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On 21 July 2016 Dean Carl Evans (22) from Reading died fighting with a Kurdish People’s Defence Unit attempting to re-take the Syrian city of Manbij from Islamic State. Afterwards another British volunteer praised Evans for having ‘moulded himself’ into a soldier during two tours in northern Syria.


Unfit for the Army
Asthma let you down
As your undershot jaw would lower
The score on Take Me Out


Less of the specified failings
More an awkwardness all round
That question remaining unanswered:
Just what to do with your mouth


Yet you took hold of yourself
Flying out twice to Syria
Now killed in action
With the Kurds against IS

Fatal self-possession

Put paid to any personal
Doubt or insecurity
Though odd if for your counterparts
The motives were much the same

How strange if for your foes
The motive’s exactly the same.