“So we launched a bloomin’ volley”

notes edited by John McGivering)

Publication

These lines are a heading to “The Taking of Lungtingpen”
in Plain Tales from the Hills *1888). They are collected in the Sussex Edition, vol xxxiv, p. 216, the Burwash Edition vol. xxvii, and Definitive Verse, p. 507 with pooch in line 3, you in line 6 and bay’nit in line 7.

Notes on the text

A soldier’s “pouch”, which contained ammunition, was often pronounced “pooch” in the Army and may still be today. The butt could be described as the “handle” of the rifle. The lines might be translated as:

So we fired at the enemy and made them run and when we ran out of ammunition we went at them with the bayonet and the butt so enemies approached us at their peril !

 

[J.McG.]

©John McGivering 2020 All rights reserved