Dai Westacott
by David Subacchi

He was no miner
As rugby players
Often were
But a docker
Born and bred;
Not unusual
To work a shift
Before the game.

In the pub
His party trick;
A mate would bend
A poker
From the hearth
And Dai Westacott
Would straighten
It again
With his bare hands.

A stalwart
Of the Cardiff pack
One cap for Wales;
Lost in Belfast
Against the Irish
Unlucky, unfair.
The new players
Got the blame
After the worst
Sea crossing ever
From Holyhead.

Enlisted early
In 1914,
Wife and 4 children
Left behind;
Blown up once
Sent home
Recovered after months
Sent back again
Blown up again
Didn’t come home
This time.

Dai Westacott
Exact place of burial
In Cardiff and Belgium
His name carved
In memorial stone.
Known as a grafter
On the docks,
On the pitch,
On the battlefield.

Dai Westacott
Who never gave in
And who shall never
Grow old.