Stand by this dedication on Bristol’s old Welsh Back,
Where seamen and their families are there to set a plaque,
Pertaining to all youngsters that gave their life at sea,
Those plucky unsung heroes sailed for you and me.
Greater than five hundred boys, were sent to Neptune’s floor,
Seventeenth birthdays never met, lost for evermore,
They helped sustain our lifelines in dark and violent times,
Facing bombs and U-Boats as well as floating mines.
They came from many seaports and towns from in-between,
Our nation’s youngest mariners fighting-fit and keen,
Committed to adventure with crews wherein they fit,
While barely out of school or hardy training ship.
Life at sea was tough enough with hazards every quarter.
But conflict with the enemy made Hell upon the water,
Precious to their shipmates and loved ones all at home,
They carried out their duties while steaming o`er the foam.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all our Merchant Men,
But today a special tribute is paid to boys like them,
Yes we will remember, by the fixing of a plaque,
Hard by our Seamen’s monument, enduring on Welsh Back.
Capt. Joe Earl Feb. 2017