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Raw Recruits

by actiondesksheffield

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Jean Allison Dickinson
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Contributed on: 
02 June 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Roger Marsh of the ‘Action Desk — Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Jean Alison Dickinson and has been added to the site with her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

Raw Recruits

Jean Allison Dickinson

We marched along in perfect time
While the Sergeant Major shouted 1-2,1-2
And we sang as we marched near the sea and the sand
Our boots clattered on early pavements
And we came smartly to attention

The golden curve of the sand stretched away in the distance
But in the evening after the sun had gone down
We donned our best black shoes
And off we went to the Royal Hotel
To dance to the ragtime blues
The orchestra played its most romantic tunes
And the girls stood tapping their high heeled shoes.

The fishing boats were anchored near the pier
The smell of tar and rapes and gear
We remembered the whelks and the shrimps
And the fish and chips eaten an the pier.

And as we marched to come back we vowed
When the war was over and peace was declared
To smell the sea and walk on the beach
And squelch our feet in the wet wrinkled sand.

(The new recruits were billeted in a lot of the hotels on the South Cliff in Scarborough and the Royal Hotel was a well known venue for
the local girls to go and "pick up" one of the popular "boys in blue").


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