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Miscellaneous Pages

Old Pioneer Poems
from 1943 onwards.

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'The Pioneer'

They seek him here, they seek him there !
The "R.E.s" seek him everywhere.
Be it on the road, or other site,
Early morning or late at night.
Be he in Canteen drinking beer,
They will seek him, never fear !
The R.E.'s make it very clear.
They're stumped without the Pioneer.


(Taken from The Pioneer,
Issue No 3, August 1943)



'Their Bit''

Officers and men of the "293"
Once sailed from England for Montgomery,
Little knowing till at sea
Their destination was Normandy.

Luck was with them on their " L.C.I. "
They'd very little opposition from the sky,
And all went well till the Skipper said
"We're going in Boys, dodge the lead".

Equipped only with stretcher and S.B. band,
They struggled hard to get on the sands
Then amonst the Chaos and Hell
They picked up wounded as they fell.
Like this they toiled more than a week
With little food and without sleep.

This was their job and they carried on
Because by now Jerry was on the run.
There was still explosions all around
From the falling bombs he dropped on the ground.

But in their hears knew everyone
The Battle for the beach had been WON.

But thats not all for the "293"
For now they work at the "CER"
They lift stretchers on to a "DUKW"
Those poor lads who have had bad luck
They go then for a mile not more
Down to that remembered Shore
They don't mind this for they know
It is better than fighting the Foe.

The " DUKW " then sailed on its way
To the Hospital Carrier out in the Bay.
They do this job without a moan
Because doing this sends those Lads "HOME"

Composed by J Taylor of 293 Coy, which landed on
'D' Day morning with the Canadians at Gray Seir Mer.
Contributed by Mr L R Pounder.

(Taken from The Pioneer, Issue No 10, March 1947)



'A Pioneer Remembers'

There was Taffy, the Welsh miner, a good lad with his mitts,
And the Cockney bloke from Hoxton, wot kept us all in fits,
An' Ginger in the Cook-house, and Nobby in the Store,
An' Scottie the foot-baller, and a couple hundred more.

I wonder where they all are now - an' wonder what they're doin'.
An if it's tea they're drinkin - I wonder who's been brewing.
We all joined up at Clacton in nineteen thirty nine
We joined the Pick and Shovel mob - when 'Itler made his shine.

We didn't know each other, but we got to know quite soon,
Why ! - the first night in the outfit, I won five bob on Pontoon !
I was doin very nicely till the Sergeant 'eard the din.
And shoved his nut inside the door and said he'd "push us in".

That Sergeant was a snorter, one of these Regular coons,
Done twenty years of summat in a regiment of Dragoons.
He chased us in the morning', and he chased us till the night,
But in the end we liked him, cos he turned out alright.

Old Bluenose was the Major, wiv ribbons on 'is chest,
He'd six goings from the last was - DCM and all the rest.
He saw we got our rations, and sometimes extra beers.
They knew how to look after men - these old time Pioneers.

Our mob went across to France - to 'elp unload the grub.
We "parley-voo'd" for all we knew but couldn't find a pub.
Then they shoved us up in the line, a wirin' up the trenches,
So we didn't see so much of France or ANY Froggy wenches.

One day there was an awful flap, the Line had given way,
Old Bluenose said "We'll stick it lads, we're here and here we stay".
He told us Jerry was comin' on - but he called him the "Bosche"
We laughed at dear old Bluenose, tryin' to talk so posh.

But true enough, next mornin' - as soon as it got light.
We saw them comin' down the road, and it was THEN alright !
Comin' along in lorry loads, and them in double lines,
They looked a most imposin' sight until they 'it our mines ! !

Old Bluenose said "It's time we went - we won't be welcome here -
"Now it's England, Home and Beauty boys - and lots of NAAFI beer".
The idea was a good 'un, but it didnt seem to work,
Cos it took ten days 'ard sloggin' before we reached Dunkirk.

We didn't bring the Sergeant - he's "had it" - second day,
He stood and 'eld the Jerries up while our mob got away.
I bet he gave them Jerries hell, before they shot 'im down.
A credit to his Dragoon mob, was Sergeant "Buster" Brown.

"Went across to France"

An' then the long grind started - on ammo and petrol dumps,
A 'standin' to every night in case old Jerry jumps.
Workin' sixteen hours a day, and not so many beers,
A' proppin' all the Army up - like all the Pioneers.

Then they gave us battle-drill, an' lots of other trainin'
An' route marches on every night it turned out to be rainin'
They showed us all new gadgets, an' taught us quite a lot.
An' gave us all new rations, little tins that made soup 'ot.

They weeded out some old blokes, who couldn't stand the strain.
An' gave us lots of new kinds, wot 'ad come from Alamain.
They talked about the Desert, where your grub was full of sand,
An' sang a song - "Lilli Marlene" - the tune was simply grand.

Things soon started 'ustlin' - in fact just getting' 'ot.
We got dished out with lots more kit on top of what we'd got.
We 'ad a talk by Monty - little bloke, in a black 'at.
He said - "We're going to Germany" - and we knew that that was THAT ! !

We loaded lots of landin' craft, and stocked the dumps a bit,
An' then we got our kits on board - we knew that this was IT !
We landed in the early dawn - ole Jerry made a racket -
An' quite a few of our lads, stopped a nasty packet.

