“Poems Rhymes, Riddles and Mottos” written by soldiers recovering in Bagthorpe Military Hospital, Nottingham
Humorous Sketch of Wounded Soldiers Doings in a Military Hospital
It's drab little place is Bagthorpe
Of the hospital there, I shall tell,
Where they send a few squaddies, from Flanders and France,
Straight from the thunders of shell.
We arrived here, a trainload, one midnight,
And the place looked cheerless as lead,
But we just fell in, while our tickets were read,
And in Ward 8, were popped into bed.
There's a sweet smiling Nurse by my bedside
With lovely pearly teeth,
Her Cachou’d breasts and twinkling feet,
Simply baffled belief,
You soon broke up, and get cheerful,
And take your share in the fun,
And when Sister comes around with cigarettes,
You get friendly with everyone.
Out orderly's name is Stafford,
A bit of a K-
Some call him, "Good old Stafford,"
But that isn't all they say,
Then there's our charwoman lady,
She's Irish or Scotch, I'm not sure,
And when good Dr Price, isn't looking,
We drag her, along the floor.
It's "Visiting Ladies" day-
They know, that as patients, we can't draw our pay.
They gave those bananas, sweets or cigars,
Got up a concert, and drove us in cars,
But I was most lucky,
Upon my life,
One gave me a stamp,
So, I wrote to my wife.
There's pert "Irish Pat", in the corner,
By now, he ought to be dead,
With Jack Johnson, they say he disputed,
Besides, picking up some lead,
The Lord help that wooden partition,
And our Stout, can't he shift it some,
I know it's not hurt his elbow,
Just listen to him now, on the drum.
With a Christmas box on his leg,
Sent by his dear uncle William,
but he'd rather have whiskey instead.
They do give him stick, when they dress him,
with probe, and scraper and squirt,
then they turn around, and ask him blandly,
Oh, poor Mr Cliff, does it hurt?
The smart young chap in the next bed,
Saunders, they say is his name,
I don't know what his complaint is,
I haven't quite rumbled his game.
But the long-
Pretending he'll soon be dead,
He's neither London, Welsh nor Scotsman,
That Davison's swinging the lead.
Then there's "Tyson" the cheeky young Turk,
Guying his finger won't let him work,
But he brings round our medicine, sad to relate,
And then, so is his locked down the great.
Next to him is old Jersey, age 63,
As deaf as a post, and toothless is he,
The truth of Britain, to handle a gun,
his only ambition is to slaughter a Hun.
Of course, there's the Ginger, Soldier and Salt,
He can't swear in English, that's his only fault,
But perhaps if we coax him enough, he may try.
Yes Seymour the Sergeant, made nursie grin,
Went into the "Opie Theatre" of sin,
They carted him off the daemons in glee,
Just to hack off his finnie-
That " Opie Theatre" the sisters delight,
Make your blood curdle, you tremble with fright,
Big ugly saws, and slashing great knives,
And nurses grinning, like butchers’ wives,
While the surgeon chops the lumps off,
We snip off his arm, as well as the leg,
And gouge out a hole in the top of his head,
And that's why the next bed empty.
This dear little Brown, with Shell in his spine,
A right little hero every time,
We wheel him about, the halls and the passage,
They treat into baths and the electric message,
All that's in science, is being done,
Let's hope he'll be cured and victory one.
With the "Heart of a Lion" he sticks to it too.
This bon curly hero of 22.
There is old "Scotch Jock," who can't be beat,
Swanking the doctor, he's got trench feet.
Just swinging the lead, as everyone knows,
He loves massage nursie to tickle his toes.
His leader of eight noisy bounders at night,
The deuce of a row, with pillows they fight,
Say nothing, I’ll easy his Epitaph write,
For the orderly’s going to “shoot him on sight.”
There’s “Taffy” from Wales, he’s going home,
Just co a bullet, has shattered a bone.
Got all the luck, it’s easy to see,
For I live in Wales, but they don’t send me.
There’s Neave of the Welsh and farmer of Barry,
Writing to tarts, the girls they’ll marry.
If they take our advice, they’ll tarry awhile,
Until after the war when they’ve made their pile.
Near Loos he received, so they’ll tell me.
Of his doughty deed, he doesn’t shout loud,
He simply enlisted and followed the crowd.
Not all conscientious objectors you see,
For this one of 20 was quite conscience free,
He’s a Scottie “fra Glasgow,” and fought very well,
And sent his anye quantam of Bosgees to Hell.
There’s Moon, Sergeant Major, the man of big guns,
He’s sending a few No. 9’s to the Huns.
He don’t moon about, when his shelling out there,
That’s why the Kaiser is tearing his hair.
His peat aversion, has very good grounds,
It’s 1/8 the Officer’s horse costing £200.
With want all that money for Suffolks and Guns,
To pepper the hang nations Germanies Sons.
Well Bombardier Jones, with your arm in a sling,
You found observation, a murderous thing,
It’s a wonder to all, how you’ve saved your skin.
You’ve a ripped-
I expect when they found you, they thought you dead.
You’ve lost a left hand with a 4 point 2,
What will our country do for you?
Of course, there’s a lot of theme, its bound to come out,
No poem of truth, could be finished without.
Watch Lance Corporal Roadie, when working his wiles,
And visiting sweetheart, flashing him smiles.
Its scrumptious to watch them, making glad eyes,
And girlie caressing him, heaving love sighs.
There’s only one patient that feels like a lord,
And he’s a “Roadie darling,” the pet of the ward.
Here comes Sister Roberts with packets of fags.
Clean shirts and stockings and comforts in bags.
Bless her good heart, and the night Sisters too,
When they tuck you in nicely, as mother would do.
You’ll always remember old Bagthorpe, I’m sure,
I could live here forever, or till the war is o’er.
