VIDEO: Former marine pens poem to Dieppe soldier

A former marine, who writes beautiful poetry, has penned a poem to honour an inspirational soldier, who risked his life and watched many friends die in battle at Dieppe, during World War Two.

David Lilburn, 54, from Broadfield, who takes part in the annual Sleigh Pull challenge at Christmas, met former marine Corporal (Cpl) Alan Saunders at a Help our Wounded charity event.

jpco-20-2-13-David Lilburn book signing ayt County Mall (Pic by Jon Rigby)

jpco-20-2-13-David Lilburn book signing ayt County Mall (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Cpl Saunders, from Langley Green, who is 90, told David of his remarkable survival during the German-held Dieppe raids in France, the bloodiest in the history of the war.

David said he was so inspired by Cpl Saunders that he felt he had to write a poem for him and honour the great serviceman.

He said: “We first met Cpl Alan Saunders when he attended the Help our Wounded fundraiser at Legends when we finished the first leg of our Sleigh pull. I was so inspired by his story and service that I had to write a poem for him. Alan was also one of the first of 350 Royal Marines Commandos that where formed during the Second World War and it has carried on to this day.”

Last year Cpl Saunders travelled to Dieppe to mark the 70th anniversary of Dieppe which saw thousands killed or wounded. The battle in August 1942, known as Operation Jubilee, was one of the worst disasters to befall troops in World War Two. British and Canadian forces sent 6,000 troops, but 4,131 men were killed, wounded or captured in just six hours of landing on Dieppe’s shores. In total 106 RAF aircraft were destroyed.

To sum up the battle, David wrote in his poem: “On the shores of Dieppe they said we won;” deep pain now filled his eyes, But I remember, yes I remember, the agony and the cries.”

David has written a book of poetry ‘Reflections of War.’ He was at County Mall on Sunday (February 17) signing copies of the book. To order a copy and to read Cpl Saunders poem in full visit