Treasure Island

Frederick William (FW) Harvey

(26 March 1888 – 13 February 1957 / Hartpury, Gloucestershire)

Ballad of Army Pay


In general, if you want a man to do a dangerous

job : —
Say, swim the Channel, climb St. Paul's, or break

into and rob
The Bank of England, why, you find his wages

must be higher
Than if you merely wanted him to Fight the kitchen

fire.
But in the British Army, it's just the other

way.
And the maximum of danger means the minimum

of pay.



You put some men inside a trench, and call them

infantrie,
And make them face ten kinds of hell, and face it

cheerfully ;
And hve in holes Uke rats, with other rats, and

hce, and toads,
And in their leisure time, assist the R.E.'s with

their loads.
Then, when they've done it all, you give 'em each

a bob a day !
For the maximum of danger means the minimum

of pay.

40



We won't run down the A.S.C., nor yet the

R.T.O.
They ration and direct us on the way we've got

to go.
They're very useful people, and it's pretty plain

to see
We couldn't do without 'em, nor yet the

A.P.C.
But comparing risks and wages, — I think they all

will say
That the maximum of danger means the minimum

of pay.

There are men who make munitions — and seventy
bob a week ;

They never see a lousy trench nor hear a big shell
shriek ;

And others sing about the war at high-class music-
halls

Getting heaps and heaps of money and encores
from the stalls.

They ' keep the home fires burning ' and bright
by night and day.

While the maximum of danger means the minimum
of pay.

I wonder if it's harder to make big shells at a

bench,
Than to face the screaming beggars when they're

crumping up a trench ;

41



I wonder if it's harder to sing in mellow tones

Of danger, than to face it — say, in a wood like
Trone's ; *

Is discipline skilled labour, or something children
play ?

Should the maximum of danger mean the mini-
mum of pay ?

Submitted: Monday, April 02, 2012

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Ballad of Army Pay by Frederick William (FW) Harvey )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Morning Triku V, Steve Kittell
  2. To My Love, dr.k.g.balakrishnan kandangath
  3. Scrutinized As Being Abusive, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  4. Sting, Foster Teegarden
  5. Some Ghoul, Foster Teegarden
  6. the man of christmas, Faith Taylors
  7. My Description, Foster Teegarden
  8. Scared to love you, leanne royle
  9. Pain, leanne royle
  10. Human, Foster Teegarden

Poem of the Day

poet Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. 1914 V: The Soldier, Rupert Brooke
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. Invictus, William Ernest Henley

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]