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Rudyard Kipling

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Mr Kipling

One of the finest writers in the English language (and only foreigners read other languages, so they don't count).

Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 and turned down a Knighthood on more than one occassion.

Despite his perceived arch-Britishness he was actually born in India.

Post-Imperial Guilt has led to his works being read less and less in schools these days, which is a great shame as much of his output stands as great literature in its own right, irrespective of any imperialism or political incorrectness.

Quotes (please add)


"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;

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

Gentleman Rankers

"Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree,

Damned from here to Eternity"

Soldier 'n Sailor Too

"An’ after I met ’im all over the world, a-doin’ all kinds of things,

Like landin’ ’isself with a Gatlin’ gun to talk to them ’eathen kings"


"When the Waters were dried an’ the Earth did appear,

(“It’s all one,” says the Sapper),

The Lord He created the Engineer,

Her Majesty’s Royal Engineer,

With the rank and pay of a Sapper!"

Young British Soldier

"When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,

Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,

Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck

And march to your front like a soldier.

Front, front, front like a soldier... "

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,

And the women come out to cut up what remains,

Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Go, go, go like a soldier,

Go, go, go like a soldier,

Go, go, go like a soldier,

So-oldier of the Queen!"

Wressley of the Foreign Office

"He did his best to interest the girl in himself - that is to say, his work - and she, after the manner of women, did her best to appear interested in, what behind his back, she called "Mr. Wressley's Wajahs"; for she lisped very prettily.

She did not understand one little thing about them, but she acted as if she did. Men have married on that sort of error before now."