Monday, March 14, 2011

It's Tommy this and Tommy that...

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, Mister 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, '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 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!

by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

You may not agree with our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan,you may believe that Iraq was an illegal war (it wasn't, Parliament decides legality not the people and Parliament decided it was legal) But the courage of our soldiers is not open to any form of disagreement.

In an extraordinary show of courage, British soldiers are making themselves deliberate targets to flush out a Taliban sniper who is terrorising a base in Helmand.
Two snipers have killed two soldiers and injured six more over the past four months at the outpost in Qadrat. One marksman has been killed but the second is still resisting attempts to trap him.
Now, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment are volunteering to present themselves as targets.

Lieut Jamie MacDonald, 24, the commander of the base, has himself set up vehicle check points to try and draw out the sniper.
He said he would not expose his men to a danger he would not face himself: He told The Daily Telegraph: 'I've done it a couple of times. I don't ever sit still, I just keep moving.'
Lieut MacDonald said that the sniper currently opens fire on every patrol heading north. The lieutenant has twice come close to being shot when rounds have narrowly missed his head or body. Soldiers have returned to base with bullet holes in their armour and backpacks.
The lengths these brave men and women are prepared to go to for their comrades in arms and their duty to their regiments defies description save only that as the Mail says, they are "The bravest of the Brave"  They rise time and time again over their shameful treatment by successive governments and their Ministry of Defence, their courage shames politicians, bureaucrats and those who would call them murderers and rapists when they march home from doing their duty.
Perhaps it is time to bring them home, perhaps it's time to bring them home to clean house from the scum who shame this nation by their antics in insult or denying them the tools to do their job.
Words cannot express my horror at our young people putting their lives on the line to do this, words cannot express my pride in their courage.

5 annotations:

Pavlov's Cat said...


WitteringsfromWitney said...

Thirded QM! Brilliant and very clever post for which you have my congratulations - for what that's worth!

Andy Baxter said...

Here Here....

Captain Haddock said...

Good man QM .. Well said ..

funambulist said...

I'm with you 100% QM. Thanks for the post and thanks too for the Kipling poem - it's not often we see him in bogs - and he's never mentioned in schools, of course.

Great blogging.