The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Exile in New York

Author Unknown

God! Let me pack and take a train
And get me to England once again.
For England’s the one place I know
Where homesick G.I. Brides may go:
And of all England I prefer
The gloomy city Manchester!


Still stands the queue?
No shove, no push, to catch the 67 bus?
In Manchester I do remember
Lots of fog in cold November!
And do the secretaries neat
Still pound away in Princess Street?
Around the Ritz do girls still flutter
With Tom the clerk and Bob the cutter?

Ah! I recall and smack my lips -
The cups of tea, the fish and chips.
There comes a yearning in my soul
For polished range and burning coal,
For grey, slate roofs and slate-grey skies
Mustard pickles and cold meat pies...


For I live in a distant land
Where people just don’t understand
That a lift is not an elevator,
Nor a tomato a ‘tamayta’.
Here there are stores instead of shops
And no ‘policemen’, only cops.
Oh! Would that I were home again
Walking in the drizzling rain.


This poem was sent to me by Rita Lamb. She wrote the folloing.
"My 89-year-old auntie recently showed me a poem she'd copied out as a young woman, possibly from a local newspaper, and evidently written by a war bride who was homesick. The poem is a kind of pastiche of Rupert Brooke's famous poem about homesickness, 'The Old Vicarage, Grantchester'."
If you know anything about this poem please share the information with me.

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© 2010 M. Thomas