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Greatcoat


In my day the Army
Was very frugal with our kit.
Whenever possible if seemed
They recycled every  bit.
My Greatcoat had certainly
Been around for a while;
It was of a different cloth
And of a  different style.

With it back at the Billet
I just couldn't wait
To check the label for
The manufacturers date.
It read nineteen fourteen,
From the Great War.
I wondered how many
Had worn it before.

Had it seen combat,
Endured the trenches' hell;
If there'd been any bullet holes
They'd been repaired well.
Hanging from my spare frame
I looked rather rum,
And, being for those days tall
Stood out like a sore thumb.

It fitted where it touched
And it was far too big
Bringing down the wrath
Of many a drill pig,
In truth it looked like
I'd been graciously lent
A quite unique version of
My own one man tent.

I carried it with me
Until my demob day
When the QM staff
Carefully folded it away.
In truth I thought
As I left it there
It looked good enough for
Many more years wear.

At just fifty years old I wondered
How many others would have it on
Before it reached its retirement
And was finally gone.
I hoped the next owners,
For I was sure there'd  be more,
Realised with respect it was
A piece of history that they wore.







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