Tuesday 10 April 2012: Welcome to Scotland!
Yesterday I photographed a caricature of Winston Churchill drawn on a defensive concrete block in 1940 when Britain was facing invasion by Germany. Today, I give you the whole picture!
The block has been signed by Louis Lawson, presumably one of the men making the defences, and shows not only a caricature of Winston Churchill but also one of Adolf Hitler, who is looking up at bombs falling from British aircraft. At the bottom of the block is the chilling message HITLER'S GRAVEYARD. All best seen zoomified.
The whole scene brings to mind John Betjeman's deliciously satirical war-time poem about a rather unpleasant and distinctly unchristian woman at prayer in westminster Abbey.
IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Let me take this other glove off
As the vox humana swells,
And the beauteous fields of Eden
Bask beneath the Abbey bells.
Here, where England's statesmen lie,
Listen to a lady's cry.
Gracious Lord, oh bomb the Germans,
Spare their women for Thy Sake,
And if that is not too easy
We will pardon Thy Mistake.
But, gracious Lord, whate'er shall be,
Don't let anyone bomb me.
Keep our Empire undismembered
Guide our Forces by Thy Hand,
Gallant blacks from far Jamaica,
Honduras and Togoland;
Protect them Lord in all their fights,
And, even more, protect the whites.
Think of what our Nation stands for,
Books from Boots' and country lanes,
Free speech, free passes, class distinction,
Democracy and proper drains.
Lord, put beneath Thy special care
One-eighty-nine Cadogan Square.
Although dear Lord I am a sinner,
I have done no major crime;
Now I'll come to Evening Service
Whensoever I have the time.
So, Lord, reserve for me a crown,
And do not let my shares go down.
I will labour for Thy Kingdom,
Help our lads to win the war,
Send white feathers to the cowards
Join the Women's Army Corps,
Then wash the steps around Thy Throne
In the Eternal Safety Zone.
Now I feel a little better,
What a treat to hear Thy Word,
Where the bones of leading statesmen
Have so often been interr'd.
And now, dear Lord, I cannot wait
Because I have a luncheon date.
Sir John Betjeman