Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Of all the boys with whom I fought
In Africa and Sicily,
Bill was the bravest of the lot
In our dare-devil Company.
That lad would rather die than yield;
His gore he glorified to spill,
And so in every battlefield
A hero in my eyes was Bill.
Then when the bloody war was done,
He moseyed back to our home town,
And there, a loving mother's son,
Like other kids he settled down.
His old girl seemed a shade straight-laced,
For when I called my buddy "Bill,"
She looked at me with some distaste,
Suggesting that his name was "Will."
And then he had to get engaged,
And took unto himself a wife;
And so inevitably caged,
He settled down to wedded life.
He introduced me to his Missis,
But oh I thought her rather silly,
For in between their frequent kisses
She called my hard-boiled here: "Willie."
Now he has long forgot the War,
The which he did a lot to win,
And feeling full of ginger for
He's happy Pop of cherubs twin.
Yet with his air: "Don't care a damn,"
On Main Street he's my hero still . . .
As proud he wheels a double pram
What guy has got the guts of Bill!
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