[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] war_poetry
Pincher D.C.M.

The British soldier 'as 'is faults, 'e's 'uman like the rest,
'E 'as the little weaknesses that's common to the best.
'E's 'asty in 'is language, but you wouldn't call 'im mean.
'E's fairly open-'anded and I think you'd say 'e's clean.
'E's respectful to the women folk, wherever 'e may roam
And 'e don't 'urt little children 'e's too fond of 'em at 'ome.
'E likes 'is bit of grousing, but 'e's straight and 'e can shoot,
And there's one thing you can bet on, 'e doesn't burn or loot.

Now of course there is exceptions, there's bound to be you know,
When you come to take an army of a million men or so.
I know one who's got a medal, and 'e well deserves it too.
Tho' 'is principles was rotten, but I leaves 'is case to you.
'E 'adn't got no shame at all, 'e ses "What of the loot!
Bits and things dropped in a 'urry, we shall find when we're en route."
So we tried 'ard to convince 'im and 'e 'ad three scraps that night
Because we named 'im 'Pincher' and it suited 'im all right.

When we got on active service, oh 'e 'ad a shocking blow
For the orders about looting was most plainly N-O, no
And 'e couldn't eat his 'bully' when he passed things on the road
For 'e got the 'ump with thinking of the things 'e might 'ave stowed.
But at Mons 'e turned quite cheerful, and I 'eard the blighter say,
"There's no 'arm now in looting, where the folks have gone away.
For you see it stands to reason all the things they leave behind
Will be collared by the Germans without asking, Do you mind?"

But 'e didn't get much looting, we was moving night and day
With 'ardly time to eat or sleep and fighting all the way.
Till one evening spent and weary, we 'ad a spell of rest.
In a village called Le—something—and then Pincher did 'is best.
First 'e started on a chateau, just to see what 'e could find
And 'e found most every blessed thing the owner'd left behind.
When 'e 'ad to leave the chandelier it nearly broke 'is 'eart.
And 'e'd a took the grand pianner if 'e'd 'ad an 'orse and cart!

You ought to 'ave seen 'im loaded with what ever 'e could bring,
'E was full of clocks and vases all tied up with bits of string.
'E got a marble statue of a girl without her clothes,
And a bust of Julius Caesar that 'e'd dropped and broke its nose.
There was spoons in ev'ry pocket all mixed up with bric-a-brac,
And half a dozen 'earthrugs, rolled up careful on 'is back.
When 'e come into the camp, we was looting on our plan
I ses "Love a duck, its Pickford been and lost 'is bloomin' van."

We was just agoing to ask 'im where the dickens 'e 'ad been,
When a coal-box 'it us sudden, and the roof came tumbling in.
All the bottles fell on Pincher, and it fairly made 'im squint
When the lady with no clothes on 'ad a bath in cream de mint.
Then a bullet knocked me over, and I couldn't laugh no more,
When 'e dropped 'is precious 'earthrugs just to lift me from the floor.

For tho' 'e knew 'e'd lose the lot, 'e stuck to me like glue
An' when 'e got me in the lines, so 'elp me bob, it's true,
'E'd got three bullets in 'im, 'e could 'ardly stand or see,
And the only loot left on 'im was 'is trousers, shirt and me!

by F.C. Hennequin and Cuthbert Clarke (1916)

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