The Great War: Sergeant Joseph Johnston Lee
Photograph of poem from Lee's journal kept while he was a prisoner of war at Karlsruhe, Germany, 1918. Copyright University of Dundee Archive Services, reference GB 0254 MS 88/1/2.
Umpteen huts in umpteen rows, Dumped in a spot where the bomber goes, A wooden fence and strands of wire, A few odd Sentries with orders to fire, Thats' our Camp!
Eight beds, a fire, and electric light, The Italians next door tucked in just out o' sight, With Hunt the Padre & Cole the Cook, Eight of us merry though we were took, Thats' our hut!
A stately walk, a kindly face, Always ready to examine your case, Never attempting to hustle about, Though he's our Foe, he's never a lout, That's the Kommandant.
Plenty of carrots, cabbage and meal, A few potatoes you have to peel, Sometimes meat more often cheese, These just manage your stomach to tease, Thats' our meal.
Splashes of blue and red and grey, Some of 'em sad, but most are gay, Joking around like so many boys, Always making a deuce of a noise, Thats' our Allies.
Auburn hair, a lovely face, A vision of someone you cannot replace, A wonderful smile when next you meet, The best of Mothers and Wives to greet, Thats our dream.
Though at present were almost slaves, Britannia rules the same old waves, Our chaps in France fighting hard still, A month or so, and we'll present our bill, Thats our hope.