The Ballad Of Sopwith Tim

He came in a Sopwith, his goggles were tight. He landed among us in dawn’s early light. O say can you see him in the airfield canteen, telling us of all the places he’s been? Widnes and Wivenhoe, a village called Splat – the latter’s in Cornwall but I’m sure you know that – Totnes and Topsham and Snodland and Looe, places without proper airfields too. His goggles are still fastened tight round his head as we hang on to every word he has said. We wonder how long he is going to stay in our pitiful village, so out of the way. He is chomping his breakfast with gusto and vim. He tells us that his name is Tim.

Whatever became of Sopwith Tim? Not a trace remains of him. Tragically, his fate was sealed when he came down in that airfield. How could he have known of the villagers’ lust for burying under soil and muck and dust the corpses of strangers who ate their fill in the sinister canteen on top of the hill? He landed in the airfield and walked up the tor, in his goggles he passed through the canteen door. He told them his tales of venturesome flights, until the poisonous breakfast put out his lights. They chopped him to pieces and buried his bones and covered his grave with mysterious cones. Then they smashed up the Sopwith and sold it for scrap. You won’t find that village on any known map.

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