Alfie Knight – a poem for World War 1
Our Alfie Knight, he likes to fight,
He’s nine years old, and plenty bold.
He’s very strong, and never wrong.
He’s got a bike, the little tyke,
He wants a gun, he thinks it’s fun
To go and fight, does Alfie Knight.
Reckons shooting might be tooting,
Reckons stabbing’s pretty fab and
All he wants is more of war.
So shall we let? Shall we set him
One on one upon the line?
Alfie Knight no not today,
Alfie Knight go out and play.
When I read Alfie Knight’s letter to Lord Kitchener, volunteering to be a ‘despatch ridder’ at just 9 years old, I was moved to thoughts of war and childhood and how nothing escapes their lives – however much we might protect them (or want to).
Poetry is a good medium to respond to events. This is my poem for World War 1.
Dear Lord Kitchner,
I am an Irish boy 9 years of age and I want to go to the front. I can ride jolley quick on my bicycle and would go as despatch ridder. I wouldint let the germans get it. I am a good shot with a revolver and would kill a good vue of the germans. I am very strong and often win a fight with lads twice as big as mysels. I want a uneform and a revolver and will give a good acount of myself. Pleese send an anencer.
See the original letter at The Imperial War Museum website.
—If you enjoyed this and you are thinking 'how on EARTH can I support this young man' then why not...