Mabel Ringe , a woman I had the honer to meet. Who became my mate , a friend. She was in her 90's. This is what she shared with me. This Mabel's story.


Her name was Mabel Mabel Ringe

A girl from Norfolk

A girl not fore very long

A job as a Lady's gave her course not to curtsey

World war one finished her journey in to womanhood

Her first job was as a Lady's maid

The job did not last her long

And this is why

The year was 1914 or so

At the time no Tampax nor Dr Whites

Woman made do with rags

The Lady Mabel work fore

Instructed Mabel to wash her sanitary towel

Mabel lost it

Told the Lady '' lady , go wash it your self! ''

World one war was raging so many dieing

One of whom was her brother in law

He had come home recovering from wounds

Suffered in France

His brother and Mabel asked him begged him not to go back

He said '' I have to go back '' '' If I don't THEY will drag me back ''

'' And shoot me dead ''

'' I have no choice '' '' I have to go back ''

So he went back and yes he was killed

Mabel and her husband were devastated

Mabel decided to volunteer to be a VAD nurse

In France

When Mabel first arivde just a few graves lay outside

The hospital

With in a few months the hospital were surrounded

Graves , so many young men now lay in a Flanders field

Many had called Mabel mum , mother , sister , wife

As each one died , Mabel held there hands

Moped the sweat from their brows

Stroked , combed there hair

Gave them soothing words to help them on there way

When they finally died she called fore the orderless

'' He's , gone , take him ''

The orderless would go fetch a stretcher

Pull back the blankets

Lift up the newly dead put the lifeless body

Lay the body on the stained stretcher

The body taken to the osatory to await burial

To await burial not in a coffin , in an army blanket

Made fast by rope and string

Their family's would be charge the cost of the blanket later

Mabel had held the hands of so many in her time at the hospital

Seen arms , hands , legs feet , amputated , put in to sacks

Buried in a corner with no names

When a lad died , Mabel had to preparer the bed fore the next pore suffering


Mabel took away the blankets always stained with blood , shit , piss and vomit


Take away the pillows , each pillow told it's own story

Upon it had laid the head of a man in pain , dieing

Some hit by a bullet from a rifle bullets from a machine gun

Shrapnel , sharp , slicing off limbs

The head of a man a soldier , gassed with mustard , pepper , phosgene , chlorine

Chlorine , melts your the lungs , with in seconds

Start coughing , up comes up a frothy , foamy mix of blood lung membrane

Both the German and British army's used gas

Often gassing there own

All this and oh such more Mabel saw on the white starched pillows

She held close to her breast , her tears she shed in side of herself

Not the best of times to show her pain she felt as she held

Those pillows close to her breast

Fore as each day will bring more suffering young men

To lay their heads upon the newly washed and starched pillows

Ken D Williams The Dyslexic Poet

Poetry by ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 335 times
Written on 2012-04-21 at 16:49

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email
dott Print text

A remarkable, compassionate lady to have known, she saw too much, but had a duty to perform, which she went beyond. The line that says so much for me is "each pillow told it's own story, upon it had laid the head of a man in pain."

Stan Cooper
Ken...a truly amazing story about a truly amazing lady...

You are right to feel honored to have known her

xxx Stan