Gary Miller Songs

"As a song poet there are few in the world today to match him"
Green Man Review, USA


A Hospital Ship at Tobruk



Reading your memoirs transported me
Across the years over Time’s rolling sea
Of the salt sea air and its smells I partook
As I stood on a hospital ship at Tobruk

You gave me a feel for the casualty rate
They were shovelling them out in increasing spate
Just one theatre of operations on which I did look
As I stood on a hospital ship at Tobruk

I witnessed the bombardment; I saw the shells burst
I tasted the blood; I was choking from thirst
I heard a machinegun go rat-a-tat-tat
To the beat of your resolute heart

“You're real, you’re a woman!” a young laddie cried
You became real to me as I read of your trials
An angel in white, tending her flock
Of wounded on a hospital ship at Tobruk

So standing there ’midst the sights and the smells
My senses experiencing part of the hell
Just a small part of you, I trembled and shook
As I stood on a hospital ship at Tobruk

Then back to the present safely I stand
There is still part of you I can touch with my hand
Your cape and your medals, your portrait so fine
Gazing out at me out of time

(Gary Miller)

© 2010 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS



Commissioned for 'Reflections on War', a community arts project and exhibition at York Art Gallery for York Museums Trust.

Inspired by 'A Hospital Ship at Tobruk', the memoirs of Effie Townend, a nurse from Selby, awarded the Royal Red Cross for her duty aboard HMHS Somersetshire; and Nurse Effie, a painting by Beryl Trist.

Other songs and poems from the 'Reflections on War' project include : -'Battleships''Bold as Brass', 'Grandpa Mill', 'House of War''One Soldier's Thoughts', 'Sister of Mercy', 'Soldiers of the Lord', 'Somewhere at the Front, Somewhere', 'Twa Scots Soldiers', 'Yellow Bird'.

'Nurse Effie' by Beryl Trist: York Museums Trust


Effie Townend's cape, medals and memoribilia as displayed
at the Reflections on War exhibition at York Art Gallery.


HMS Somersetshire, the hospital ship on which
Effie Townend served during the Battle of Tobruk.


Releases (on Whippet Records unless otherwise stated)


Reflections on War

York Art Gallery (2010)


Video Clips

Official Promotional Video for 'A Hospital Ship at Tobruk'.

Gary performing 'A Hospital Ship at Tobruk'
live at Cafe Heureka, Vienna on 20th July 2010.


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