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Range Duty 1963

He tried to shoot his issue rifle
And it should have gone bang,
But when he pulled the trigger
There was just a sort of clang.
My gun won't go he said sadly as
He turned and waved it in the air.
Surprised to see nobody else there
We'd all dived fast down on the deck;
Boy did that squaddie get it in the neck.
Standing Orders is orders that never ever change:
Always keep your rifle pointed down the range.
We cleared his chamber, but again no bang;
Just once more that sad little kind of clang.
Checking his Magazine, with a look of despair
Ross passed it for me to see what was there.
One of the loaders sitting on the ground
Had filled all his Mags the wrong way round.
Annual qualifying day and some of this lot
Acted as if this was their first ever shot
Later in the mess it made a good story
Just another one for our annals of glory.
British Army of the Rhine alert and ready to go;
Just thank the lord the comrades didn't know.

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