Poetry

A Proud Corps?

By 10th February 2007December 9th, 2019No Comments

From the tender age of two it became apparent what I would eventually do.
So many photographs, black and white and slide, my future they could not hide.
Stood to attention, proud and erect, saluting to so my respect.
As early as age would allow, uniform and discipline became my vow.

The age I don’t remember, but the Scouts found a new member.
Naïve and tender I may have been, but this was the start of the future I’d seen.
Army Cadets were yet to come, but now I could see what needed to be done.
Academics required by law, were only needed to join the Corps.

1982 became the year, the earliest I could be a Royal Engineer.
The first modern war, with Journalists, live satellite pictures and more.
Had recently been won, by an Army of which I was now one.
8000 miles, beers and laughs, to remove the Argies from the Malvinas.

Time for me was clearly set, 22 years, a challenge to be met.
Doubtless the work would be hard, as it had been for Lt Chard.
But from the training I did not shirk, the threat was there and so was the work.
Many hours all year round, spent training in the life I had found.

The years rolled by, and half the world I saw with my own eye.
Often working from dawn still ‘til night, but always feeling that this was right.
The work was always at a max, but as Engineers we knew how to relax.
No matter where we’d be, so was to bar, and with Squadron funds, often free.

But alas this could last, a strong Army was a thing of the past.
The politicians in Whitehall, decided the nineties the time to call.
Years of experience to be gone, 3 stages of management lost as one.
This left gaps that had to be filled, mainly with yes men, and the weak willed.

Fortunately some did escape the net, but now commitment could not be met.
Three times the work for a third of the strength, just made tours of a greater length.
More often we went away, and with many a marriage went astray.
But still we stayed for the fun, our mates and to work as one.

Now it has become horribly clear, the price of redundancy was far too dear.
The yes men now in power, force the fun to hide and cower.
A modern Army we may be, but the state of morale is not down to me.
They say the old sweats spread dissension, but that’s just their mis-comprehension.

If the likes of me and my kind, feel it’s time for a new life to find
The reason for the roam. Is much deeper than the odd moan.
Our discomfort with our lot, is not the start of a declining rot.
It’s too late for that, it has begun, and the pace is fast becoming a run.

Many with the knowledge to know better, are now asking for their letter.
This Corps has changed beyond belief, and getting out the only relief.
It’s come to this sad day, when the only thing left to say,
Is that those who control a Corps so proud, are more interested in men that follow the crowd!!

Wayne Shenton

Author Wayne Shenton

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