Officer Poem

Discussion in 'Poetry Corner' started by shootingchef388, Feb 21, 2007.

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  1. Ladies and Gents,

    My RSM is being dined out in the near future upon commissioning to the 'dark side'.

    For the menu insert I wish to have a poem about SNCO/Sgts' Mess and Officer/Officers Mess.

    I have seen them about but cannot lay my hands on one.

    If any of you have a suitable ditty worthy of a dine out I would appreciate your help.

    Stay Safe
  2. So no anecdotes or stories to promote the Officer then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. A friend sent me this one. Whether it will set the right mood is another matter... Personally I like it.

    So you were David's father,
    And he was your only son,
    And the new-cut peats are rotting
    And the work is left undone,
    Because of an old man weeping,
    Just an old man in pain,
    For David, his son David,
    That will not come again.

    Oh, the letters he wrote you,
    And i can see them still,
    Not a word of the fighting
    But just the sheep on the hill
    And how you should get the crops in
    Ere the year gets stormier,
    And the bosches have got his body,
    And I was his officer.

    You were only David's father,
    But I had fifty sons
    When we went up in the evening
    Under the arch of the guns,
    And we came back at twilight -
    Oh God! I heard them call
    To me for help and pity
    That could not help at all.

    Oh, never will I forget you,
    My men that trusted me,
    More my sons than your fathers',
    For they could only see
    The little helpless babies
    And the young men in their pride.
    They could not see you dying,
    And hold you while you died.

    Happy and young and gallant,
    They saw their first-born go,
    But not the strong limbs broken
    And the beautiful men brought low,
    The Piteous writhing bodies,
    They screamed "Don't leave me, Sir,"
    For they were only your fathers
    But I was your officer.
  4. Musicalmarvin - thank you for that, very moving indeed.
  5. Don't know about a poem, but my dad always says if a bomb were to drop on the officers mess the unit could function quite merrily, but if one dropped on the sergeant's mess everything would go tits up.

    Not much help I suspect.
  6. No. But here's some for you. Saying, "my dad says..." a lot isn't going to get you too far.
  7. How about this:

    The English Officer

    The English officer is least of all an officer. He is a rich landowner, houseowner, capitalist or merchant, and only an officer incidentally. He knows nothing about the Services and is only seen on parades and reviews. From the professional point of view he is the most ignorant officer in Europe. He enters the Services not to serve but for the uniform, which is magnificent.

    The officer considers himself irresistible to the fair-haired, blue-eyed English ladies. The English officer is a beautiful aristocrat, extremely rich, an independent blasé character and loves pornographic literature, suggestive pictures, recherché food and strong drink. His chief amusements are gambling, racing and sports. He goes to bed at dawn and gets up at midday. He is usually occupied with two mistresses simultaneously, one a lady of high society and the other a girl from the opera or ballet. His income runs into several thousands, often tens of thousands a year, of which he keeps no account, being incapable of keeping accounts. The pay he receives from the Government hardly suffices to keep him in scent and gloves.

    English officers, especially the young ones, do no work of any kind. They spend their days and nights in clubs noted for their opulence.

    Extract from the Russian newspaper Odessa News, August 1959
  8. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Seems to be a fair and balanced report. :rofl:
  9. When I was about to be commissioned from RSM I was told by a LE friend of mine to remember . Once I was King amongst Shits, now I am Shit amongst Kings.
  10. Gents,

    Thank you all. Musical Marvin, i really do like that poem it does remind me of some of the stuff I have read from WW1, is that the period in time it originated?

  11. They'll like the penultimate verse:

    THE 'EATHEN by Rudyard Kipling

    The 'eathen in 'is blindness bows down to wood an' stone;
    'E don't obey no orders unless they is 'is own;
    'E keeps 'is side-arms awful: 'e leaves 'em all about,
    An' then comes up the regiment an' pokes the 'eathen out.

    All along o' dirtiness, all along o' mess,
    All along o' doin' things rather-more-or-less,
    All along of abby-nay, kul, an' hazar-ho, *
    Mind you keep your rifle an' yourself jus' so!

    ((* abby-nay: Not now. kul: To-morrow. hazar-ho: Wait a bit.))

    The young recruit is 'aughty -- 'e draf's from Gawd knows where;
    They bid 'im show 'is stockin's an' lay 'is mattress square;
    'E calls it bloomin' nonsense -- 'e doesn't know no more --
    An' then up comes 'is Company an' kicks 'im round the floor!

    The young recruit is 'ammered -- 'e takes it very 'ard;
    'E 'angs 'is 'ead an' mutters -- 'e sulks about the yard;
    'E talks o' "cruel tyrants" 'e'll swing for by-an'-by,
    An' the others 'ears an' mocks 'im, an' the boy goes orf to cry.

