‘MACASKIE’ is local pronunciation for the historic village of Macosquin, near Coleraine. During World War II, two devoted comrades, Tommy Kennedy and Robbie Boyce were serving in the Middle East campaign. Tommy, a native of Articlave became a successful business executive in England and Robbie, to our sorrow, passed on some time ago.
Robbie at times was homesick for his beloved ‘Macaskie,’ which inspired Tommy to compose the following poem. It may refresh the memories of the boys of the old 6th Light A.A. Battery RA and awaken some nostalgia.
When the shadows of the evening are falling
On this war-
I think of my homeland in Ulster
That I left in days of yore.
When night falls and everything’s peaceful,
With these beautiful memories I am blessed…
Although we know not what tomorrow may bring,
We just smile and hope for the best.
Once again my thoughts steal to my homeland,
To those grand days when I was a boy;
And that village so sweet I was born in,
It still fills my sad heart with joy.
Yes, I am yearning to see old Macaskie,
That village, so lovely and fair.
People talk of their great stately cities,
But there’s none that would ever compare.
I can picture again how I walked by the burn
And watched, as the salmon leapt high.
Or, in careless repose, I would lie on my back
To gaze at the gold-
There’s the old school where I got all my learning,
And the church where I prayed as a lad;
And the old mill that always kept turning.
As we worked, no-
This war has changed many countries
And ruined great cities of fame.
But for me and the thoughts that I treasure,
Macaskie, you’ll still be the same.
Some day, my dreamboat will carry me back,
Bringing me to my loved ones, and home.
If the Lord has it willed, I soon may return,
Never more form her side I shall roam.
When at last we’re returning to Erin,
With victory and peace on our mind,
And memories that won’t be forgotten
Of the brave lads we’ve left lying behind.
Never more will I roam from that village
When we’ve finished our warmongers’ game.
Why, if only for dear old Macaskie
I’d fight for her honour again.
My loved ones, I know will be waiting
To greet me as never before;
And my overjoyed heart will be dancing
When I enter that old cottage door.
In my heart these sweet memories I’ll cherish,
While the sun and the starlight still gleam;
And happy I’ll be, when returning
To my homeland – and the village of dreams.