very soon they were fighting again.
Corporal Eddie Chapman was his name.
For them, nothing would ever be the same.
He led his section as they drove inland,
it was taking longer than they had planned.
The German rearguard had slowed them down.
But by August they’d reached Fallaise town.
Eddie was wounded, as the Germans fled.
He spent five weeks in a hospital bed.
Then back to his unit, on the front line,
in time for the battle, to cross the Rhine.
Being in Germany lifted morale,
Osnabruck next and Dortmund-Ems Canal.
It was April now, with the winter gone
but still the fighting just went on and on.
On a ridge of the Teutoberger-Wald,
they were ambushed , the advance was stalled.
With his soldiers falling all around,
Eddie grabbed a Bren gun from the ground.
He advanced alone, firing from the hip.
Not one of the Germans gave him the slip.
With his battalion in disarray
They ordered retreat, fight another day.
But no message reached Eddie and his men.
Left alone, the Germans came back again.
Now each time they came, they faced Eddie’s fire
and again he forced them to retire.
He ordered his men to rejoin the rest.
They couldn’t do more, they had done their best.
T’was during this retreat that Eddie found,
his C.O. was lying on open ground.
Badly wounded and left there for dead,
“Cover me and I’ll get him” Eddie said.
As the shots rang out from all around,
He got to the man on the open ground.
He lifted, carried, then dragged him a bit.
By the time he got back, both had been hit.
The C.O. died, it had all been in vain,
the only good thing, he wasn’t in pain.
Eddie was wounded, his men brought him back.
Word spread around, how he’d fought the attack.
He got the V.C. what else could they do?
Some people thought, that it should have been two.
When he came home we filled every street,
For the Fochriw boy with the world at his feet.
A Tribute to Edward Chapman V.C., B.E.M.
Street teas in Fochriw, 1945,
The war is over. Glad to be alive.
They’ve built a bonfire up on the black tips.
Our troops have beaten the Huns and the Nips.
We are having a dance, in the New Hall.
They are calling it, “the Victory Ball”.
All tickets sold. What a night it will be
honouring Eddie, who won the V.C.