GOT a poem you would like to share with Army&You‘s readers? Send it, preferably along with a photograph, to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature it in Well-versed. This effort, from Colin Ian Jeffery, is about First World War pipers who boosted the morale of the Scottish regiments and intimidated the enemy. More than 1,000 pipers died as, unarmed and drawing attention to themselves, they would lead the men “over the top” and into battle.
Piper of the trenches
Up and out of the trench he goes
The regiment’s piper with only his bagpipes
Standing exposed he plays
Walking along the top of the trench.
Soldiers hear the swirl of the pipes
See their piper facing enemy fire alone
Rise up and swarm from the trench
Following the piper over no-man’s land.
Over shell craters and through barbwire
With German machine guns raking the lines
And While still hearing the swirl of pipes
Many fall in valour never to rise again.