“Servigliano Calling” Poem #18

Eight poems by Cpl. D. Nevitt were included by Robert Dickinson in his prison camp journal, “Servigliano Calling.”

During the holidays, when we are reminded in song that “there is no place like home” and when we feast and make merry with loved ones, Corporal Nevitt’s poem and the other four others I have posted today have a special poignancy.

These poems reflect love of England, craving for home and family, and optimism that the war would one day end and normal civilian life would resume.


Maybe outside the snow has fallen,
And the weather’s really dud,
Or maybe it’s been raining
And it’s inches thick in mud.
You’ve just received your dinner,
And it’s only made you feel,
A little bit more hungry,
And you say, “Roll on next meal”

You think of food in England,
For, nothing else to do
Of the roast beef, lamb and chicken,
And the good old Irish stew.
Then your back starts itching,
Just warning you anew,
That in the shirt you’re wearing,
The lice are standing too.

You think of your own bedroom,
No vermin to be seen,
Of pre-war days in “Blighty”,
And what you might have been.
Again you think, what could be worse
Than a prisoner-of-war
And then you think of Libya;
Of your pals who live no more.

You see once more the desert,
With scorching sun on high,
You hear again the shrapnel,
And bullets flying by.
You see your comrades falling,
As they hold the Hun at bay,
And yourself doing best to help them,
As their life blood ebbs away.

You thought you were unlucky,
Until this crossed your mind,
That vision of the desert,
And the boys you left behind.
But really you’ve been lucky,
For you’ve still got your life,
And think of her in England,
Not a widow but a wife.

You may still be a prisoner,
With nothing much to eat,
But barley-bread and biscuit,
Macaroni, rice and meat.
But you’ve still got your future,
And this war must end some day,
And from the news we’re getting,
It’s not so far away!