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National Service 1947-1949

September 27, 2018 Maria 0 Comments



We walked to the barracks
Bernie, John, Eric and me
Time for call up
In the British Army
A beautiful morning
In the month of May
When we entered the gates
We were filled with dismay
The R.P’s greeted us
And shouted with glee
We hope you bastards
Will never be Free
Six weeks on the square
We marched up and down
Square bashing finished
We marched through the town
We marched to the station
The train took us away
After further training
We sailed far away
Hot sands and desert
Being sick on the sea
And two years later
We were home safe and Free 
Bill Underwood
From the series “National Service poems 1947-1949 by Bill Underwood “

Johnny Was a Soldier

September 27, 2018 Maria 0 Comments



They lowered his body into the sand
In a far away foreign land
For Johnny was a soldier
The bugler played our last farewell
The rifles cracked and who will tell
Of Johnny who was a soldier
(John Gibbs buried May 1949 Moascar) 
Bill Underwood
From the series “National Service poems 1947-1949 by Bill Underwood “

Poor Paddy

September 27, 2018 Maria 0 Comments

 

Poor Paddy, we took him along the road to hell, through Ishmailia to Moascar Jail.
Paddy looked sick and was really quite pale, as we entered the gates of Moascar Jail.
Which of the bastards will be prisoner here? Screamed the provost Sergeant as we stood in fear.
Prisoner and escort double around the room, the Sergeant’s voice then did boom.
We double and doubled and doubled around, till no more breath could be found.
Suddenly another Provo came from behind a door, got hold of Paddy and threw him to the floor.
He screamed at Paddy as he slammed the door. We heard Paddy groan and saw him no more.
We left poor Paddy in the jail and we drove back along the road from hell, through Ishmailia towards the Suez Canel.
No one spoke but our thoughts would tell, of what we had seen in Moascar Jail, and the terrible plight of poor Paddy. 
Bill Underwood
(Paddy Purdell Court Martial March 1949)

From the series “National Service poems 1947-1949 by Bill Underwood “

Tripoli Riots February 1948

September 27, 2018 Maria 0 Comments

 


“Blood Hell” said Ginger we did run well
Much faster than any Gazelle
For on that day the stakes were high
Near fifty of them against Ginger and I
Rocks and stones hurtled through the sky
But none of them hit Ginger and I
“Bloody Hell” said Ginger we did run well
Enkeliz askari yallah imshee
The mobs were screaming in old Tripoli
But as Ginger said we ran so well
We survived that day to tell the tale
“Bloody Hell” said Ginger, we did run well. 
Bill Underwood
From the series “National Service poems 1947-1949 by Bill Underwood “

Farewell Egypt

September 27, 2018 Maria 0 Comments

Egypt farewell, Goodbye, Adue
We leave you now forever
Our time is up, demob is due
We’re homeward bound whatever
We marched and slept on burning sands
With scorpions to torment us
You did not want us in your land
Our deeds sometimes outrageous
We go now to our promised land
Where grass is green all over
Sweethearts will wander hand in hand
Our army days are over

From the series “National Service poems 1947-1949 by Bill Underwood “

The Last Waltz

September 27, 2018 Maria 0 Comments


In the Corn Exchange
The band played
“Now is the hour”
We danced the last waltz
I walked her home
We kissed goodbye
On the troopship
I sailed away
Six hundred nights
I dreamed
Of the last waltz
And the goodbye kiss
On a troopship
I sailed home
In the Corn Exchange
The band played
I didn’t dance
The last waltz
I walked home alone

Bill Underwood
From the series “National Service poems 1947-1949 by Bill Underwood “