Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Wipers Times: Our Volume One

To the Editor.
As a lifelong reader of your excellent paper, I hereby claim the privilege of a few lines to contradict “A Lover of Nature’s” letter in your last issue. Firstly, I heard the cuckoo myself two days previously; secondly, he doesn’t know enough about birds to differentiate between species; and thirdly, in order to again prevent him from wasting your valuable space, I suggest that what he really heard was a sniper calling to its mate.
Yours etc.,
Take a wilderness of ruin,
Spread with mud quite six feet deep,
In this mud now cut some channels,
Then you have the line we keep.

Now get some wire that’s spiky,
Throw it round outside your line,
Get some pickets, drive in tightly,
And round these your wire entwine.

Get a lot of Huns and plant them,
In a ditch across the way;
Now you have war in the making,
As waged here from day to day.

Early morn the same old “stand to”
Daylight, sniping in full swing;
Forenoon, just the merry whizz-bang,
Mid-day oft a truce doth bring.

Afternoon repeats the morning,
Evening falls then dusk begins;
Each works in his muddy furrow,
Set with boards to catch your shins.

Choc a block with working parties,
Or with rations coming up;
Four hours scramble, then to dug-out,
Mud-encased, yet keen to sup.

Oft we’re told “Remember Belgium,”
In the years that are to be;
Crosses set by all her ditches,
Are our pledge of memory.

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