A Subaltern’s Love Song Redux

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I thought I would share my tongue-in-cheek re-working of Sir John Betjeman’s famous poem. Note to non-UK readers, a Subaltern is a term for a junior officer in the British Army. Aldershot, also known as The Home of the British Army is a Garrison town near the border between Hampshire and Surrey.

UNDER ALDERSHOT SUN

Miss J Hunter Dunn, Miss J Hunter Dunn

Alas no more found under Aldershot sun

Your like has been gone for many a year

Place taken by loud ‘ladettes’ drinking beer

 

Innocent courtship of tennis has passed

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn would I’m sure be aghast

Down roads ‘not adopted’, woodlanded ways

After dark in the car park, ‘dogging’s’ the rage

 

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn

The Surrey Heath drug dealer’s armed with a gun

Late night in Camberley, oh what a sight

The shock of a violent closing-time fight

 

Miss J Hunter Dunn, Miss J Hunter Dunn

How mad I am, sad I am to see what’s become

Once-pastoral Surrey, all gone to seed

Your letters from ‘Betjers’ by burglars thieved

 

With speed and grace, you played on the court

On a warm summer’s eve, who would have thought

That in verse you’d be immortalised, forever young

A pure ‘English Rose’, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn

 

© Barry Alexander 2016 (with gratitude and apologies to Sir John Betjeman)

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