Welcome
to the Peoples Memorial

Langstone Harbour - Portsmouth

Books written by Willie Goldfinch

‘The Ties That Bind’and ‘Flowers Don’t Grow In Gardens

Willie Goldfinch

The mastrmind behind the Peoples Memorial

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Where it all began

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The Forgotten Hero

An old drunk lay dying in a dirty gutter hole, and when people passed him by, he lay trembling from the cold. No-one seemed to know his name and no-one cared to ask, instead, most just looked the other way whenever they walked past.... But I recall one Sunday morning, when a crowd had gathered round, I watched them stand and stare at this old man, as he lay there on the ground... . I forced my way in through crowd to see what I could do, the old mans hands were shaking, his face was turning blue. What’s happened here? I asked someone, as I held the old mans head, for a moment no-one answered, and then someone smiled and said. ‘Oh, he’s just the local wino resting for the night, at that the crowd began to laugh and to mock the old mans plight. In shame I looked upon the faces of those amongst the crowd, who one by one walked a way, leaving guilt to speak aloud. As the old man clenched my hand I heard his final sigh and on that cold and rainy night I watched him slowly die. His sad eyes had finally closed there was nothing more in life for him to see, and as he lay there in the gutter, I hoped, that he was finally free. But even in death his rugged face was etched with years of pain as I went through his pockets, in search to find his name. And much to my surprise I found a carefully folded page dated 1943. The headlines read, a British hero Tommy John Macfee, it went on to tell a story about this soldier in the war, who bravely fought the enemy in a cause worth fighting for. Among the words was a faded picture of this old man in his younger time of day, standing proud in a foreign battle field, in a land far a way. The story told of the battle that that he had just come through; it described him as a hero, a British soldier loyal and true. It spoke of all his bravery in that land so far from home, and how he saved so many lives with the courage that he’d shown. But now lying dead in the gutter, I thought it what a shame that the people who he’d fought for, never even cared to know his name. To them, his life was nothing, just a drunkard by the way, yet he gave them all their freedom, in the wars of yesterday.


Willie Goldfinch