Forty One Gun Salute to a fellow sailor
Forty One Gun Salute to a fellow sailor
Fire One! Fire Two!
Prince Philip, he was not yet two
When saved by the Navy from Corfu.
Fire three! Fire Four!
Father and mother separate;
No home, no parents and no State.
Fire Five! Fire Six!
Virtual orphan, nearest kin?
Uncles Mountbatten took him in.
Fire Seven! Fire eight!
Spartan schooling suited well,
Awards and prizes, he rang the bell.
Fire Nine! Fire Ten!
Good at sailing, bright and keen;
He joined the Navy at age eighteen.
Fire eleven! Fire Twelve!
Soon after that he met the Queen
Still a Princess of just thirteen.
Fire thirteen! Fire Fourteen!
End of training, requirements met.
Passing out as top cadet.
Fire fifteen! Fire Sixteen!
Served in the east, Pacific and Med,
Bravely, his Commanders said.
Fire Seventeen! Fire Eighteen!
Continued as boldly as he began;
Mentioned in despatches at Cape Matapan.
Fire Nineteen! Fire Twenty!
On HMS Wallace in ‘43
Was at the invasion of Sicily.
Fire Twenty One! Fire Twenty Two!
On HMS Whelp, now Second man;
Saw the surrender of Japan.
Fire Twenty Three! Fire Twenty Four!
Meantime letters winged their way
To Princess Elizabeth in UK.
Fire Twenty Five! Fire Twenty Six!
The war is over, life is heaven;
Engaged and married in 47.
Fire Twenty seven! Fire Twenty eight!
Now HRH, and D of E—
And Naval Lieutenant, best of the three.
Fire Twenty Nine! Fire Thirty!
Life as a Naval wife is great—
Prince Charles is born in 48.
Fire thirty one! Fire thirty two!
In 52 he learns to fly-
Whirlybirds come by and by.
Fire Thirty three! Fire Thirty four!
On tour in Kenya doing their thing,
Taking the place of the ailing King.
Fire Thirtyfive! Fire thirty six!
Far from home their tour must cease,
As soon as they learn of the King’s demise.
Fire Thirty Seven! Fire thirty eight!
The Queen’s accession, all possible ways,
Puts an end to his Naval days.
Fire Thirty Nine! Fire Forty!
Uses his passion and brilliant range
Supporting Wildlife and Climate Change.
Inspiring the young to the outdoor life;
And steadfastly cheering on his wife.
Fire Forty One!
At 99 he’s laid to rest
In Windsor, a place that he loves best.
Eternal father, and bugle calls
Echo round the Royal walls,
Embodying his glorious past:
Action Stations to the last.
© 2021 Laurel Cooper.
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