'SANS PEUR' ©
(30th October 1948)
And down the waiting ranks the Colours go
For the last time, with slow, pre-destined tread,
That all may see what they inherited,
And all may know
The golden names embroidered on each fold.
Here was the History their fathers made.
The Regiment's battles - names that never fade,
Though fades the gold.
And all the while they pass beyond our gaze
The old familiar tales come flitting back.
How they had strengthened, or sustained, the attack
In distant days.
First when a young and untried Regiment
Sailed to the CAPE and fought its way ashore.
Into the battle, ever to the fore,
The Colours went.
Again, though on New Orleans stricken field
Six hundred Highlanders fell before the blast,
The tattered line, immovable, stood fast,
And would not yield.
Then passed another forty years, until
That day they waded ALMA'S waist-high spate,
Scorning the fire, with ranks immaculate
They stormed the hill.
And later, when by disciplined design
They stood their ground on BALACLAVA'S height,
Putting the charging cavalry to flight --
"A Thin Red Line"
Until LUCKNOW: where, as the pipes were heard,
And through the breach the Highlanders appeared.
The still beleaguered Residency cheered
The Ninety Third.
Such was the spirit of our ancestors.
Yet, see those other names which testify
That, in our time, we too fought worthily
In later wars.
MONS and LE CATEAU where we closed the rear;
No Colours there - only our Scottish pride
Carried us to the MARNE and turned the tide
That swept us clear.
These are the places sewn on the silken page -
Loos, ARRAS, CAMBRAI and the River SOMME.
The battle honours that have now become
Which we entrusted to another hand.
And so a new generation drew the blade
Forged by tradition, proved by us, to aid
Our native land.
Put off the armour! Old Guard to New, give way!
Those were the battlefields of yesteryear.
What of the battlefields that seem as near
Whether they stood embattled in the West,
Or in the sombre jungle of Malay,
"Those Highlanders" shall men foregathering say,
"ranked with the best."
"Theirs that true Quality which others lack.
That proud, well-founded confidence which prevailed.
Theirs too that spirit, which, when strength has failed,
is fighting back."
Not in some dim Cathedral's shade immersed
Shall rest these Colours, far beyond our ken,
But in the fellowship of fighting men
The Ninety First
Shall give them place. And then, when hearts are stirred
By the old music, Memory shall take wing,
And we shall live again, remembering
The Ninety Third.