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Banana man

harry hayes

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This is absolutely true - a story that has been bugging me for nearly 70 years.  May or may not be popular but it is a local tale, worthy of mention, if only for the two main characters involved.  Bananas only became available in 1946 when Labour declared a National Banana day.  This incident was in 1945 -weren't we the lucky ones?


          BANANA MAN


A widow lived a few doors away,

During world war two;

Her only son, a soldier,

She prayed that he'd come through.


At last there was good news,

Peace at last; he's on his way;

With a surprise for all the children,

Guaranteed to make our day.


It was a funny sight to see him,

Banana bunches all round his side;

Laughing; sunburned; happy,

The whole future opened wide.


He distributed this strange fruit,

We'd heard of but never seen.

His mother stood there laughing,

For a moment she was the Queen.


There's a cloud to this silver lining,

Happiness was not to be;

His brain had been affected,

An injury no-one could see.


Nightly rants full of nonsense,

Wrongly judged to be a crime;

Then committed to a mental home,

Where he died before his time. 


Not a bad man; nor a mad man,

'Help For Heroes' long before;

That poor woman and her son,

Two more casualties of the war.


Life was most unkind to them,

For reasons quite obscure;

But I'll never forget the Banana man,

His kindness will endure.



Thank you for reading   Happy days


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Lovely poem Harry and he sounds like he was a very lovely and happy man, well happy some of the time anyway.

It brought a tear to my eye too though as it reminded me of my grandad in a way as he too suffered from the effects of WW2 and was finally sectioned in Winwick years later where he lived for the rest of his life.  He was labeled paranoid schizophrenic on his death certificate :(  If only then there had been the understanding and help available that there is now. 

Very sad for all of them but still... a lovely poem Harry and it's lovely that the Banana Man's memory lives on through your words :) x

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No hit parade in those days, but 'yes, we have no bananas' was certainly popular.


Thanks Dizzy.  I would hope so.  Sometimes i think those killed are almost the lucky ones..  In the thirties there were so many crippled people still about from the first world war.


Best wishes   Happy days

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