    The young recruit is silly -- 'e thinks o' suicide;
    'E's lost 'is gutter-devil; 'e 'asn't got 'is pride;
    But day by day they kicks 'im, which 'elps 'im on a bit,
    Till 'e finds 'isself one mornin' with a full an' proper kit.

    Gettin' clear o' dirtiness, gettin' done with mess,
    Gettin' shut o' doin' things rather-more-or-less;
    Not so fond of abby-nay, kul, nor hazar-ho,
    Learns to keep 'is rifle an' 'isself jus' so!

    The young recruit is 'appy -- 'e throws a chest to suit;
    You see 'im grow mustaches; you 'ear 'im slap 'is boot;
    'E learns to drop the "bloodies" from every word 'e slings,
    An' 'e shows an 'ealthy brisket when 'e strips for bars an' rings.

    The cruel-tyrant-sergeants they watch 'im 'arf a year;
    They watch 'im with 'is comrades, they watch 'im with 'is beer;
    They watch 'im with the women at the regimental dance,
    And the cruel-tyrant-sergeants send 'is name along for "Lance".

    An' now 'e's 'arf o' nothin', an' all a private yet,
    'Is room they up an' rags 'im to see what they will get;
    They rags 'im low an' cunnin', each dirty trick they can,
    But 'e learns to sweat 'is temper an' 'e learns to sweat 'is man.

    An', last, a Colour-Sergeant, as such to be obeyed,
    'E schools 'is men at cricket, 'e tells 'em on parade;
    They sees 'em quick an' 'andy, uncommon set an' smart,
    An' so 'e talks to orficers which 'ave the Core at 'eart.

    'E learns to do 'is watchin' without it showin' plain;
    'E learns to save a dummy, an' shove 'im straight again;
    'E learns to check a ranker that's buyin' leave to shirk;
    An' 'e learns to make men like 'im so they'll learn to like their work.

    An' when it comes to marchin' he'll see their socks are right,
    An' when it comes to action 'e shows 'em 'ow to sight;
    'E knows their ways of thinkin' and just what's in their mind;
    'E knows when they are takin' on an' when they've fell be'ind.

    'E knows each talkin' corpril that leads a squad astray;
    'E feels 'is innards 'eavin', 'is bowels givin' way;
    'E sees the blue-white faces all tryin' 'ard to grin,
    An' 'e stands an' waits an' suffers till it's time to cap 'em in.

    An' now the hugly bullets come peckin' through the dust,
    An' no one wants to face 'em, but every beggar must;
    So, like a man in irons which isn't glad to go,
    They moves 'em off by companies uncommon stiff an' slow.

    Of all 'is five years' schoolin' they don't remember much
    Excep' the not retreatin', the step an' keepin' touch.
    It looks like teachin' wasted when they duck an' spread an' 'op,
    But if 'e 'adn't learned 'em they'd be all about the shop!

    An' now it's "'Oo goes backward?" an' now it's "'Oo comes on?"
    And now it's "Get the doolies," an' now the captain's gone;
    An' now it's bloody murder, but all the while they 'ear
    'Is voice, the same as barrick drill, a-shepherdin' the rear.

    'E's just as sick as they are, 'is 'eart is like to split,
    But 'e works 'em, works 'em, works 'em till he feels 'em take the bit;
    The rest is 'oldin' steady till the watchful bugles play,
    An' 'e lifts 'em, lifts 'em, lifts 'em through the charge that wins the day!

    The 'eathen in 'is blindness bows down to wood an' stone;
    'E don't obey no orders unless they is 'is own;
    The 'eathen in 'is blindness must end where 'e began,
    But the backbone of the Army is the non-commissioned man!

    Keep away from dirtiness -- keep away from mess.
    Don't get into doin' things rather-more-or-less!
    Let's ha' done with abby-nay, kul, an' hazar-ho;
    Mind you keep your rifle an' yourself jus' so!
  12. Shootingchef - I am afraid I know nothing about the poem. I think it is WW1 era, but could be mistaken. Since I am paying for internet by the minute, I shall refrain from hunting for it. I suggest googling the first line (or something similar) and you may come up with something.

    Re the Russian newspaper article - I used that in a lesson on 'Officership and Leadership' or some such toss that the OTC feels that TA 2Lts are knowledgeable about after completing the 3 week wonder course. Got the most laughs I have ever received - as long as they were laughing at the funny article and not at me. Kind of made up for me having a total mind blank, and referring to 'subordinates' as 'inferiors'. Oops
  13. Scent AND gloves? My pay never went that far...
  14. Gentlemen

    Lt. EA Mackintosh was also killed in action, the following year on 21 November. He is buried at Flesquieres. He was awarded the MC. his two volumes of poetry were published in 1917 and 1918.