Have updated my blog to feature Alan Ross' poem 'Arctic Waking' . http://greatwaratsea.blogspot.co.uk/
More on Ross' connection to Sussex to follow but thought that I would add this poem.
Off Brighton Pier -Alan Ross
" I saw him, a squat man with red hair,
Grown into sideburns, fishing off Brighton pier;
Suddenly he bent, and in a lumpy bag
Rummaged for bait, letting his line dangle,
And I noticed the stiffness of his leg
That thrust out, like a tripod, at an angle.
Then I remembered: the sideburns, that gloss
Of slicked-down ginger on a skin like candy floss.
He was there, not having moved, as last,
On a windless night, leaning against the mast,
I saw him, groping a bag for numbers.
And the date was the 17th of September,
Fifteen years back, and we were playing Tombola
During the last Dog, someone beginning to holler
'Here you are' for a full house, and I remember
He'd just called 'Seven and Six, she was worth it',
When - without contacts or warning - we were hit.
Some got away with it, a few bought it.
And I recall now, when they carried him ashore,
Fishing gear, lashed to his hammock, wishing
Him luck, and his faint smile, more
To himself than to me, when he saluted
From the stretcher, and, cadging a fag,
Cracked, 'I'm quids in, it's only one leg,
They'll pension me off to go fishing."