bob and ben (2)
Ben and I as members of boat troop, training in typical North Sea conditions, mid 1970s
Bradbury Lines was an old war camp
On the edge of Hereford, wooden and damp
A place with a roof, hot water and a bed
A second world war basha, no more than a shed
But during my career It was only there for a bit
Away to all the wars, a place to store my kit
But when we were back it was great to relax
Each squadron had their own basha among those shacks
A taxi at the gate for an evening on the town
The conversation’s tough as the music tries to drown
If I walk into “The Booth” and hear Pearl’s A Singer
I know Ben’s already there
Putting lads through the wringer
A man of few words but with a fearsome wit
He could get anyone biting, including me…the git
The women loved him for his honest but simple patter
With good looks to boot he’d shrug like it didn’t matter
Sharing the basha with Ben for a couple of years
We’d work hard and train hard, then have some beers
A great role model for a young trooper like me
He’d teach me all he knew, and I was getting it for free
His soldiering skills were second to none
His way of putting it across was by making it all fun
Apart from Elkie Brooks, Leonard Cohen was his style
The basha would wake up to Hallelujah
It would always make me smile
Bradbury Lines was knocked down
Row by row by row
For a more modern base
For the world’s military to get to know
The Regiment is changing, now the world’s looking in
I really miss the quiet, but now there’s a din
Then Ben was killed in a foreign land
When I was told it was like losing a hand
That night I went out to have a beer
I put on Pearl’s A Singer to have some cheer
It wasn’t the same without my old mate
But the present’s not the past
We just can’t shut that gate
Our time at Bradbury Lines is really now history
To think that it won’t change is really no mystery
As I sit here looking back I can’t help but get upset
At the loss of Ben and Bradbury Lines
A time I’ll never ever forget

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized4 Comments

4 thoughts on “FOR BEN AND BRADBURY LINES A Poem By Bob Shepherd”

  1. A great reflection Bob of a great friendship and special time in your life that encourages others to reflect on theirs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s