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Poem Taking of Mametz
Collection Description

A handwritten poem describing the taking of Mametz.

Collection Detail

Transcript of poem:


The taking of Mametz Woods on July 10th 1916



You wonder why I’m grey headed?

Grey headed at forty five

Well marvel not at all Sir

It’s a wonder that I am alive



After all that happened that day friend,

Ah Sir! When I see it again

As I sometimes do in my dreams

I’ts enough to turn ones brains



Nigh five thousand fine fellows in all Sir

Caught, like a Rat in a snare

Would you like to hear the story?

Alright if you the time can share



We were only a simple Division

That answered the call from all Wales

We are not thought a great deal of in England

Until over the water we sails



We are always classed rough by the Gentry

Most men are worth that down a mine

The French once looked down upon us

But soon for our help they did pine.



T’was not long we stopped down the suburbs.

But to a camp we soon went

First for a course of Instructions

Four solid hard days we there spent.



Very well! I’ll get on with my story,

It would be about the middle of June

When we left the North for the South Sir,

Just to give old Fritzy a tune



We came out of the trenches at daybreak

After six weary months in the line

We had dribbled away one by one Sir!

And were far from full strength at the time



We were told we were going for a rest Sir

After spending the Winter in France

And it was a hard one I tell you

But we heard we had to Advance.



We marched from North to South Sir

Not a mile did we ride on the way

It took us quite six solid weeks

To help in the Big Push away



Twas not long before we were in action

The Welsh division at last

Had a chance to show what they were made of

In one of the hardest tasks



We were over the top in a jiffy

And met them like all soldier should

That’s how Sir the Welsh Division

Started to take the Woods.



We fought night @ day to the end, Sir

And we kept the Germans at bay.

Not a German was left within sight Sir

Twas awfull to stick in the Dim.



It lasted forty eight hours

“Not so long”? Did I hear you say?

But 6h Sir”, what we endured

In that most awful fray.



All we had was a biscuit to fight on

No water anywhere to be found

My comrades were dropping like rabbits

Twas dreadful to be Gaying around



They sent everything they had at us

But in spite our fellows kept on

Until only we were a handfull

And most of our leaders had gone



Our Boys they stuck it like Britons,

Through the terrible shrapnel, shot @ shell

Until we had gained what we Wanted

We fought all bravely @ well.



But at last; come welcome daybreak

A pity full sight to see,

What was left of the Welsh Division

Not half that came over the Sea.



We took it at a terrible cost Sir

The Wonderfull Woods of Mametz

Every man that went down was a soldier Sound

And deserve what a Soldier gets



And now a word for the Survivors

You would think we were entitled to rest?

But we all are still in the War Sir

Fighting that strange German pest



In a well known place called Ypres

Again we are holding the line,

In one of the saddest places

Where over the sun did shine



So now I have finished my story

Give credit @ honour where due

To the 38th Division Welsh

Once collier, now Soldier (true?)



So if the War was finished tomorrow

And all back to England were sent

You would hear about the wonderfull Victory

Where the Welsh Division were sent


By Tom Parton who fell in France in 1917

Accession Number

BRCRM p1974.504

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