War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

the old PBI (" Poor Bloody Infantryman") is gone

Turning thoughts towards home I call my old friend David and his phone is disconnected, his email disconnected. I contact a mutual friend and find out that my dear, dear friend is gone and nobody had told me.

British veteran of the Second World War, self-described PBI, he was a wonderful friend. I took another PBI to meet him the January after my friend returned from A’stan, and the two of them, though a generation and a half apart, spoke the same language. “We’re just a pair of PBIs” David said to the CSM and the two of them laughed and talked about how things are still the same for the boys who “walk” and carry the weight. The two men liked each other very, very much.

I remember David telling me the wonderful story of how his mother, a widow, was woo’ed by a First World War ace who after the war, used to fly over the house and parachute little boxes of chocolates into the tennis court. It was David’s job to run and fetch the little gifts from the air. The ace was 20 years younger than the mother but indeed they married and she in fact outlived him.

So now I find out my dear PBI is gone. Before I left for England he gave me Graves’s GTAT and always took an interest in what I was doing. I missed saying goodbye to him by only weeks. But now he is with his beloved Jo and that brings me comfort. Life was not the same without his Jo.

Bless them both. Farewell my old PBI, I shall miss our Friday evening glass of cognac. You, another of the greatest generation is gone. Thank you for being my friend.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled the old PBI (" Poor Bloody Infantryman") is gone. It was posted here on July 27, 2013.

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