Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ABC Wednesday

Q is for Quartermaster

Now we've all heard of the Quartermaster - the man who has the goods! In the Store, in the Store.....

Who hasn't sung this song around a fire at night, searching out the Quartermaster's Store for more wild and crazy objects to be found there, and to sing about.

Here is Burns Ernst playing this old campfire favourite, In The Quartermaster's Store.

And here are some appropriate words to sing along.....

There are mice, mice, mice running through the rice
At the store. At the store.
There are mice, mice, mice running through the rice
At the Quartermaster’s Store.

Mine eyes are dim, I cannot see.
I have not brought my specks with me.
I have not brought my specks with me. (Chorus)

There are rats, rats, rats as big as alley cats
At the store. At the store.
There are rats, rats, rats as big as alley cats
At the Quartermster’s Store.

Snakes...as long as garden rakes Goats….eating all the oats
Beans…as big as submarines Owls…. Shredding paper towels
Gravy…enough to float the navy Apes…..eating all the grapes
Cakes…that give us stomach aches Roaches..sleeping in the coaches
Eggs….with scaly chicken legs Flies…...swarming ‘round the pies
Butter...running in the gutter Fishes….washing all the dishes
Lard….they sell it by the yard
Moths… eating through the cloths
Bread...with great big lumps like lead
Foxes….stuffed in little boxes Cheese.that makes you want to sneeze Scouts…eating brussel sprouts
Soot….they grow it by the foot Leaders..slapping at the skeeters

There’s no more, more, more We’re closing up the store.
Up the store. (2X)
There’s no more, more, more We’re closing up the store
Up the Quartermaster’s Store.

Another timely bit of information about the Quartermaster's stores refers to the absolute necessity of the Quartermaster in providing for the military, wherever they might be.

Wikipedia tells of the presence of the U.S. Quartermaster's Corp on the beaches of Normandy.

"No one seems ever to think a soldier in QM ever gets to smell any gunpowder, dig any foxholes, get into any fighting, go without food, mail and the like. Our QM outfit hit the beach on D-day right when the heat was on, and more outfits are hitting the beaches every day--to unload and load rations, ammunition, and all other equipment and supplies. Opening and running dumps under combat conditions is a tough job. We sleep in foxholes, wash and shave in helmets, dig slit trenches, eat in the open as do other Army outfits. We also have bazooka men, machine-gun men and operate twenty-four hours a day--about fifty percent of that time in the rain and mud."

Private First Class, James P. Hatchell,
(in a letter to the Stars and Stripes Newspaper, August 10, 1944)

Almost everything a soldier wore, carried or ate on D-Day was supplied by the Quartermaster Corps

Quartermaster units and personnel were in the English Channel and on the beaches, Omaha and Utah, when the Allies landed on June 6. QM railhead, service, and truck companies saw continuous operation in the assault at Normandy, in the breakout at St. Lo, and the rapid pursuit across France in the summer of '44. They had some unforgettable experiences.

The 407th Airborne QM Company, for instance, went into Normandy on D-Day in two echelons, the first in gliders and the rest by ship. The glider-borne contingent landed at 2115 hours on June 6th and set up a temporary bivouac on the outskirts of Blosville, a short distance from Ste. Mere Eglise.

Tech 4 Fred Gilbert's unit, the 3891st QM Truck Company, landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and immediately began hauling rations, ammo, and Infantrymen. "In other words," he wrote, they considered themselves "a part of the mobile infantry."

The British, Canadian and Australian Quartermasters were with their Regiments also, supporting and supplying and parachuting behind enemy lines with supplies.

On Remembrance Day we honour those amongst them who gave their lives and made the Quintessential sacrifice.

For more interesting facts about the letter Q go here to Mrs. Nesbitt's inspiring meme.


Sylvia K said...

Great post for the Q day! Enjoyed the video and the history of the Quartermaster!

Have a great day!


The Weaver of Grass said...

I really enjoyed reading this Hildred and I well remember that song from Girl Guide days.

Roger Owen Green said...

I understand that it's the Quartermaster who keeps it all together.

Rinkly Rimes said...

Interesting facts and a song long-forgotten. Thanks.

photowannabe said...

Absolutely perfect post for Q and for the Day of Remembrance. I really enjoyed reading the whole post. Very informative and the song was too funny.

Carol said...

Great Q post. I enjoyed the info and the song.

Mara said...

I've never ever heard the song before, but it sounds like a great one for a camp fire night out in the woods with friends.

jabblog said...

Oh yes , Quartermasters are the stuff of scorn and ribaldry - but the forces fall apart without them. Always loved the song - clean version only, of course!

Rose said...

I've never heard this song before--what fun to sing around a campfire! Thank you for all the quotes from veterans; let us all remember the sacrifices they made for us.

S said...

Gosh, I learned a lot. Good post.
Please drop by for a friendly visit to my writing & photography blog.

Tumblewords: said...

Quality post for this day!

magiceye said...

very intersting post.. had not heard the song before..

RuneE said...

I must admit that as a Norwegian the song was new to me, but I must thank you very much for the info. Those who support does much more than just wait in the line.

Jay said...

What a great post! It is indeed timely to remember that they were there in the thick of it in times of war. How else would they have got their rations and supplies?

Reminds me a little of the bandsmen who have fallen in battle - or to terrorists. Forgotten heroes, indeed.

Shirl said...

OMG all these years I thought they were saying the CORPS!!! The Quartermasters corps!!
Learn something new everyday!! How could I have missed this one!

Joy said...

I remember singing that as a kid, going back home on the bus, but we did not have an ace guitarist like that to accompany us.
A post befitting the day for those boys who sang and marched and whose voices were stilled.

Alexa said...

Thanks for this post that's informative and entertaining—and appropriate for Veterans Day!