Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Albert Evacuated

This is war torn England in the blitz when it was safer for children to be evacuated into the country away from cities likely to be bombed by German aeroplanes. Little Albert was no exception - but it all goes wrong when mother misunderstands an Air Raids Precautions (ARP) warden.

by Stanley Holloway (1940)

Have you heard how young Albert Ramsbottom
Was evacuated from home,
With his Mother, clean socks and a toothbrush,
Some Syrup of Figs and a comb?

The stick with the 'orses 'ead 'andle,
They decided that they'd leave behind,
To keep safe with the things they weren't wanting,
Like their gasmasks, and things of that kind.

Pa saw them off at the station,
And shed a few crocodile's tears;
As he waved them goodbye from the platform -
'Twas the best break he'd had in ten years.

Ma got corner seat for young Albert,
Who amused all the rest of the team
By breathing hot breaths on the window,
And writing some swear words in steam.

They arrived at last somewhere in England,
And straight to their billet were shown;
There was one room for Mother, but Albert
Was in a small room of his own.

The very first night in the blackout,
Young Albert performed quite a feat
By hanging head first from the window,
And shining his torch down the street.

It flashed on an A.R.P. warden
Patrolling with leisurely gait;
"Good Heavens," said he, "it's Tarzan,
I better go investigate."

So reading his book of instructions
To make himself doubly sure,
Then in an official like manner
Proceeded to knock at the door.

It was opened by Missus Ramsbottom.
"Now then," said she, "what's to do ?"
And in stern air-warden manner, 'e said,
"I'm going to interrogate you!"

This fair upset Missus Ransbottom,
Her face was a picture to see;
"I'll have you know you'll do nowt of the sort,
I'm a respectable woman," said she.

"Has your son been evacuated ?"
Said the A.R.P. man at the door.
"He'd all them things done as a baby," said Mother
"He's not being done any more."

"Be off, now," said Missus Ramsbottom,
As she bustled him out of the porch;
And the A.R.P. man patted Albert,
And then confiscated his torch.

Now that were unlucky for Albert,
He 'ad no torch to see 'im to bed;
But being a bright little fellow,
He switched on the hall light instead.

"Put out that light," a voice shouted,
"Where's the men of our A.R.P.?"
"I've told them already," the warden replied,
"They take no ruddy notice of me."

Soon Missus Ramsbottom and Albert
Were feeling quite homesick and sad;
So they thanked the landlady most kindly,
And prepared to go back home to Dad.

When at last they reached home to Father
They were fed up and had quite enough;
But in the front parlour they found six young women
And Father were doing his stuff.

"Hello, Mother," said Mister Ramsbottom,
"Come right on in, don't be afraid,
When you went away I joined Ambulance Corps -
I'm instructing the girls in first aid."

"First Aid," said Missus Ramsbottom
With a horrible look on her brow.
"If ever you wanted first aid in your life,
By gum, you'll be wanting it now."
Watch out, father, "Hell thath no fury like a woman's scorn!"
Perhaps he feels, "Meethinks the lady doth protest too much!"


  1. Eddie.....I was so excited to see that you had posted more of the Ramsbottoms. I couldn't WAIT to read it. I laughed....and especially when Albert's Mom wouldn't let him be 'evacuated' (again!!) I'm so glad I found your site and that you are sharing these. I love them.
    You have a new photo up, too. :-) Terrific!!!
    Smiles from Jackie

  2. Thank you Eddie, I really love these poems, I find myself looking forwad to what you have posted each night. Plese keep the poems (stories) of the Ramsbottoms coming, I think Albert is terrific, Type A personality for sure.......:-) Hugs


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