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The Lonely Boy of Saddleworth

by Joe Young 2 months ago in heartbreak
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Fresh hope, but it comes too late for his poor parents

A vast expanse (Image by Bobmcp from Pixabay )

There is currently a news story, bubbling under the headlines that suggests the remains of the missing, so-called Moors Murderers’ victim, Keith Bennett may have been discovered. He was twelve-years-old in 1964, when he fell into the clutches of the evil pair Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who murdered four children, and kept their remains hidden from view by burying them on the vast expanse of Saddleworth Moor, in Greater Manchester. They also murdered a seventeen-year-old youth, but that proved their undoing.

After these atrocities came to light, police discovered the remains of three of the missing children, but Keith Bennett remains on the moor to this day. Despite the best efforts of police, and volunteer search parties, the latter of who continued to search the bleak moor for decades, his remains went undiscovered. His heartbroken mother, Winnie, prayed every day that she would live to see Keith given a proper burial. She died in 2012, with her son still out on the moor.

Prior to Winnie’s death, I penned this poem as an entry for a monthly challenge in a writers’ group I was in. The subject was autumn, and I decided to write a piece which showed that the poor lad was still in our thoughts. Although it will come too late for his parents, I sincerely hope that this latest news has a positive outcome, and Keith Bennett can be laid to rest properly.

The Lonely Boy of Saddleworth

(40 Lines)

Autumn doesn’t last long

In this god-forsaken place

Barely has it said ‘hello’

Before winter overtakes

So turn up your coat collar

And brave the driving rain

Make full use of the daylight

Before the clocks go back again

For searching here is grim enough

Without the wind and rain

That autumn brings to hinder

The search for my remains

And when the autumn leaves us

And the nights become much colder

I spend another winter here

While my mother grows still older

My poor heartbroken mother

Who has my loss to bear

Has suffered anguish every day

For forty-six long years

But she won’t give up hoping

She fights on, strong and brave

Her only wish to see me

Moved to a proper grave

I’d only just turned twelve years old

In nineteen sixty-four

I ran into that evil pair

And went home again no more

But I was not the only one

They killed and buried here

There were others in the peat

Who, like me, had disappeared

But the Moors revealed their secrets

And searchers found the others

They took down what remained of them

To thankful, sobbing mothers

Yet while they all have closure

I’m still here in the ground

My name is Keith Bennett

And I need to be found


About the author

Joe Young

Blogger and freelance writer from the north-east coast of England

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