We got the Beach-'ead goin' - with the Red Caps millin' round.
Rushed up stores from off the ships, and dumped 'em on the ground.
Then up an on to lorries - and so make room for more -
An' all the time the troops still came, a pourin' on the shore.

Ole Jerry started shellin - jus' to keep the party 'appy.
An' Brigadiers and blokes came round and said "Now make it snappy"
So - the weary days went on - them June days was quite 'ot.
But we stick it till we'd finished - and we gave it all we got.

We shifter farther up in France - up near the Belgian border,
Then Jerry busted through the Yanks, and we got a "Stand-Fast" order.
But good old Monty saw him off - to no uncertain tune -
And said "Another shove, boys, and make Berlin by June".

I'd never seen the Rhine before - I don't think many had
But our job was to bridge it - an' I know we all felt glad.
When we got over this one - e'd got Jerry on the skids
An' could get home to the Missis - and 'ave time to see the kids.

We'd just hung up our washin' - on Jerry's Siegfried Line,
When arf a blinking section goes and gets bumped by a mine.
We chased old Jerry eastwards - and - blimey ! did he run !
We roped him in the thousands - and we knew the job was done.

By May, the Hun had "had it" - an' we thought we'd take out ease,
But they went an' landed our mob - with thousands of D.Ps. !
Poles, Jugo-Slavs and Russians, blimey ! - what a shower !
Old 'Itler has collected there since he came to power.

Until - at last, the great day came - time for my demob.
The Colonel came an' wished us luck, an' said we'd done our job.
An' now I'm back - an' queuing up - in this victorious nation.
An' keepin' touch with my old pals - thro' the Corps Association !

The Hun had "had it."

Lt-Col H C Wheatley OBE TD
late CO 45 Group, Royal Pioneers

(Taken from The Pioneer, Issue No 11, June 1947)




'Get Together.'

Right on the job when occasion demanded
Onto the beaches when first troops were landed
Youth in their 'teens and "old sweats" of Mons
All played their part as Britannia's sons
Lumping and jumping - supplying the guns

Pioneers were there in the hell of Dunkirk
Ill equipped veterans doing the work
Of Supermen - fighting with shovels and what
Nobody thought that a human had got
Energy, guts, of both unending store
Each giving all - plus that little bit more !
Royally rewarded just after the war.

Cease fire was sounded - they'd finished the job
Old comrades parted - "en route" for demob
Returning to "civvy street" - after a rest,
Planning their futures, hopes in each breast,
Secure in the knowledge they gave of their best !

And some of you have found it hard - this bitter post-war strain
Some of you have even wished that you were back again
Some have jobs to go to - try to live on meagre sums
Others have a "cushy" job but miss their service chums.
Close the ranks together ! Think of what the Corps has been !
It's up to every Pioneer to keep that memory green.
Association is your key to help and good advice-
To make your pathway smoother in this post-war "paradise" ?
Intention's not quite good enough, so send your form today
Opportunity knocks once, so brook no more delay



(Taken from The Pioneer, Issue No 16, October 1948)



'The Fighting Pioneers.''

Just listen to my song of joy - come on, boys, make a crowd.
I want to tell a story which makes old-timers proud.
It didn't take us centuries - in fact, not even year-
To earn our "official" name, the "Fighting Pioneers."
You have hard of the "Fighting Fifth," the "Diehards," and the "Bays,"
The "Lincolns," the "Bedfords," of "Fusiliers" and "Greys,"
The Scotties" in their kilts, or noble "Grenadiers"-
Now you'll hear a bit about the "Fighting Piioneers."
Of course, we are not fighting men. Lord Haw-Haw blew the gaff,
He called us wreck and ruin and termed us riff and raff.
I hope old Hitler tells him how we held his "Jerry band"
When we fought them back at Arras and fought them hand to hand.
We fought them beside the "Durhams" with picks and hammer shanks,
We pinched a lot of tommy guns and sneaked his blinking tanks;
We had a lot of shooting, too, and slew them by the score.
We earned our share of honours, and hope to win some more.
I've told you just a little bit, in time you'll hear the rest;
We hope to have another go, somewhere East, or maybe West.
We've had enough of jokes and fun, now stop your bllinking sneers
We've won our place among the best - we're the "Fighting Pioneers."

Extract from a Liverpool Newspaper, 1939-1945

(Taken from The Pioneer, Issue No 16, October 1948)



'Dunkirk' - Granson to Grandma

Was Granddad ever a soldier?
I mean a soldier in the war.
I know he's got some medals
But what's he got them for?
When Grandad was a soldier
Did he have a gun?
Did he march up and down shooting folk?
I bet that was lots of fun.

Grandma to Grandson

Yes Grandad was a soldier
And he went off to fight
To fight for King and Country
And for us and what was right
I've seen Grandad clean his medals
And wrap them nice and neat
He put them in his suitcase
And marches down the street

Yes to Dunkirk they go
To march with pride and medals show
Their fallen comrades to recall
Terrible price paid by them all.
So when you see Grandad with his medals on his chest
Take his hand and say - I am proud of you, and the rest
For it was men like him and those that fell
That saved us from a world of hell.

Pte Frederick (Dusty) Rhodes 15006450
Royal Pioneer Corps


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