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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 153, July 4, 1917   By:

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Vol. 153.


Punch 1917.07.04

[Illustration: VOL. CLIII]


The oldest inhabitant sat on a bench in the sun, the day's newspaper spread across his knees, and the newest visitor sat beside him.

"He do be mentioned in despatches, do our Billy, by Sir DOUGLAS HAIG himself. If it hadn't a been for him, where'd the Army been? he says. I knowed him ever since I come to these parts, and that weren't yesterday. He'd come round that there bend a whistling, not sort o' cockahoop, like some does, but just a cheery sort o' 'Here I am again;' and he'd always stop most anywhere, if so be as you held up your hand.

"I've seed ladies with their golf clubs runnin' up from the club house, and he'd just sort of whistle to show as he seed them, and wait for them as perlite as any gentleman. For it do be powerful hot to walk back home with your golf clubs after two rounds; I was a caddy, I was, 'fore I went on the line, so I knows what I'm telling you.

"It didn't make no difference if they was champions or duffers what couldn't carry the burn not if they tried all day. Or if it were an old woman a goin' back from market with all her cabbages and live ducks and eggs and onions it were all just the same to little Billy.

"Then I mind the day he was took. George he come up and tells me as they have took Billy because the Army wants all it can get. I was fair knocked over, and him so little and all.

"Then the Captain, what was the best golfer here, come back for leave.

"'Grandpa,' says he, same as he always call me 'Grandpa,' he says, 'I've been thinking about Billy all the time I've been out, and longing to hear him whistle again, and now I'm home and he's gone. I shall have to get back to France again to see him.'

"So he will, Sir, and if Billy was going up right under the German guns it's my belief as Captain would get out of his trench to go and see him.

"What regiment is Billy in, did you say, Sir? Why, he got no regiment. Ain't I been telling you, Sir, 'Puffing Billy' is what our golfers here call the little train what used to run six times a day from the town to the links. Just see what the paper says, Sir. I don't be much of a reader, but hark ye to this: 'I wish also to place on record here the fact that the successful solution of the problem of railway transport would have been impossible had it not been for the patriotism of the railway companies at home. They did not hesitate to give up their locomotives and rolling stock.'

"That's 'Puffing Billy,' Sir, him what I've put the signal down for hundreds an' hundreds of times. I miss him powerful bad, but the Army wanted him, and we've been and got some thanks too. I'm proud to think my Billy's in the paper."


["The municipality of Rothausen has decided to present to the collection of metal which is being made in Germany its monument of Kaiser WILLIAM THE FIRST." Reuter .]

Heavy is Armageddon's price And loud the call to sacrifice; All stuff composed of likely metals Door knockers, hairpins, cans and kettles Into the War's insatiate melting pot Has to be shot.

That was a hard and bitter blow When first your church bells had to go Those saintly bells that rang carillons While in the maw of happy millions Pure joy and gratitude to Heaven thrilled For babies killed.

It hurt your Christian hearts to melt A source of faith so keenly felt; And now (worse sacrilege than that) you Propose to take yon regal statue, That godlike effigy, and make a gun Of WILLIAM ONE!

What will He say when you reduce His Relative to cannon juice? The prospect must be pretty rotten If thus the Never To Be Forgotten Is treated, like the corpses of your friends, For useful ends.

I hear the ALL HIGHEST mutter, "Ha! They're liquefying Grandpapa! The nation's needs, that grow acuter, Count sacred things as so much pewter; Even my holy crown may go some day Down the red way!"

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