Rhys Johns.

(A Friend I Won't Forget.)

I wandered under war torn skies, gone the light of day,

With weary legs and heavy heart, I strove to find my way.

I had started out in daylight, but when the darkness fell,

The only lights were searchlight beams, and incendiaries that fell.

I had ventured out to see the sights, and learn my way around.

Anxiety soon turned to fear, as I was homeward bound.

Home is a word I use quite loosely, for my home was far away.

I mean the room I shared with thieves, my only place to stay.

Alec and Joe would search the "digs", they knew each hiding place,

The cash I saw them stealing, when I could, I would replace.

Returning to my story, I was weary and dismayed.

It seemed the whole of London, was sheltering from the raid.

To guide me toward Hammersmith, there was no one to be found.

Devoid of light, there seemed no way, to find the underground.

Suddenly, a welcome lull, I heard the sound of feet,

Hastening toward me, from across the street.

A voice said "Have you lost your way, where are you trying to go.

I know you're not out for your health, have you very far to go?"

The accent, like my father's, was one I knew quite well,

Rhys was returning home from work, at the Savoy Hotel.

He heard my faltering footsteps, and guessed that I had strayed,

And felt compelled to cross the street, to offer me his aid.

He lived near the Underground, in a flat off Earls Court Road.

I told him my sad tale of woe, as from Kensington we strode.

Before I left to catch the train, he said that he would try,

To find a place for me to live, in Penywern Road, nearby.

True to his word he found a room, near his that I could rent.

It was the answer to my prayers, his help was heaven sent.

Rhys Johns that little Welshman did so much for me,

And with what he called "kitchen scraps", I banqueted for tea.

With chicken legs and turkey wings, I made sandwiches for work.

He didn't have to pay for them, in his job they were a "perk".

With long hours of work, and Home Guard duty, shopping was a pain.

And that was another thing, where Rhys helped me once again.

I'd leave him a list of things to get, when shopping for his own.

He could get them sent to The Savoy, by picking up the phone.

He made many famous friends, through contact at his work,

I was sometimes asked to go and meet them, but I'd have felt a "jerk".

Ivor Novello's autograph book was brought for me to sign.

The quality of my handwriting, compelled me to decline.

It was filled with cartoons, paintings and poems by artists of the day.

To add my scribble to that scroll of fame, I had to say "No Way".

I left London to join the army, so he and I lost touch.

His photo revives those memories, his friendship meant so much

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