To all very young people

Archive photo of Richard Branson playing on the beach as a child
Picture by
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 3 September 2015

After sharing one of my own first poems recently, I wanted to post one of the first poems I was given when I was a child. It was written by my grandfather and given to me when I was seven years old in 1957.

My grandfather was Captain Rupert Ernest Huntley Flindt. He fought bravely in the First World War, suffering from mustard gas poisoning in the trenches, but never letting us know about the pain he felt.

He was a wonderful granddad and a great father to my mum Eve. Growing up in the countryside, we got into all sorts of escapades together, playing outdoors. He sadly passed away two years after this poem was written.

Black and white photo of a young Richard Branson playing on a tree branch
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As you can see from this poem, he was also a very talented writer, and never lost his belief in the wonder of adventure or the spirit of youth. Perhaps it’s where my taste for adventure comes from?

He taught me a lot, not least in this poem, with its lovely lessons like "Play, fast in the land of make believe, For the happiest years will fly,". Here it is in full, I hope you enjoy it.