Mys­tery Poet V2 Fly­ing Bomb New­burgh Pri­ory Wartime Song Pub­li­ca­tion date: 7th Fe­bru­ary OR­DER YOUR SUB­SCRIP­TION NOW.

This England - - News -

—Sir: The poem “The English Lan­guage” was pub­lished in your spring 2017 is­sue (“This Scep­tred Isle”) and cred­ited Anon. I im­me­di­ately recog­nised it as one writ­ten by a close friend C. M. (Mike) Bent. He died 10 years ago, but his wife, Vi­ola, con­firmed that the poem was his work, although he ti­tled it “English as a Sec­ond Lan­guage” which has a sub­tlety that was typ­i­cal of him.

Mike had many abil­i­ties and chief among th­ese was what he called be­ing a “ver­bal prankster”. As he has writ­ten: “This is per­haps as good a name as any to de­scribe my life­long ro­mance with ver­bal dex­ter­ity and I fully ad­mit to parono­ma­sia. Peo­ple say they are sorry to hear that I’ve got it and hope that I will get bet­ter soon. Per­son­ally I am de­lighted to have it, thank you. It’s from the Greek and just means word­play. In no other lan­guage can so much fun be had as in English. How­ever much you dis­like the pun as a play­thing it is the ve­hi­cle supreme of the dou­ble en­ten­dre. Light verse is my de­light. Noth­ing se­ri­ous.” Sir: I have read with in­ter­est the item from Adrian Cooper about his ex­pe­ri­ence with a V1 on Water­loo Bridge (“For­get-me-nots”, Au­tumn 2017) and thought you might be in­ter­ested in my “brush” with a V2.

Dur­ing the war, my par­ents lived in Hamp­stead in Lon­don and we lived on a road called Broad­hurst Gar­dens. On 8th Jan­uary 1945, when I was nearly seven, my mother and I were walk­ing along the road in the late af­ter­noon. As I re­call, it was not yet fully dark when we saw a glow in the sky above us trav­el­ling west on a de­scend­ing tra­jec­tory and then it dis­ap­peared from view.

Very soon after there was a loud ex­plo­sion and we later learned that it was a V2, which had struck about a mile away hit­ting houses at 112 – 116 Iver­son Road and killing two peo­ple.

I have looked on Google Earth at the im­pact site and to this day the site of the houses Sir: Men­tion of New­burgh Pri­ory (“Post Box”, Au­tumn 2017) brought back mem­o­ries. I was a boarder at Lind­is­farne Col­lege, West­cliff-on-sea, Es­sex, in the 1930s. In 1939 we were evac­u­ated, first to Burn­ham-on-crouch, be­fore we amal­ga­mated with Pan­nel Ash Col­lege from Har­ro­gate, which had moved to New­burgh Pri­ory.

This caused great ex­cite­ment among the boys as we had to hire a train to take us, and a lot of gear, to Cox­wold from where we walked mile and sud­denly saw this great lake be­low the pri­ory.

It was un­der­stood that all or part of Cromwell’s body was buried in a vault at the top of a stair­case. Some­time after I left there was a fire which de­stroyed the chapel and li­brary. Sub­se­quently the school, which was now known as New­burgh Pri­ory School, moved to Wynnstay near Wrex­ham, but did not sur­vive for many years. — Sir: My fa­ther joined the 2nd East Kent Reg­i­ment on the out­break of the First World War. He fought at France and Gal­lipoli. He used to sing a song to my sis­ter and me that no one has ever heard of, but I won­dered if any of your read­ers had come across it or might have any in­for­ma­tion? The words are:

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