General warren ahn hiz kind wae personal effects trundled doon
wae his portable cast iron bath ahn ither things tae comfort him
the baggage train wiz so lang it needed mair protection ahint
ahn Colenso wiz forgone fur lack o’time thiy wur defeated while.
The boer dug in ahn waited thim fur thiy hud awe day fur that
seein fae the spion kop they might ahs hiv weel sent ah paper
fur botha wiz readin bibles ahn said it wiz ah gid sign indeed
ahn pitched ah tent ahn waited fur the imperial government.
Bit thorneycroft ahn his mounted infantry saw it awe unfold
wae awe his generals fawin doon exitin command tae him
ahn nae support fae warren busy wae his bath ahn sink
forgoat tae send thorneycroft wati’r ahn some rations.
Ahn the quartermaster wiz fun oot fur derelict negligence
they held ahint a thousand spades ahn gied ony twenty
wae ah thousand men watchin idly diggin intae rock slate
ahn awe the canned beef thiy threw awa oan the climb up.
Whin the mornin fog hud lifted in thir trench thiy waited still
bit the quartermaster never showed wae ah drink o watti’r
a thousand boer wae machine guns ahn naval shells screamin
ravaged the trench thit thiy dug ahn buried thir remains.
The boer wiz roundin up surrenders bit thorneycroft saw that
ahn ran wae sword tae botha’s men confrontin thim heid oan
tae the 2nd battalion cameronians fell ahn sorted it he thanked
tae live anither day he waited oan fur warrens great command.
Thorneycroft hud entered in his dispatch book he intended whit
noo he wiz ah general fur he wiz promoted oan that deathly hill
telt the runner thit it wiz bettir tae hiv six battalions doon the grun
thin loast thim awe wae the wounded boys lyin oot thir still.
Warren hud ah bath ahn shave ahn turned tae look ootside
ahn saw the tide wiz turnin tae git acroas the swollen river
he took his rubber duck ahn lay it oot tae dry drinkin coffee
thit came fae fortnum ahn masons whit his wife sent oot.
The story nevir ended thir fur some wan hud tae take accoont
ahn tell the queen that the generals deed wae splinterd heids
the adjutant done the joab ahn mentioned it tae warren sayin
If yi hud left yir bath at hame ahn used whit wiz provided sir.
The boer widnae hud haulf the time tae welcome us ahn take
oor naval guns ahn awe it’s shells tae yaz oan us fae colenso
thit smashed oor boys oan thit hill thit wiz undefended ahn sir
ah no ahm no welcome fur writin this oan ah government report.
Bit truth tae tell fur awe yir kind thit hiz such ah joab tae dae
yi could aht least hiv issued spades fur ah thoosand men
ahn empty oot yir cast iron bath sendin thim the watti’r ahn
aye yi wull be judged oan awe this it some future date from
ah jiner fae burnbank ahn passed it oan tae thim thit listen.
The above was written for Historic Hamilton by John Stokjes