A giant man of rusting steel sits gazing out across the sea in permanent thought. Flat cap, large overcoat with his walking stick in one hand just peacefully reflecting on life. Freddie Gilroy was a former miner from County Durham who, as a soldier shortly before his 24th birthday, was one of the first allied troops to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in April 1945 where they found more than 60,000 prisoners, most of them seriously ill, and thousands of unburied corpses.
For more information on Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers click here.
Every moment you were physically here.
Every second you remain with me to this day.
Every lesson you taught me.
Every memory you left me.
Every bruise you kissed away.
Every time you ruffled my hair.
Every face you pulled in distaste.
Every sacrifice you made, and;
Every time you said. “it will be okay.”
Every birthday card signed in your name.
Every time you offered me a hug.
Every sigh you made when I said, “I’ve fucked up………..again.”
Every shopping trip for shoes that would never quite fit.
Every pain, ache, and discomfort you handled with grace.
Every time we refused to say, “goodbye.”
Every time your husband tried to cook a pie, and;
Every time my sister teased me about being a mummy’s boy deep inside.
Every day I think of you Mum.
Because, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I will be forever proud to be called your son.