They built it for the battlefields of France
In ‘forty-four – a paratrooper’s way
Of gaining rapid ground as the advance
Drove inland from Gold Beach that Longest Day.
Our active service won’t force us to face
The wait inside a dark Dakota till
A green light sends us roaring into space –
And time’s the only thing we’ll ever kill.
But still, we’re comrades in a long campaign
Against our cratered roads, the armoured might
Of cars, wild weather, human weakness, pain;
A just and righteous war we’re proud to fight.
Each day a small but vital victory
In life’s unending struggle to be free.


A little tribute to my faithful 1940s-replica Pashley Paramount: now the snow’s gone at last, we’re back on the road, doing battle with floods…the poor old bike certainly doesn’t look as shiny as it did when I took its picture in Brittany last summer. N.

4 thoughts on “Warhorse

    • Thank you Ina – it is a good bike! It’s tough, reliable, easy to ride and almost maintenance-free. Best of all, has a wonderful charm about it, and makes me smile every time I ride it. Thank goodness Pashley still make them like this: not many people do these days, and we’re the poorer for it, I reckon. N.xx

    • The original, made by the British Small Arms (BSA) factory, folded in the middle so some unfortunate paratrooper could carry it more easily (and that’s a very relative term!) The idea of jumping out of a plane at night over occupied France is terrifying enough: how anyone managed to do so while clutching 40-some pounds of angular steel beats me. Hats off to ’em, I say. N.

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