Why I enlisted - Gorden Bruce Morse, 1916

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A poem by Tillsonburg's Gorden Bruce Morse written in France, 1916.

France, 1916

You asked me why I enlisted

And why I go to the war.

Just Listen – I'll tell you a story

Perhaps you have heard it before.

I ain't no bloomin' hero

And I don't want any thanks.

I'm just a paltry private doing my bit in the ranks.


I was just a county bumpkin

Making my way on the land.

And when the war was started

I decided to lend a hand.

I heard of the German in Belgium

And the horrible deeds he had done.

My blood ran cold with horror

At what he called great fun.


The way he treated the mothers

And the little children too.

Made me join the colours

Determined to see it through.

For it's all up to us Britons

No matter where we may be

To stand up shoulder to shoulder

Till little Belgium is free.


There are lads who have crossed the ocean

From Australia and Canada too

To fight beside the Tommies

Determined to see it all through

And the Union Jack unfurled

Till the Kaiser learns he is beaten

And finds he cannot rule the world.


Then I will pull off my khaki

And return to my home o'er the sea.

I'll consider my duty accomplished

And know my conscience is free.

But if I should fall in battle

And never cross o'er the foam

I still thank God I enlisted

And helped protect my home.



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