Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lest we Forget


90 years ago today, men stood and died for freedom. A freedom those who govern us now take terrible liberties with.

Passchendaele




Their courage is beyond our comprehension - for my generation have been spared the horror. Have we a land fit for heroes - or one where those who seek to risk everything in the name of their country are sneered at by their paymasters.


Sleep well, brothers in arms.

Their name liveth for evermore.

4 comments:

Harry Hook said...

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Nicodemus said...

Spot on, as ever, old chap.
You wouldn't happen to have the 'Tommy' poem by Kipling would you?

sigismund said...

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

Kipling's own son was killed in the first world war.

Harry Hook said...

"Hurrah! For The Life Of A Soldier"

Tommy by Rudyard Kipling, 1892


I went into a public- 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,

The publican 'e up an sez, "We serve no red-coats here."

The girls behind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy go away";

But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play-

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it's "Thank you Mr Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian roo, but 'adn't none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,

But when it comes to fighting', Lord! They'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy wait outside";

But it's "Special train for Atkins," when the trooper's on the tide-

The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,

O it's "Special train for Atkins," when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;

An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy 'ow's yer soul?"

But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll-

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes," when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;

An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,

Why single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy fall be'ind,"

But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind-

There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,

O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:

We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck 'im out, the brute!"

But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;

An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;

An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!