William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

BUG OUT: POEMS FROM THE BATTALION

I painted the rocks on the TDM road with a couple of CB’d men
The B.O.S. said there’s ammo to load, we will tell you where and when
Cyril Barnes, Pop Fisher, and me, we were all doing time on Battalion CB
Open the locked gate to the TDM bunkers, they ordered the guys and me

There is a bug out – we just got the call –and extra ammo we have to haul
Once you have loaded each deuce and a half, go back and join the men
Pick up your kitbags, your webbing and packs and don’t forget your FN
Later that night we got the order: “Move out towards the East German Border”

There was a big meeting far over the sea that affected the 1 QOR of C
Nakita Khrushchev began to stew, and onto the table he banged his shoe
The Rifles were part of 4 CIBG, British Army on the Rhine
In the early days of NATO we defended the freedom line

We bugged out toward the front, and aimed our missiles at the Commie C.U.N.T.
We drove all night and part of the day, then we dug in for a permanent stay
After a week we received stand down Orders, to pack up and fill in the latrines
‘Cause Kennedy made the Russians back down, before sending in the Marines!

  • CB – Confined to Barracks (punishments for minor infractions of Military Discipline)
  • TDM – Temporary Dump Munitions
  • B.O.S. – Battalion Orderly Sergeant.
  • BUG OUT –Battalion Undergoing Group Orders for Unit Tactical – moves
  • FN – Fabrique National NATO Rifle C1 semi auto and C2 fully auto personal weapon
  • 1 QOR of C – 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada
  • 4CIBG – 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group
  • BAOR – British Army on the Rhine
  • C.U.N.T. – Communist Units in the Northern Territories
  • NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Author’s Note: Now that the cold war is over I guess we can talk about/write poems about these formerly top secret goings on. I did the slidex and griddle target sights in back of a dug in, 5 ton BAOR truck – no computers in those days. As fast as I made up the targets they were marked on a wall map and a British Sergeant came along with a metal can and he burned all the sheets and map co-ordinates. It was an insane time – first and last time I ever saw a British Field Marshall: he patted me on the back and said “Good job lad” which was ironic because our life expectancy was 48hrs or less if the balloon had gone up. The dosimeter (pencil like radiation measurement device) and the radiation cape (poncho groundsheet with white powder shook onto same) and the Respirator “Fallout Filter” in our gas masks would have been useless and we would have all died from our own nuclear fallout and radiation dust. The things we do when we are 18