038 in the Squadron Technical office
(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Lost Legion’)
There’s a Troop that never was listed,
that carries no colour or crest,
but split in a thousand detachments
is mapping the hills for the rest.
You laughed at the maps as you found them
and said “We’ll do better by far”,
so you sent up the jebel young Geoffrey
with Andy and Vic from Nizwa.
We received the white package one morning,
all tied up in beer crate and string,
and with fingers that trembled unwrapped it
and gazed on this wonderful thing.
We gasped when we saw all the height
and all the small tracks where they’d gone.
Then we looked at the Names sheets unnumbered
and said “Good God what have they done?”
You’ve inked the air photos in scarlet
and drawn all the wadis in blue.
You’ve comped till your fingers were bloody
and the heights have come in, that is true.
You’ve finally gone clean off your
you’ve ruined us this time for sure
with hundreds of height points and Names sheets,
after this we’ll need a rest-cure.
Now it’s our turn to sort through and
and see that it’s fit for Four-Two;
to make sure when we finally send it
that the bastard won’t come back to you!
S/sgt H. A.
McVeagh, Cpl. J. Ellen
Technical office, Squadron H.Q.
Bahrain, Persian Gulf., January 1961
With thanks to Trevor "Bill" Powell for
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