“The Casualties Were Small”
When Winton Aerodrome was bombed
The “Casualties were small”
Just your son, and my son, and little widow Brown’s son,
The youngest of them all.
And your son was your eldest lad,
Handsome and straight and tall.
A model for your younger sons,
Beloved by you all.
And Mrs Brown’s, her youngest boy
Her sole support, and stay.
So like his father, all her joy
Was quenched, on that dark day.
And mine, my only son and pride
So loved and dear to all.
The blast of bombs spread far and wide
Tho’ “the casualties were small”.
World War. The strategically important East Coast area of Lincolnshire
around Skegness had been transformed from a bustling holiday centre to an
armed encampment. Butlins became ‘HMS Royal Arthur’ a huge Royal Navy
training centre, RAF air bases sprang up throughout ‘Bomber County’ and
soldiers were billeted in the villages including May’s Chapel St Leonards.
May’s son Ron volunteered for the RAF and May started to express her
thoughts and prayers in verse. The poem “The Casualties Were Small”
reveals her worst fears as his exposure to danger increased even
before being posted abroad.
As the War continued, May maintained her eloquent record of family and
village life as well as the events of the War itself – including the sad loss
of three nephews and an early hint of victory with the ‘D-Day’ landings.