Words of war: Moving poetry of Burma veteran which lay forgotten for 70 years

Dennis Leedham wrote poetry about his experiences in Burma Terrified Dennis Leedham crouched in the trenches, listened out for the enemy and came up with the poignant words that helped see him through the war. It was pitch black and the 19-year-old was under threat of an attack by Japanese soldiers often just yards away. Brave Dennis helped pass those bleak, fearful nights by thinking of poetry. He was in Burma, where British soldiers were known as the Forgotten Army because they were so far from the battlefields of Western Europe. Each morning, as light dawned, Dennis – now 92 – would scribble down the lines he had composed in the dark. His poems highlight the horrors of the war’s longest and bloodiest campaign, in which 40,000 Brit troops died. Dennis, one of 3,000 Burma veterans still alive, said: “At the end of every day we would dig in and take it in turns to keep watch for a Japanese attack. “It was pitch black, but you’d know the Japanese were out there in front of you somewhere and you were frightened that at any minute they might attack. “I was desperate for the time to pass quicker and […]

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