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Hitherto Unpublished Verses from the First World War

Some people write for riches
Some people write for fame
But I cannot do either
So I humbly write my name

Pte. M. Kershaw. Ist Battalion. Border Regiment.

Tommy had a little wound
His bandage looked so nice
That everywhere he went in Malvern
They let him in half-price.

Pte. R. Mitchell 4th Battalion. Royal Berks. 30.11.16

When I listed - a braw Scotch laddie -
They gie'd me a tartan kilt,
Wi hues like a Paisley pladie
Displayed on a patchwork quilt.
But noo, doon the lines I warkie
Like a grizzly bear arrayed,
For ah'm Jock o' the clan McKhaki
In the hobble-skirt brigade.

They've khakied ma braw Scotch bonnet,
They've khakied ma pipe-clayed spats,
Ah've a khaki belt an' beyon' it
A sporran of khaki mats.
Ah'v a coat wi khaki cord on,
But O! whaur ma kiltie joins
Can I look like a gay gay Gordon
Wi a sackcloth round ma loins?

Should you hear on the field o' battle,
Abune o' the crash o' shells,
Abune o' the cannon's rattle
An' the hearty English yells,
Abune the machine-gun's barkie
A cheer that your ear drums crack,
It's Jock o' the clan McKhaki
Who's gotten his kiltie back.

10627 Corporal J. Burns, 2nd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders. (Wounded at Ypres on 29th October 1914)

Oh! to wake on some fair morning with the knowledge,
'Nevermore shall the bloody tide of battle break on European shore!'
And to know the fuller freedom, long the nation's great desire,
Doth enfold earth with a glory born of Brotherhood's fire.
From the hearts of mighty cities, to the island of the sea,
In a lustre like the sunshine, earth is drenched in liberty.
Whilst the joyous years roll onwards 'till the Golden Age is won.
And the dream is dreamt no longer for the greatest deed is done.

Pte. R.. Il. I. Hill. April '17

Ye nymphs, oppress'd by Wor'ster's stagnant air,
To Malvern's high aerial walks repair,
Where springs, and gales, their mutual aid dispense,
To purge the blood, and quicken every sense;
Here the pale face its former tints resumes,
And every charm with fresher beauty blooms;
Haste, then, ye nymphs, and range awhile at large,
So shall ye save for paint an annual charge.


All taken from Malvern Between the Wars by Frederick Covins c.1981

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