Royal Engineers (Chatham) Lodge,

No. 4465  Province of East Kent

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CRE

THE ROYAL ENGINEERS SONG

The original lyric was partly British and partly Kaffir. The tune and song originated in South Africa.

There are a number of indecent versions. The version acceptable during and after Lodge Festive Boards is given.

Good morning Mr Stevens and Windy Notchy Knight,

Hurrah for the C.R.E.

For we`re working very hard down On Upnor Hard Hurrah for the C.R.E.

You make fast, I make fast make fast the dinghy,

make fast (Repeated in some versions)

the dinghy-pontoon.

For we`re marching on to Laffan`s Plain To Laffans Plain – to Laffan`s  Plain

Yes, we`re marching on to Laffan`s Plain

Where the old Dun Cow caught fire.   (Where they don`t mud from clay

Ah! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

Osh-ta! osh-ta! osh-ta! osh-ta!

I saw a black man sitting on a raft                        (Ikona, malee, picanninny skoff)

I saw a Colonel looking quite daft                        (Ma-ninga sabenza, here`s another off)

He! hi! ho! the dinghy`s going                              (Oolum-da, cried Matabele)

He! hi! ho! the dinghy`s gone                               (Oolum-da, away we go)

Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!……. Whoo……….sh!     (Shuush – Whoow!)


Mr Stevens was Chief Clerk in the Chief Instructor of Field Works office.

Windy Notchy Knight was a Warrant Officer in the School of Military Engineering. (A resolute man – far from “windy”). Upnor Hard is the hard on the River  Medway where wet bridging was carried out. Laffan`s Plain is at Aldershot and named after Lt. Col. Laffan, who rose to the rank of Lt. General and died in 1882 whilst holding the appointment of Governor and Commander-in-Chief Bermuda.