Roger Waters has a British war veteran to thank for learning more about the mysterious death of his father nearly 70 years ago.
And thank him he did, after a British veteran named Harry Shindler discovered where the guitarist’s father was killed during World War II using British intelligence reports and military maps.
The Telegraph reports that Shindler, 93, received a poem from Waters entitled “One River,” about never having known his dad, and a letter signed “To Harry, with gratitude.”
Waters’s dad, Lieutenant Eric Waters, died in February 1944 in a fox hole near the south of Rome after the Allied forces landed at Anzio.
According to The Telegraph, the poem reads:
“When the wind sighs through the crop and good men fall,
And children soft in their mothers’ arms cringe, unbelieving, from the desperadoes’ casual blade,
My father, distant now but live and warm and strong, in uniform tobacco haze,
Speaks out ‘My son.’
He says, ‘Stay not the passion of your loss,
But rather keen and hone its edge,
That you may never turn away,
Numb, brute, from bets too difficult to hedge.”
Shindler opened up about receiving the poem, by which he was deeply touched by the emotional response.
“It’s very moving indeed. I think Roger was grateful that I went to all this trouble to find where his father was killed,” he told The Telegraph. “I see my job as to make sure that nobody forgets all the lads who died down there and what happened after the landings. I came through it, fortunately, but many didn’t.”
With the 70th anniversary approaching next February, the ex-Pink Floyd rocker is expected to travel to Italy to honor his late father.