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This poem is one of eight by Cpl. D. Nevitt recorded in Robert Dickinson’s diary, “Servigliano Calling.”

The Fireside Fusiliers

LISTEN!, while I tell you a story,
Of interest to you and to me,
Of a bunch of spineless cowards,
Away across the sea,
They fear the tanks and guns of war,
They shed no blood or tears,
They’re Conscientious Objectors,
The Fireside Fusiliers.

While there’s women in the navy,
In the army and air-force too,
These men are only found in jobs,
Where there’s no fighting to do
There ranks have been growing daily,
And now, just after two years,
You’ll find there’s fifty-thousand or so,
Of these Fireside Fusiliers.

I believe they’ve a special medal,
It’s one they can call their own,
Painted a bright gleaming yellow,
Designed by the women at home,
Its centre’s a crest of white feathers,
Surrounded by cold feet, it appears,
And their motto “Self-preservation,”
That’s the Fireside Fusiliers.

While their country has need of all men,
On “religious grounds”, keep from the fray,
And despite the serious position,
Enjoy home-comfort each day,
When Jerry has been defeated,
They’ll flourish their souvenirs,
Then tell you how they won them,
These Fireside Fusiliers.

Daily our seamen risk their lives,
To bring their rations through,
For remember there’s fifty-thousand,
Not just one or two,
But when this war is over,
You can regard these men with sneers,
For you’ve done your bit, and theirs, my boys,
The Fireside Fusiliers


This touching poem by Cpl. D. Nevitt reflects on the bravery and sacrifice of the women of Blighty (England) through the story of one widow’s loving protection of her baby. The poem is from Robert Dickinson’s diary, “Servigliano Calling.”

Tribute to the Women of Blighty

The cottage was a thatched one,
The inside clean and neat,
As a mother sat there rocking,
The cradle at her feet.

Outside the night had fallen
And all was peace and quit,
When suddenly the sirens,
Came wailing through the night.

People ran for shelter,
Children screamed with fear,
For one and all knew what it meant,
As the planes came roaring near.

The guns barked out their warning,
And search-lights cut the sky,
But they only served one purpose,
To keep the bombers high.

Then suddenly above the roar,
Of the noisy ack-ack guns,
There came the whistling of the bombs,
Dropped by the callous Huns.

In the cottage all was peaceful,
And at the bottom of the stairs,
Knelt that mother with her baby,
As she softly said her prayers.

And as she looked towards the heavens,
Her eyes shone full of faith,
As she softly murmured, “God above,
Please keep my baby safe.

He’s already lost his daddy,
For he gave his life in France,
So if I should get killed this night,
Please give my child a chance.”

And though her cheeks were wet with tears,
Her voice was full of pride,
As she whispered may God Bless you,
And the bombs still fell outside.

And though that cottage stood,
Outside the town, alone,
A bomb crashed through the centre,
Of that peaceful little home.

Then when the raid was over,
And the bombers had passed by,
They searched that ruined cottage,
And they heard a baby’s cry.

They found her ’neath the ruins,
That poor young soldiers wife,
For her dead and battered body,
Had saved her baby’s life.

So when you go in action,
And you feel somewhat afraid,
Just think of what the women stand,
In any big air-raid.


This clever poem, an ode to the Camp 59 dog, is one of six by C.A. Hollis recorded in Robert Dickinson’s diary, “Servigliano Calling.”

The Neutral

He’s not of any army, he has no need to kill,
His is the freedom of the prison, he comes and goes at will,
No cheering at advances, no worries of retreats;
It matters not, if he’s a coward, or performs heroic feats.

He’s the friend of captor and captive, of both he has no fear,
He just walks disdainfully, if either clip his ear.
No rations is he issued, his meals are bits and scraps,
And when he’s feeling tired, most anywhere, he knaps.

And when this war is over, his life will be the same,
He cares not who’s the victor, or who deserves the blame.
He’s a neutral in this conflict—this world engulfing bog,
He’s one of man’s greatest friends, just a homely dog.

This poem was inspired by Old Bob the camp dog.

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