And if I pray, and it’s never too late,
T’will be, God bless the whole staff, of Ward No. 8.
You may look in my album,
But mind ere’ you look,
For all are expected,
To add to my book.
You may quiz where you like,
But the penalty is,
You must me you auto,
For others to quiz.
A Factory Lass To One Her Boys On Valentine’s Day
As I sit down on a three-
I unbethought myself a fool,
I jumped straight up, and just in time,
To send that fool a Valentine.
What shall I write,
What shall it be,
Only two words,
Steal not this book for fear of shame,
For it is in the owner’s name.
For when you die the lord will say,
Where is that book you stole away?
You may be my D.S.O.
And I will be your V.A.D.
Nurse Harris and Corporal Macduff
Parody of the Chorus of the Long Long Trail
It’s a long long time of waiting,
For the boys to come home.
They left their wives to risk their lives,
And fight across the foam.
It’s a long long time of waiting,
For the thoughts British Hero’s true,
Till the day we will all be going,
Back to blighty along with you.
Whiffs of Wit and Wisdom
“Gossip” soon burns holes in a good name.
“A Blush” on the cheek is worth two in the drug store.
“A woman” seldom shows her age, until she tries to hide it.
A Lancashire Toast
Here’s to you as good as you are,
And here’s to me as bad as I am.
As good as you all,
And as bad as I am,
I’m as good as you as bad as I am.
Little drops of water,
Little drops of shell,
Make a British Tommy,
Wish he was in Blighty.
Do that which is right,
And seek that which is good,
And up hold your honour forever
Therefore, remember in the midst
Of life you are in death.
The Printers Motto
A place for everything,
And everything in its place.
A rolling stone gathers no moss,
But the “British Tommies” gather the Bosch.
It’s a long lane that has no pub in it.
An Irishman’s Toast
Here’s to old Erin,
Her Shamrock so green,
No place like Kilarney,
Has ere been seen.
Forget not him that dies,
When peace shall reign once more.
Remember still that lonely grave,
Beyond some foreign shore.
Not marked by marble cross,
Maybe not marked at all.
Just buried ‘neath’ a grass grown sod.
With manhood just but won,
He lost his all and in the fall,
A mother lost a son.
Gunner J. Edge, Ward 14,
Bagthorpe Hospital, Nottingham
Private Harry Corrigan,
Wards, 13/14, Bagthorpe.
Private G. Dyer,
11th Battalion Essex Regiment,
Ward 14, Bagthorpe, Nottingham.
Rifleman V. Matthews,
Kings Royal Rifle Corps,
Private J. A. Hayward
Bagthorpe Hospital, Nottingham.
6th July, 1919.
Lance Corporal N. Doyle,
8th Kings Own Royal Lancashire’s,
Ward 14, Military Hospital, Bagthorpe, Nottingham.
11791 Sgt. F. Gibson,
16th Lancashire Fusiliers,
27th September, 1917.
No. 8510 Private W. Smith
Sgt. J. Ryan, 43121,
6th Connaught Rangers
Private H. Newton,
Bagthorpe Military Hospital,
To the Hohenzollern Redoubt
Stormed by the North Midland Division, October 13th 1915
Oh, proud Hohenzollern, named after a king,
You stood in your sullen might,
And a challenge to all British Arms did fling.
Caring little for pity and right.
Machine gunned and wired,
Your strength was well known,
You were manned by a terrible crew,
But little you knew, oh mighty doubt,
What the ‘Terrier’ men could do.
And you won’t forget that October day,
That sounded your funeral knell.
Twas heard in the roar of the British guns,
And the scream of the British shells.
They broke your defences and inflicted the wire,
With a fury no power could stop.
And you read your doom in that hour of steel,
When the boys went over the top.
And long you’ll remember the Staffordshire rush,
And the Lincoln and Leicester attack.
Though you tore up their ranks with deathly fire,
You failed to drive them back.
Though the ground was covered with British dead,
They charged through your trenches and then,
Your last chance vanished when ‘Over the Top’
Came the Nott’s and Derby men.
On men from the Midlands, the people at home
Are proud of your courage and skill.
And in long years to come, the tale of deads,
In the pottering towns, and the valleys of Trent,
And over the Lincolnshire Fens.
They will tell the tale of the big Redoubt
That was stormed by the ‘Terrier Men.’
By Corporal Brand, Robin Hood Rifles,
(7th Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire’s).
Sad Memories of the War
How swift another year has gone,
Of sadness and of gloom,
A year of sorrow and despair,
Of broken hearts and homes.
Our boys’ have gone they said goodbye,
And marched at duty’s call.
But some alas-
Till the great farewell of all.
They fought a noble warriors fight,
And fell amid their foes,
But their names shall be remembered,
Till the dream of earth shall close.
A mother’s bitter sobs are heard.
With hands wringing in despair –
“I’ve lost my boy, my only son,
Oh God, “tis heard to bear.
We hear the cry of little ones,
As they in sadness yearn,
For fathers face so kind and true,
That will never more return.
No more we’ll clasp their friendly hands,
Their smile has gone from aye;
They bravely faced the battles strife,
But now in peace they lay.
How sad the memories of the year,
For peace, oh God we pray.
The sacrifice of man is great,
The nation morns today.
Farewell sad year we’ll say goodbye,
To all thy gloom and sorrow.
And trust in God fresh courage,
For the ‘dawn of peace tomorrow,
Composed by Mrs. Francis, Cathys, Cardiff.
Private R. Francis, R.A.M.C.
Taken from an autograph book belonging to Mrs. A. Bramley, Queen Street, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire of sketches, verses and autographs from staff and patients of Bagthorpe, Military Hospital (City Hospital), Nottingham.