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Proud To Wear The Red Hackle ©

A tribute to Lance Corporal Barry Stephen, aged 31, the first Scottish soldier to be killed in combat, while serving with the Black Watch at Al Zubayr in the war in Iraq.

by H Marshall
Scotland
2003

Proud waved the 'red' on this soldier brave,
For he wore it with pride and distinction.
Now drains his blood in the land of the grave,
Spilled by war's cruel affliction.

Cold is the sand where they laid Barry's head,
In the growl of the fierce desert storm.
Loyal to the cause and devotion lead,
Honoured by comrades forlorn.

Lost are you now to family and friends,
The Regiment hurting at your sad death.
Your colleagues' calm anger knows no ends,
Raged by those who stifled your breath.

Proud were you of the "Gallant Forty Two"
And to wear the "Red Hackle" you loved.
The Battalion is so proud of you,
Scotland, by your honour, is moved!

Grief-stricken parents and wife must go on
Through the desolate deserts of sorrow.
Hearts devastated at losing a son,
And facing their lonely tomorrow.

Wet are the cheeks with flowing widow's tears,
For her husband and patriot she cried.
Without your support to face future fears,
But your memory swells her with pride.

You served with courage and sacrifice,
In the fury of war's thundering blast.
Fearless and steadfast you paid a high price,
In our hearts you will forever last.

In war you fell, but shall not be unsung,
Aged thirty one, came that deathly blow.
Scottish voices will praise with ev'ry tongue,
For Scotland knows, you died a hero!


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