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Thomas Bratt

Thomas Bratt

Thomas Bratt was born on 25 February 1852 and lived in the Portobello area, in between Wolverhampton and Willenhall. As well as being a local tradesman, he was a very prolific poet, writing about the local area, football, international events, royalty, and other notable people, as well as some religious poetry, psalms and sonnets. He wrote all his poems in red ink to ensure that the ink did not fade, and that his poems survived for posterity. As well as having them published in local newspapers, he also sent copies of many of his poems to the individuals concerned, including to Buckingham Palace, and he often received grateful letters in return. He died on 19 August 1929 and is buried in Bentley Cemetery next to his wife, Lucy.

DW-37/1/5

DW-37/1/5

His collection of poetry books, which we have at Wolverhampton Archives, date from 1883 – 1929, so some of his poems inevitably covered the First World War. The poems he wrote that directly concern the War, include:

  • The Great Naval Disaster
  • Der Tag (The Kaiser’s Dream)
  • To General Townshend
  • The Great Naval Battle in the North Sea
  • The Allies Revenge
  • To General Botha
  • In Memorium. Lord Kitchener of Khartoum
  • Russia’s Gallant Hero-Boys
  • The Kaiser’s Cockchafers Defeated
  • When the War is Over
  • The Great Surrender
To Wilhelm the Last (reference DW-37/1/5)

To Wilhelm the Last (reference DW-37/1/5)

He also penned the following rather irreverent poem, dated 19 November 1914, “To Wilhelm the Last”:

Are you going home again

                       Willie Dear

Has the carnage caused you pain

                         Willie Dear So severe

Are you going to give in

They can spare you in Berlin

Wait and see the British win

                          Willie Dear

You sent forth your famous guards

                            Willie Dear

To kill ouor brave die hards

                             O how queer

But a few returned again

As their efforts were in vain

Whilst the others decked the plan

                               Willie Dear

Your son was dissapointed

                            Willie Dear

He was to be anointed

                             Over here

As Dictator over France

But he quickly lost his chance

For the British made him dance

                              Willie Dear

Now when the war is ended

                            Willie Dear

You’ll want to be defended

                             It is clear

But each orphan will proclaim

And each one your monsters maim

They will desecrate your name

                                Willie Dear

O’er your fall the world will laugh

                                  Willie Dear

At your pride the Nations chaff

                                  And will jeer

Can you face Almighty God

You must bear this chast’ning rod

Ere you lie beneath the sod

                              Willie Dear

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