I never applied to join the Army, a nice man phoned me,
He said I was the type they liked, with a steel certainty,
Plus he happened to mention the nurses on the way,
And the simple matter of doubling up my pay,
So after having passed some sort of fitness tests,
I puffed quite a bit, but certainly tried my best,
I found myself, as many a medic knows,
To the town of Ash Vale, near a certain lady rose,
Now as I walked, fashionable hair dishevelled,
There ahead of me, was a soldier whose back was upright and level,
So I called out, ‘Sorry to bother you mate, is the way for the Keogh camp gate’?
And the RSM made it very clear, that I would find it and him, certainly quite near,
Now I’d signed.
Within the breath of a watching gnats eye,
My hair was gone, no time to wonder why,
Everything seemed to happen with rapid and specific shouts,
Part of me was now wondering, a modicum of doubt,
Why I’d Signed?
Over the months to follow, each day a tired tomorrow,
I learnt about guns and bangs and running for fun,
Whilst far out on the expanse of the drill square,
A Russian yelled ‘Moy Et’ with a certain disposition,
Signing was my decision.
Now behind that drill square ran the main London line,
So we would be doing things, everything looking fine,
When the London train would pass, thundering on time,
And I tried not to grin at the phrase, ‘I left you in this position’,
Glad I signed.
I discovered a new world of dead fly biscuits,
Often so hungry the compo was worth risking it,
And how far a bed could fly, without seeming to try,
Or how proud I was as my bulled boots, not asking why,
There was the nine second rule, certainly a gas,
Although they’d not mentioned they would take off the mask,
As each of us fit and healthy blokes,
Laid on the grass, throat burning chocked,
But I signed.
Finally a day arrived, escape from the camp,
Helping my granddad walk up the ramp,
Parents watched on as their son stood up,
Second best recruit, but no second cup,
Proud I’d signed.
Andrew Carnegie, Reminiscing Aldershot, 14th Jan 2017.
Copyright © Andrew Carnegie | Year Posted 2017