Rose’s poetry – The Successful Wing Commander

This faded blue album begins with 2 pages of French dated 1912 then on the third page has the inscription –

Christmas 1942.  This book was given to me by my father, so that I could keep an account of my private patients in Penarth/Glam.  Previous to this it was used by my father for testimonials, re teaching.  Rose A Porter 27. XII. 42

At the back of the book, after the observations on the patients she encountered Rose has written a collection of poems.  The first is prefaced by this –

In May, Wing Commander McGovern, supervisor of M.O’s in the Air Ministry, took occasional evening surgeries for Dr Lindsay, who during this month was very busy with bringing Babes into the world. The “poem” on the opposite page, was “inspired” when Dr Lindsay, already busy on a case had an urgent message to go to yet another confinement but Wing Commander who was available went in his stead.  His feelings were not too happy, not having delivered an infant since his student days; however he was successful in impressing the household of his capabilities.  Dr Lindsay arriving on the scene before babe born. This caused much amusement at “Westcross” –

The Successful Wing Commander


At six o clock on Tuesday night,

The Wing Commander gay & bright,

Said “Lets begin & get there off

The doctor’s busy on an op:

He’ll be here when all is well

We’ll start the first, so ring the bell”.


The bell was rung & each in haste

Went into him to know their fate

When all at once the phone began

To make an awful din & clang,

“Please come at once without delay

The baby here, is on its way.”


“The doctor’s out, what shall I do!

Whoever can I send to you

The doctor’s busy on a case

Someone here now takes his place

Commander McGovern most kind indeed

I’m sure if I ask him, he’ll come & be pleased.”


“I’ll send him along at once to you

Don’t be alarmed he’s in Air Force Blue

He commands the men & commands the air

And for babes & such has quite a flair”

“Thanks” said the nurse “but oh what a stew

instead of the Lishman its Air Force Blue!”


The Commander with speed donned coat & hat

Picked up his case & thought that’s that

“I’m off” said he “to hold her hand

I’ll do my best or else I’m dammed

I’ll boil things up & have a big show

So my fear of babes, they will not know”


So off he went & marched very brisk

And tried not to think of perhaps the risk

He was Air Force Blue & commanded the air

He didn’t mind babes, or even a pair

He would be charming & kind & gracious too

He must remember his Air Force Blue


He rang the bell and walked inside

He was all puffed up and full of pride

He opened his case and with a flurry

He called the nurse & said “please hurry

Boil all these up and hurry along

If we’re prepared we can’t go wrong.”


“Here’s scissors & syringe & forceps too

And a hundred things for you to do

The water must be boiling hot

Have you prepared the baby’s cot?

Threaded needles, have you thought of that?

We must be ready for the Little Brat.”


Sleeves rolled up & gloved & gowned

He strutted up, he strutted down

The family raised their eyes to Heaven

So this was Wing Commander McGovern

He strutted up, he strutted down,

When aft he heard a sudden sound…


The voice he knew, t’was not the mother

It was – Ah God! – his professional brother

Beneath the gown his heart beat fast

“He’s come – before the babe – At last!

“Deliver the child, thats all you need do.

Everythings ready, I’ll leave you, adieu – “

R. A. Porter – 28.5.43

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