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Lament for a Country Vet

Found - amongst a collection of Suffolk ephemera - this one page poem about a late lamented vet who died in the year of the Titanic and, according to records, was born in 1847. Little is known about him, but the poet W. S. Montgomery, the 'Blind Organ Grinder of Westleton' appears to have been an itinerant local poet and some of his poems and a short note* about him can be found in Barrett Jenkins book from the 1990s - A Selection of Ghost Stories, Smuggling Stories & Poems Connected with Southwold.

In loving memory of Edgar Willmott Wright, M.R.C.V.S.
For many years Veterinary Surgeon at Yoxford,
Died Friday, July 26th, 1912.

Interred at Yoxford Cemetery, Monday, July 29th.

Yoxford Church

We have lost our old Veterinary Doctor,
He has passed o'er the boundary of life,
Free from his pain and his suffering,
Gone from all sorrow and strife.
His form and his voice we'll remember,
For he spoke with no uncertain sound,
And many there'll be who will miss him,
All over the country side round.

Many years he has practiced amongst us,
Not a cleverer veterinary here,
So prompt to attend to each summons,
Let the call come from far or from near.
And for miles round they'd send for our Doctor,
No matter whatever the cost,
For his skill was well known with the horses,
He so seldom an animal lost.

Dr. Wright was a little bit blustering,
If you riled him, Oh! how he would swear!
But still for all that he was generous,
He'd a heart that could feel and could care.
And should a poor man need assistance,
Not a more willing helper than he,
And many an action of kindness,
For ever remembered will be.

For months Dr. Wright was a sufferer,
Though bravely he tried to defy,
A cruel complaint that attacked him,
But at last was compelled to lay by.
And now he has passed o'er the river,
To the great Master's will we must bend,
Yet we'll join with his sorrowing loved ones,
And morn for a comrade and friend.

In the grave, dark and cold, they have laid him,
And mourners from far and from near,
To the cemetery followed his coffin,
By his grave-side to drop a last tear.
Beneath the green turf we have left him,
Amid scenes of respect all around,
There he'll sleep onion peace till the morning,
Until the last trumpet shall sound.

By W. S. Montgomery, Blind Organ Grinder, Westleton.

*WALTER SCOTT MONTGOMERY Blind organ grinder.
In April 1905 on Easter Monday a presentation was made in the Market Place, Southwold, on behalf of the residents, as a tribute of their respect to Mr. W. Scott Montgomery, the blind Southwold poet, of a handsome "Sciapa" Street Piano Organ, costing £26-5-0.
By an unfortunate investment some years earlier he had lost his capital and later lost his eyesight and had a wife and three children dependant on him.
He was a well known member of the Salvation Army, and the writer of several poems on local events.
A copy of one of his poems was accepted by H .M . King Edward VII entitled "The Coronation".
At the time of the Caister Life-Boat disaster he wrote a poem about this sad occasion, and donated the proceeds of £8 to the Widows and Orphans Fund.

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