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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

A Canadian soldier poet's view of late war England

John Gilinsky

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The following poem is transcribed and presented here for anyone. I have not yet tracked down who the writer was (whether he was a patient or staff member and whether he was British or Canadian but I presume the latter). Does anyone know who this man was and if the poem may have been published elsewhere say a local Buxton or Derbyshire newspaper?

“There’s Nobody Home Here In Blighty”

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

The Boys are all over in France

The girls are all busy at war work

And Mother leads Father a dance.

There’s nobody home to cook dinner

There’s not much to eat or to drink

We’re all in the worst tribulation

Society’s gone on the blink.

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

Why even the fire is out

The street lights are burning at half-mast

The gas jets just sputter about

The tram cars are running on half time

The autos they can’t run at all

The papers print nothing but headlines

Police never come when you call.

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

The girls are at work making shells

There’s nobody rocking the cradle

The kiddie just lies there and yells

The young girls are turned into flappers

The boys are all busy Boy Scouts

And grandfather sits in the corner

But nobody hears when he shouts

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

The bars are all closed before nine

The girls wander round in the evening

There’s no one to take them to dine

The old men are now ten years younger

Each night with a flapper they go

And sit in a box in the circle

But not in the bald-headed row.

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

The old horse is butchered for meat

The lawn is a simple allotment

Where good things are gorwin’ to eat

The gold links are now a cow pasture

The deer park is ploughed up for corn

The trees are all down for lumber

The whole place looks sad and forlorn

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

The baker and butcher are dead

There’s drippings and lard in the butter

The cases are as heavy as lead

No sugar to put in your coffee

They say that the end is not yet

Meat scarcer than saints among winners

And white bread has turned to brunette.

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

The old maids have turned back the clocks

They visit the bed-ridden soldiers

And work night and day knitting socks

The dogs are all hid in the bracken

The cats now we never more hear

They have all got wind of the rumor

That sausage is scarcer and dear.

There’s nobody home here in Blighty

Ther’re all busy doing their bit

Old England is turned topsy-turvy

And Fritze has fit upon fit

The war bonds are selling like hot cakes

The Banks quickly gather the tin

Like Byng’s Boys, if we do our damndest

There’s nothing can stop us, we’ll win.

St. Ellerton, “B” Section, G.C.S.H.

Buxton, England

Reproduced from: “The Quebec Chronicle” Quebec, Que. April 23rd. 1918, page 2


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