“STAND TO” – by George Mansford

In any war, threats exist by day and night

To counter the foe there are drills to quickly fight

Regardless of weather, be it cold, storm or heat

Nor no matter the hour to ensure no surprise defeat

To man positions and know exactly what to do

In military terms it’s called “Stand To”


Whatever your rank, the order for action is clear

When alarm is sounded from afar or a sentry near

Doesn’t matter if you’ve other duties or fast asleep

There are no excuses and a penalty you’ll reap

It’s a command to be obeyed, regardless who

Oh, how the adrenaline flows with a sudden “Stand To”


In such times, new faces become dear brothers

Cos its life or death and you rely on each other

You stay awake no matter how tired you be

God help any soldier who sleeps and I pray it’s not me

You man your weapon or whatever your task to do

Whenever the magic words are uttered “Stand To”


Sometimes at your station, perhaps in a trench

Your mind may for a moment wander to a wench

Or even an icy cold foaming lager to quench?

The choice is yours; a beer or a lustful wench?

Suddenly, that sergeant who reads minds is behind you

Whispering terrible fear, “ Stay alert, it’s Stand To”


George Mansford©September 2011



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