“High Wood to Waterlot Farm”

Set to the tune of “Chalk Farm to Camberwell Green” (tune), this ditty was written by Lieutenant Alan Mackintosh, 1/5th Seaforth Highlanders. It reflected his experiences of the fighting at High Wood during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

There is a wood at the top of a hill,
– if it’s not shifted it’s standing there still;
There is a farm a short distance away,
but I’d not advise you to go there by day,
for the snipers abound, and the shells are not rare,
and a man’s only chance is to run like a hare.
So take my advice if you’re chancing your arm
from High Wood to Waterlot Farm.

High Wood to Waterlot Farm,
All on a summer’s day.
Up you get to the top of the trench
though you’re sniped at all the way.
If you’ve got a smoke helmet there
you’d best put it on if you could,
for the wood down by Waterlot Farm
is a bloody high wood.

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It’s standing there still: the bloody High Wood stands on the horizon, seen here from the Longueval-Martinpuich road near Caterpillar Valley Cemetery.