This poem is dedicated to DOUGLAS(MET) BOORMAN who, on Sunday 16th August 1936 aged 16 years. gave his life trying to save a friend from drowning. Personally, I have always felt that he was never acclaimed the hero he most certainly was. I have never forgotten him, or our friend, he tried to save.
[The ‘M.L. was an ex world War 1 Naval Launch that was stripped of its fittings and moored at the jetty alongside Whites, the barge builders, at Conyer.
The ‘Channel’ we called the strip of water between Whites boatyard and the marsh bank opposite.]
We often swam in Conyer Creek
You would see us there most every week,
In the heat of the summer sun
When our errands and jobs were done.
Our changing room was the old M.L.
Which during the war had gone through hell.
Bought by a man who had lost a son
And moored to his memory when the fight was won.
Sometimes we swam from the opposite bank
Until the day of the fatal prank,
“Let’s swim the ‘channel’” someone cried
We all said “Yes” and two boys died.
Going across all well and alive
On the return one fought to survive.
Back in dives ‘Met’ but it’s near the end
And he gave his life trying to save a friend.
Trudging home with heads held low
For us so young a tragic blow!
How to tell husbands and their wives
That their two sons had lost their lives.
Now ever since time began
Nature has always challenged man.
Peaks to be climbed but at what cost
For he sometimes one but oft times lost.