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Family Tribute- Ode to a hero (written and narrated by Lorna Dunsire)

Scotland boasts heroes, of old Celtic birth

With VC’s awarded to convey their worth

To honour their valour, their stories retold

To acknowledge achievements, of bravery bold.


One such exemplar, who fought for the cause

Had neither a tartan, or riches of Lords

Not from the gentry, but hard mining stock

A young man in his 20’s, from Buckhaven flock.


Robert Dunsire quickly signed up, with the boys

After working his life, in the old Fifer mines

In 13th Battalion, he took up the task

To fight with The Royal Scots, and persist to the last.


By July 13th, Nineteen fifteen

The western front had these latest recruits

As if hills of Scotland were only a dream

Private Dunsire marched on, down this dangerous route.


Sadly we struggle, to picture his cost

Or in depth of battle, how many were lost

The trauma of trenches is distant and faint,

But horror and tragedy does history relate.


With camaraderie in troop, but his Catherine at home,

Perhaps in the terror of trenches, he still felt alone,

But accepting the challenge for country and men

He carried on valiant, his future unknown.


In his soldiers attire, he was dressed like the rest

But Dunsire was dealt a true hero’s test

As, hidden in trenches, he heard desperate screams

Calling out from the vastness of no-man’s extremes.


To this higher calling he committed his cause,

& cast himself over with barely a pause

To ponder his boldness, or recklessness over

He must have thought only of saving a brother.


He located the human whose high hopeful howls

Hade compelled him up, onto dangerous ground

Adrenalin fuelled, he shouldered the weight

Back to refuge of trenches, from unthinkable fate.





And yet, this great victory was only the start

For later in battle, did Robert depart

Over the trenches to a similar need

Bore another man backwards to safety, with speed.


On 20th November, Nineteen-fifteen,

Dunsire was shocked at a telegram received

With modest emotion, continued to read;

That ‘On 26th September, Nineteen-fifteen’

Was conspicuous bravery, on that very day seen;

A hill with a number, the battle of Loos

And disregard for the threat of the enemy troops.

Aware that the shellers and opposing snipers,

Had quickened their shots and adjusted their barrels

Robert crawled out under heavier fire

He escaped with his life, and two lives of others.


To honour achievements for all he had done

Robert Dunsire was granted some precious leave home

Away from the bloodbath of dread and of fear

He saw friends and family and crowds, all to cheer.


Robert recounted, he felt nothing of note

That any man would have acted; their lives to devote

He refused to accept he was anything special

But humbly received this victorious medal.


At the front, two months later, in nineteen-sixteen

Lance corporal Dunsire VC was caught in-between

His freedom and mortar, and there lost the fight

He was ferried to field hospital, but died on that night.


A century later, we all meet to applaud

His achievements in battle and justly reward

Though lacking a tartan,

The proud Dunsire clan

Can boast better treasure;

The courage of man.

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