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Lieutenant General Bernard Cyril Freyberg, 1st Baron Freyberg VC, GCMG, KCB, KBE, DSO & Three Bars, KStJ was a gallant junior officer in the First World War, and was wounded at Gallipoli and at the Somme.

In WW2 he commanded NZ forces in North Africa, and later in Italy. After the war he went on to become Governor General of New Zealand.

He died at the age of 74 in 1963, when wounds he'd suffered half a century before re-opened.

The Wounds of General Freyberg

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse09 Jun 2014

The gallant youth
Paid in advance
For all the letters
After his name.

Unstintingly he mingled
His blood with
His spilled generation;
Patched up and bandaged

But never wholly healed,
He was sent off
To do it all again
In one war, then another.

Finally the old man
Settled his account:
Wounds from the Somme
Opened up like

The bared soul
Of a confessing sinner,
And from his deepest scars
Blood flowed, unstoppable.