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The Stormy Petrel aka Joseph Ray Hodgson 1829 - 1908

by crowspark 

Posted: 11 December 2022
Word Count: 123
Summary: My great, great grandfather

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As the wind rises and
waves jostle and boil
diminutive storm petrels
head for the shore
harbingers of the storm.

Wind and waves called
Joseph to the beach
his eyes slitted against
the wind blown salt
to scan the sea for ships.

There was no squall that could
deter this hero of the hour
this seaman strong of shoulder
and arm, eager to risk his
life to save others from harm.

Many lives did he save,
a hero from the age of
four and ten, dragging
the drowning back to life
by grabbing them by the hair.

This hero died a pauper's death
forced to pawn his medals
one by one, until all hope
of living was gone, until
pneumonia took his breath.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 17:50 on 11 December 2022  Report this post
I think you did your great great grandfather proud with this one, Bill. 

a hero from the age of
four and ten

Such a pity he died in such circumstances. It's close to my heart as the RNLI is my favoured charity -- heroes all! 

By the way, just had a lovely chat with Jennifer Walmsley who you may remember. So nice to get a call from an old WW friend. I miss the old days!

michwo at 20:14 on 11 December 2022  Report this post
You're a worthy winner with this one, Bill. It must be nice to have such a heroic ancestor as Joseph.

crowspark at 20:26 on 11 December 2022  Report this post
Thank you Oonah and Michael. I would have been happy just to have an ancestor who carved and gilded ship's figureheads so the heroic bit is a bonus. I didn't know much about my father's side of the family so I am currently having quiet the adventure in family history.

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