Tuesday 5 September 2023

The Oaklands Auxiliary Red Cross Hospital Poem (Clevedon, 1917)

Oaklands Hospital, Clevedon (Copyright Phil Curme)

The following poem was written by Private A. Broadley, 1st Cameron Highlanders in 1917. Private Broadley was convalescing in the Oaklands Red Cross Auxiliary Hospital, Elton Road, Clevedon. 


Often, I've thought when the meadows were green,

and the sun on the hills made a beautiful scene,

that the village of Clevedon so quiet and quaint

was as tempting a sight as an artist could paint.

For the good of my health, I was sent there to stay,

and as long as I live, I'll never forget that day,

that I first set foot in that dear little place,

and felt the fresh winds bring a glow to my face.

Tis the 'brain workers' paradise' someone had said,

and no other name can I give it instead;

for naught but a paradise could be so fair

or boast of the sights that one meets while there.

If by Salthouse Fields you should happen to stray,

and look to the west at the close of the day,

you will never forget, 'tis a sight that will hold,

that glorious sunset of scarlet and gold.

And then in the mourn when the mists heavy veils

have lifted, you will see the green hills of South Wales.

Above Cardiff and Newport, you see the smoke cloud

from the factories hanging all o-er the shroud.

Dial Hill, also commands a fine view

of woodland and meadows all sparkling with dew,

and the castle at Walton, tho' now derelict,

stands out with pride of old Norman decay.

Many artists and poets in days that are gone

have brough Clevedon to notice in picture and song,

but naught can describe all the beauty that's there,

'tis so quiet, oh homely, so peaceful and fair.

For art it is famous, the great Elton ware

is designed by the Lord of the Manor down there.

He's a mater in pottery, also in paints,

and he made the bronze crucifix at All Saints.

'All Saints' is the parish out Eat of the town,

'tis a beautiful spot where the woods sloping down

have formed the Swiss Valley, and there the church stands;

It looks like the work of some great artists' hands.

And when my toils on this wide world are o'er,

and my spirit sets forth for yon beautiful shore,

this is my last wish if to me be given,

to be buried in Clevedon - the brainworkers' heaven.