Dec. 25th, 2016

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Christmas Day On The Somme

’Twas Christmas Day on the Somme
The men stood on parade,
The snow laid six feet on the ground
Twas twenty in the shade.

Up spoke the Captain, "gallant men,
Just hear what I’ve to say,
You may not have remembered that
Today is Christmas Day."

"The General has expressed a wish
This day may be observed,
Today you will only work eight hours,
A rest that’s well deserved.

I hope you’ll keep yourselves quite clean
And smart and spruce and nice,
The stream is frozen hard
But a pick will break the ice."

"All men will get two biscuits each,
I’m sure you’re tired of bread,
I’m sorry there’s no turkey
but there’s Bully Beef instead.

The puddings plum have not arrived
But they are on their way,
I’ll guarantee they’ll be in time
To eat next Christmas Day."

"Your parcels would have been in time
But I regret to say
The vessel which conveyed them was
Torpedoed on the way.

The Quartermaster’s got your rum
But you may get some yet,
Each man will be presented with
A Woodbine cigarette."

"The Huns have caught us in the rear
And painted France all red,
Pray do not let that trouble you,
Tomorrow you’ll be dead.

Now ere you go I wish you all
This season of good cheer,
A very happy Christmas and
A prosperous New Year."

By Leslie George Rub

About the author

Leslie George Rub was 23 when he enlisted at Towoomba, Queensland, Australia on 25th August 1915. He sailed for Alexandria on board the H.M.A.T. Wandilla from Brisbane, Queensland. From Alexandria he was transferred from 26th Battalion to 2nd Pioneers because of his carpentry experience, and sent first to France, and then on to Flanders in Belgium. Some of the places he mentioned in his letters (that were not censored) are Ypres and Bullecourt (where a disastrous battle took place that engendered the greatest distrust and contempt in Australian troops for their British commanders). Leslie came out with a minor wound.

In autumn 1917, seven weeks after the start of the Third Battle of Ypres, Australian troops finally captured Westhoek Ridge, where German strongholds were manned by machinegunners. Three days later Leslie Rub and other men from his company were in the night making a road between Broodseinde Ridge and Westhoek Ridge when they were shelled. Leslie was hit in the kidneys by shrapnel. He died the next morning, on the 23rd September 1917, at the 1st Australian Ambulance. He is buried at Dickebusch War Cemetry, 5 km southwest of Ypres.
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Christmas Day in the Cookhouse

FIRST SOLDIER
It was Christmas day in the cookhouse,
The happiest day of the year,
Men's hearts were full of gladness
And their bellies full of beer,
When up spoke Private Shorthouse,
His face as bold as brass,
Saying, 'We don't want your Christmas pudding
You can stick it up your ...'

ALL
Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

FIRST SOLDIER
It was Christmas day in the harem,
The eunuchs were standing round,
And hundreds of beautiful women
Were stretched out on the ground,
When in strode the Bold Bad Sultan,
And gazed at his marble halls,
Saying, 'What do you want for Christmas, boys?'
And the eunuchs answered...

ALL
Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

Unknown

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