It was discussed in the mess
So we knew it was true;
A sergeant was dying of cancer.
Soon the whole regiment knew.
He was in the military hospital
And he didn't have long.
Maybe because of his rank,
Or he'd maybe won a gong,
There was to be a military presence
To escort the body to the plane.
A funeral party was appointed
To practice, hail or snow or rain.
They didn't know when it would happen
When would be the appointed day
But everything would be ready
To see him on his way.
They had a six foot locker
Which they filled with sand
To be carried on the shoulders
Of the appointed band.
They slow marched to perfection
Where everybody could see
In full view of the windows
Of the widow soon to be.
Military Honours and a way of life
Who would be a squaddie's wife.