Patriotic pieces from the Great War/On Active Service
ON ACTIVE SERVICE
For the bloke on Active Service, w'en 'e goes across the sea,
'E's sure to stand in terror of the things 'e doesn't see,
A 'and grenade or mortar as it leaves the other side
You can see an' 'ear it comin', so you simply steps aside.
The aeroplane above you may go droppin' bombs a bit,
But lyin' in your dug-out you're unlucky if you're 'it.
We'n the breezes fills your trenches with hasfixiatin' gas,
You puts on your respirator an' allows the stuff to pass.
W'n you're up against a feller with a bayonet long an' keen,
Just 'ave purchase of your weapon an' you'll drill the beggar clean.
W'n man and 'oss is chargin' you, upon your knees you kneel,
An' catch the 'oss's breastbone with an inch or two of steel.
It's sure to end its canter, an' as the creature stops
The rider pitches forward, an' you catch 'im as 'e drops.
It's w'en 'e sees 'is danger, an' 'e knows 'is way about
That a bloke is blamed lucky if 'e's knocked completely out.
But out on Active Service there are dangers everywhere,
The shrapnel shell and bullet that comes on you unaware,
The saucy little rifle is a perky little maid,
An' w'en you've got 'er message you 'ave done your last parade.
The four-point-five will seek you from some distant leafy wood,
An' taps you on the napper an' you're out of step for good.
From the gun within the spinney to a sniper up a tree
There are terrors waitin' Tommy in the things 'e doesn't see.