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Introduction

While researching the 257 Corps Delivery Squadron, we stumbled on this booklet. A poem written by Lieutenant R.M.D. Lynes to Major R.T.G. Lynes. They are probably related, but unfortunately we don't know their relationship. The lieutenant was assigned to the headquarters of the 22nd Armoured Brigade, the major was the commanding officer of 257 Corps Delivery Squadron. This squadron was responsible for bringing back new and repaired tanks to the fighting troops.

Definitielijst

Brigade
Consisted mostly of two or more regiments. Could operate independently or as part of a division. Sometimes they were part of a corps instead of a division. In theory a brigade consisted of 5,000 to 7,000 men.
Squadron
A military unit in the Belgian navy usually six to eight small ships operating together under one command. The smallest military unit in the Dutch air force of about 350 men. In most countries is the designation of a military unit thesize of a company. It is either an independent unit, such as a battery, or part of a bigger Calvary unit. In the air force it is the designation of a unit of aircrafts.

Accompanying letter

Poem dedicated to 257 Corps Delivery Squadron, Royal Armoured Corps, by Lieutenant R.M.D. Lynes.

To: Major R.T.G. Lynes, M.B.E., Commanding Officer 257 Corps Delivery Squadron.
From: Lieutenant R.M.D. Lynes, H.Q. 22 Armoured Brigade, B.L.A., 16th June 1945.

Dear Ron,

A few days ago I was sitting in an office doing a spot of thinking (a pastime, incidentally in which I seldom indulge). My mind wandered over the European battlefields Norway Dunkirk Greece Crete The Desert Alamein-Tunis to the final defeat of the German Army. I glanced out of the window and saw two German Officers pass resplendent in their uniforms immaculate.

Following them was an apparently dejected, shambling figure, dressed in not too clean battledress. And suddenly it dawned on me that this scruffy, shambling figure had beaten those strutting, immaculate Germans in open battle.

One wouldn't have thought it to look at him. But he had. He'd beaten the supermen utterly undeniably irrevocably.

I stretched out my hand for a piece of paper and wrote the following lines in Memory of the Scruffy British Soldier the guy who had smashed this master race at their own game the guy to whom I take off my hat the guy to whom i say "You're a better man than I am Gunga Din".

I would like to dedicate it to the men of your Squadron would you accept it on their behalf I should feel very honoured.

Yours ever,

Ray.

P.S. I hope they won't take it as a reflection of their turn out Bless 'em.


Source: Archives Jeroen Koppes

Definitielijst

Brigade
Consisted mostly of two or more regiments. Could operate independently or as part of a division. Sometimes they were part of a corps instead of a division. In theory a brigade consisted of 5,000 to 7,000 men.
Squadron
A military unit in the Belgian navy usually six to eight small ships operating together under one command. The smallest military unit in the Dutch air force of about 350 men. In most countries is the designation of a military unit thesize of a company. It is either an independent unit, such as a battery, or part of a bigger Calvary unit. In the air force it is the designation of a unit of aircrafts.

The Scruffy British Tommy

Six weary years we fought, six years of Hell and pain
Six years of disappointments, of hopes dashed down again.
The cream of Hitler's supermen against us was arrayed
And there we stood alone, undaunted unafraid.

The cream of Hitler's supermen yes its very funny now
To see the master race bend low to scrape and bow
And the man that made them do it, knocked them down with such a smack
Was the Scruffy British Tommy with a knapsack on his back.

The Scruffy British Tommy from Scotland, Ireland, Wales,
From Sussex, Cornwall, Devon, from Yorkshires sunny dales.
The Bricklayer and the Carpenter, the Clerk and Joiner too
Decided they were angry with Hitler's bonny crew.

A ragtime little army The Boche were overjoyed
But you forgot Mr. Hitler, that army was annoyed
And when the British Tommy's angry things are likely to begin
And a million German supermen won't stop him butting in.

Yes the Scruffy British Tommy said Good Bye to all at home
And went from Alamein to Tunis, from Sicily to Rome,
From Normandy to Brussels, from Brussels to the Rhine
And hung his dirty washing on the Siegfried Line.

And then he took a breather before the final crack
Whilst the not so super Germans wished the Tommy'd not come back
Then the Airborne boys went over and the Infantry went in
And the Tanks all started "swanning" on the road to doomed Berlin.

British History will tell us of those glorious final days
How they bit into the German Reich and set the towns ablaze
And how the British Tommy with a grin upon his face
Put the final finishing touches to the German Master Race.

The German Master Race, Oh you silly arrogant folk
You thought the British Army was a screaming funny joke
But that silly British Army is right across the Rhine
Well don't say we didn't warn you back in '39.

But your beloved cherished Fuhrer just wouldn't listen then
You were God's own chosen people a race of supermen
You were going to conquer Europe and give them a "New Order"
You were going to put your dirty feet across the Scottish Border.

You thought you were but you'd a lot to learn of the people living there
Of Jock from Aberdeen and the girls with Auburn hair
For whilst they'd breath in their bodies and strength to hit the foe
No filthy German foot would soil the land where bluebells grow.

Six weary years we fought six years of Hell and pain
But the struggle has been worth it, for you'll never rise again
And Belgium, France and Holland and all other little folk
Will never suffer any more beneath the Nazi yoke.

Yes we warned you we would fight, way back in '39
Perhaps you've learned a lesson at least bear one thing in your mind
When the British Tommy's angry, things are likely to begin
And TEN MILLION German supermen won't stop him butting in.

Definitielijst

Infantry
Foot soldiers of a given army.
Nazi
Abbreviation of a national socialist.

Sources

  • Archives Jeroen Koppes.
  • WO 171/4728 257 Corps Delivery Squadron, Royal Armoured Corps, 1945.