Sergeants’ bellowed down the lines,
Don’t let those knees quake;
Have a backbone,
You snivelling little coward.
Fix bayonets; stand your ground,
Don’t let them through.
Let them have it.
So we did, ignoring the smell,
The rats, fat on carrion;
That our friends are dead.
So we last another day.
In the quiet space between, time for bully beef;
Watch the newbie,
As he tries to make friends.
Ignore him if you can,
For soon he’ll be dead.
Introduce him to Fritz; don’t worry about his grin;
Shake his hand,
Don’t worry he’ll not hurt you now,
For he’s already given his all.
Have a smoke,
Blow it out,
Don’t let the sniper see.
Orders come down,
Now get ready boys.
This is it.
We’ll win the day.
Let’s go over the top and the whistles blow.
Keep on moving, don’t stop.
Don’t get snagged up, on barbed strands.
No time to hear the rat-a-tat-tat.
Dodge the invisible lead if you can.
Run like your life depended.
Kill the other man,
Or he’ll kill you.
So stick him good.
Then move on, more blood needs shed.
See the mist.
Grab a mask.
Hope it helps,
Or find you’re blind,
Struggling for breath, like that new boy.
Watch him cough, then splutter.
As he chokes on his own red stuff,
Pleading in his eyes as the knowledge sink in.
Don’t worry they’ll replace him in the quiet time.
Duck in a hole,
As steel rain falls,
Tearing at the ground and ploughing it good;
Catching the unwary, leaving no trace but for cordite air.
In the morning we’ll shoot the thunder struck.
With shovel out, fix the trench,
The corporal demands.
Clean your feet,
So they don’t rot,
We need every man we’ve got.
So it can go on,
Christmas has gone.
No end in sight.
Hells never ending fight.