Back during lockdown, I watched OVERLORD – A movie released back in 1975, which mixed some original D-Day footage with newly recorded material. One of the videographers was named Sergeant Clague.
“Clague? He must be Manx!”
That led me to research and write what I think is the most comprehensive public telling of Sergeant Clague’s story. Left with no known descendants, Sergeant Clague was an ordinary hero. He was one soldier amongst literally millions. As far as we know, he might not have even fired a gun during the war, and was killed days after landing in Normandy. His shots were not with weapons: his shots were with a camera.
Here’s a poem that he wrote, and which has been preserved in the Manx Museum. I do not think that it has been published elsewhere before now:
Oh! God, how beautious is thy morn
When o’er the land breaks dusky dawn
The world seems clean, untouched by human hand
As what might seem to be the ‘promised land’
Oh! God how wonderous is thy day
When, sunbeams o’er the hills, their shadows lay
The sparkling sky, tinged with fleecy cloud
Makes one wish to cry thy praises loud.
Oh! God, how mysterious is thy night
As darkness overcomes the waning light
Like evil, overpowering all that’s good
And leaving evil all alone to brood.
But once again bold day dost make its claim
It’s gleaming shafts at the earth do aim
Sending a message, from the heavens above
That out of goodness, comes eternal love.