Current Location

Private Collection
Luton
United Kingdom

This small hardback book was printed in 1917 and is a collection of soldiers' marching songs, popular parodies and rhymes collected by 2nd Lieutenant Nettleingham whilst on active service with the Royal Flying Corps.

In the foreword Nettleingham claims that "Tipperary was never greatly sung by Tommy" but he includes two cheeky parodies of this well-known song. He also apologises for the large percentage of Aviation songs since the writer belongs to the RFC.

In a note to this second edition (it was reprinted less than 2 weeks after the first edition appeared) he reports:  " I asked a man back from the front last week if the boys out there sang as much as formerly. His reply is illuminating- "No, they're too fed up."

"We want to get the book out to the boys at the front" he writes, "it's they who need it and will welcome it."

Believed to have been brought back from the Front by Rifleman Gordon Oliver of the King's Royal Rifle Corps and given to his lifelong friend Isaac Woolfson who kept it with all of Gordon's letters and other items - now in the possession of Isaac's grandson who lives in Luton.

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