Flora Sandes

Reg Meuross
Language: English

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Flora Sandes (22 January 1876 – 24 November 1956) was a British woman who served as an officer of the Royal Serbian Army in the World War I. She was the only British woman officially to serve as a soldier in the WWI. Initially a St. John Ambulance volunteer, she travelled to the Kingdom of Serbia, where, in the confusion of war, she was formally enrolled in the Serbian army. She was subsequently promoted to the rank of Sergeant major, and, after the war, to Captain. She was decorated with seven medals.
She was born to God’s disciple she was born to hold a rifle
She taught herself to fight while all the other girls played mum
Learned to ride and learned to drive fix a wound and stay alive
How to use a sword and how to shoot a gun

When the war broke in the east she begged her father to release her
To a front line nurse’s station in North Albania
He said ‘women are created to give life and men to take it
So care for and repair them and remember who you are’
She strapped a soldier’s tunic round her charms
She said ‘let the girls bear armies I’ll bear arms’

Flora Sandes Flora Sandes
Wasn’t born a fighting man
But God help the man who finds himself
At war with Flora Sandes

Drawing close she heard the rattle of the angry guns of battle
She begged her captain free her to the raging heart of war
He said ‘there is a way but you must swear an oath today
That you will love no man completely Give your body to your country
And wear the clothes that other soldiers wore’
And flora smiled sweetly and she swore

To her a woman’s life was boredom only fighting brought her freedom
Her lethal independence craved the brotherhood of men
Between killing them she healed them later married and concealed them
But their annihalation was her greatest pleasure then
She took comfort in their silence and their moans
Only then she knew she’d brought death’s victory home

She fought hand to hand with men winning time and time again
Til an enemy grenade cut her down – cut her down
She was honoured and promoted for her injuries deported
And her doctors tried to lead her to a woman’s life again
She said ‘I never came this far to lose
And I will be a woman when I choose’

She died at home among the flowers in the quiet English hours
The soft hands of a woman lay still upon her chest
Hands that killed and mutilated lie content and compensated
It was a woman that they buried and a woman laid to rest
But as she breathed her last she felt the joy
Remembering when she was a boy

Contributed by dq82 - 2016/3/25 - 19:02

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