The feature page

Lance Corporal Bernard C. P. Robinson

Bernard C P Robinson was my mother’s younger brother born in Sept 1916 in Widnes, Cheshire (formerly Lancashire) and he was studying Law when the War broke out. He joined the Lancashire Fusiliers and was on active service in Italy when he was killed early on in the Battle of Monte Cassino in May 1944. I’m not sure exactly when and where the poems were written but I have had them in my possession for several years now, along with other memorabilia (his last letter home, letter of condolence from the King, newspaper cutting telling of his death, photo of the cross marking his original grave) which my Aunt had carefully kept. Last month I went down to Montecassino to visit his grave; this I did partly for my mother who will be 100 in February and never managed to get there. It was, I think, the very moving experience of seeing his grave and so many other graves of young men that made me want to do something with his poems so that in some way his memory would live on. I will attach a photo of him in case you want that and also one of Monte Cassino.
Charlotte Hosking

The poems
Bernard Robinson

The noise of battle passes by
And quiet now the places where they lie,
Where once death moved inebriate with loathsome joy
And placed his cup to lips of youth and man and boy.

Some gulped his opiate draught with gladness;
Some sipped regretful and with weary sadness;
Some cursed; some cried;
But those to whom he beckoned always died.

For what the pain, the suffering, and the joy
Of life that fades
As time so inexorably invades
Our futile lifetimes?

Briefly we snatch a fleeting glimpse of happiness
From lives that pass
Measured by years and days hurried hour-glass
And quickly fade into eternity.

Briefly we meet and yet more briefly part
From friend and love and foe
As down the farthest vale of life we go
Into the outward vastness.
Since agreeing to your putting out an article about Bernard and his poems I've found out that I'm not supposed to let more than one person put them in print and I'd already said yes to a poetry magazine. However they are only printing one of the poems, the one beginning ' I come from ageless mystery..' so I can see no reason why you can't print the other two, if that's all right with you.

Photos Steve Fitt took on a visit in 2014
70th Anniverssary of Cassino 2014