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Thread: Cpl Ian Henry Armstrong 14/20th Kings Hussars

  1. #1
    Association Member slapper's Avatar
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    Dec 2005

    Cpl Ian Henry Armstrong 14/20th Kings Hussars

    Killed in action 29th August 1971 Cullaville Northern Ireland.

    45 years ago we shared a beer together. Maybe we can share another soon. RIP mate.

    The Empty Photo Frame.

    I listen to the dull recording of his voice within my mind.
    The words are plain, the voice is strong the accent one of my own kind.
    The tape recorder in my brain repeats his words just as were said,
    This final discourse written down in ink, inside my head.
    And I can still remember where that last short talk took place.
    Beside the road, near Crossmaglen, a spot now lost,
    Without a trace
    And as we chatted on that day, the devils work came into play,
    For soon my friend of countless chats would soon be lying dead.
    The tarmac road of Cullaville the pillow for his resting head.
    And through the mists of languid time I still call out his name,
    His face has gone, and all I’ve left, is an empty photo frame.

    What power is this that weaves its web, that takes away his face?
    Is it because I blame myself for his sad fate, his shocking end,
    That leaves my mind without a trace?
    Or is it just that Father Time has marched the road where my thoughts live,
    And somehow blanks his face from me, hoping to forgive?
    Or is it just to see his face would tip me o’er the brink?
    Would blow my mind, or ruin my soul, or tip me into drink?
    These are the questions that I pose, to you, the reader of this prose,
    Because I cannot find the answer for myself.
    The answer lies, deep in my mind, upon some dusty brain-cell shelf.
    It dangles here, before my eyes, mist shrouded, like a lurid game.
    Nailed to the wall of my minds eye, this empty photo frame.

    One day, perhaps all will be told, the day I die, all grey and cold.
    And I will leave this mortal coil, with dignity, and soul unsold.
    And climb the escalator to that place, where judgments meet me,
    Face to face.
    And I will see those other lads, that I once knew, and shake their hands anew.
    Then once again we’ll crack a glass, to those who fought that stinking war,
    And then I will be with my friends, who traveled on before.
    The blinkers that have closed my eyes, will be removed, and I’ll be sure,
    Of all the things I see.
    At last the shield that closed my mind will disappear, be gone from me.
    So with the clarity of God, I will shout out his name,
    And see hung there, in Odins halls, his face, complete with photo frame.

    Dedicated To Cpl Ian Henry Armstrong. Killed in action, 1500hrs, 29th August 1971.

    'For a soldier I listed, to grow great in fame. And be shot at for ninepence a day.'

    'Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch'

    'It's been hard getting over my addiction to the hokey cokey, but I've turned myself around and that's what it's all about.'

  2. #2
    Old Warhorse turned Admin. Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky 1st Class DeadHorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Kent, nowhere near 'that Yorkshire' {{{shudder}}}
    RCT & bar (fully licensed)
    This Vehicle is Alarmed
    (but the driver has seen it all before)
    You can lead a horse to water - but you cant make me drink the stuff.

  3. #3
    Administrator Jock2413's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    Narf Landan Innit
    Any further words from me would be superfluous.
    Rest easy mate.
    You cannot fight a war with one hand tied behind your back.

  4. #4
    Association Member ScouseB's Avatar
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    Apr 2009

  5. #5
    Association Member eelpieisland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

  6. #6
    Association Member damoclese's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Nr Edinburgh (But English)
    Always remembered Ian
    "What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
    Salman Rushdie

  7. #7
    Administrator & NIVA Newshound jigsawged's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Stowmarket, Suffolk (born and raised in Lancashire)
    Some must be warriors, that others may live in peace.
    ― Mercedes Lackey

  8. #8
    Association Member of WUSA bigal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Be who you are and say what you feel...
    Because those that matter, don't mind.
    And those that mind, don't matter!

  9. #9
    Admin/Membership Secretary/Treasurer On1on's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    South Yorkshire
    Visit tree 49/189 @ the NMA and say hello.

  10. #10
    Association Member & WUSA Overseas rep spanner's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Thank you for reminding us Slaps. I was in Belfast then but we only were aware of what was going on in our area of course.
    Spanners do it with their tools.

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