Bob Christie Shares a Glass with Francis

The sweetest sound that I ever did hear
Was that of your voice calling to me
Through the unholy fug of war memory.
So let us raise our cups to Gallipoli;
I never had a truer friend before that day
When you appeared there at my side.
Let us remember too our fallen friends
Alive only now in precious memories;
And with the Good Lord in the Hereafter.
I have lost a leg but gained much more
In a friend across harsh political divide;
I pray more such friendships may abound.

Bob Christie, a Protestant from Belfast, met Francis during the War. He was seriously injured in Gallipoli and Francis stayed with him, until he was evacuated back to Ireland. Francis visited him when he was on leave, on his way to Ebrington Barracks, Derry; he ended staying longer with his friend and was subsequently court-martialled and he lost a stripe.

John Llewellyn James


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