The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58887   Message #934542
Posted By: Steve Parkes
16-Apr-03 - 04:10 AM
Thread Name: Cornwall UK WWII deserter query
Subject: Anyone know this story?
Back in the seventies Barrie Roberts wrote a song about a deserter (which I will post here if I manage to find the words).

This is the story. All the men in a Cornish village are called up (drafted) for the war. One day a young man of fighting age turns up, but not in uniform. He helps out around the village with all the "men's" jobs (no PC then!). Some time later the Military Police turn up and arrest him. He escapes into the woods, but is cornered against a bluff next to the river Tamar, which is swollen by winter rain. He dives into the river and tries to swim for the other side, but is swept away and drowned. He is buried in a charity grave as a deserter.

I seem to recall Barrie telling me his sister was trying to get him reburied without the "deserter" label, and that was what inspired him to write the song.

Can anyone add to this?