In the Belgian town of “Wipers”
We were all held down by snipers
The Germans were dug in along the road
A bullet then hit Ivor
Our leading lorry driver
And the truck had overturned and lost its load.
Right away our Q.M.S.
Sent a squad to clear the mess
And organised a section strength patrol
A sergeant at the head
With me and Joe and Ted
And a runner, who was my pal Emrys Cole.
Sergeant Roberts took the flank
And sent me up the bank
To see if I could spot the German guns
When I’d crawled up to the top
My eyes began to pop
I’d never seen so many bleeding Huns.
There were Germans by the score
With officers galore
Their boss looked though he’d just come from the Ritz
I chose a number nine
And lobbed it down their line
A group of them were blown to bloody bits.
Their guns then turned my way
And I thought it daft to stay
So I scrambled quickly down my little hill
Then our Sergeant quarter bloke
Smiled and offered me a smoke
He thought that I’d put paid to Kaiser Bill.
We spent that night “Stood To”
Overhead the shrapnel flew
Our rations were sent up along the line
I put on my comfort woolly
And as we scoffed our tin of bully
Sergeant Roberts shared his flask of Belgian wine.
Then the night was torn asunder
By a noise like mighty thunder
Fire shells lit up the darkened sky
A shard of red hot steel
Hit Dai Thomas in the heel
All Ypres would have heard his dreadful cry.
Our C.O. Major French
Made his way along the trench
He ordered everyone to “Fix their spikes”
And gather at the stairs
Which we were to climb in pairs
The next command would come from Captain Sykes.
When at last the whistle blew
I raced up with “13” Pugh
Who grinned and said “Let’s go and get them Taff”
The Jerries held their fire
‘Til we reached the bloody wire
Then the bullets flew around us just like chaff.
There were bodies in the mud
Boots and puttees soaked in blood
I’d never witnessed anything so violent
But Sergeant Major Dade
Launched a sodding great grenade
And all at once the German gun fell silent.
We went forward then apace
And soon we reached the place
Where the ruddy boche had held our mob to ransom
The gunners who had fired
Were very much expired
Believe you me they didn’t look too handsome.
The advance was going well
So we marched to Peelcapelle
Which stands a few miles west of Passchendaele
The battalion was stood down
On the outskirts of the town
That night I had a glass of Belgian ale.