Three Cheers for the Man on the Ground



Three Cheers for the Man on the Ground


A poem about ground crew.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



One printed sheet


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Three Cheers for the Man on the Ground.
Wherever you walk, you will hear people talk,
Of the men who go up in the air.
Of the Dare-Devil way, they go into the fray;
Facing Death without turning a hair.
They’ll raise a big cheer and buy lots of beer,
For a pilot who’s home on leave;
But they don’t give a jigger,
For a flight mech or rigger
With nothing but ‘props’ on his sleeve.
They just say ‘Nice day’ and then turn away,
With never a mention of praise.
And the poor bloody erk who does all the work;
Just orders his own beer,
And pays!
They’ve never been told of the hours in the cold
That he spends sealing Germany’s fate.
How he works on a kite, till all hours of the night;
And then turns up next morning at eight.
He gets no rake-off for working till take-off;
Or helping the aircrew prepare;
But whenever there’s trouble its ‘Quick at the Double’;
The man on the ground must be there.
Each flying crew could tell it to you:
They know what this man’s really worth.
They know he’s a part of the RAF’s heart,
Even though he stays close to the earth.
He doesn’t want glory, but please tell his story;
Spread a little of his fame around.
He’s one of the few so give him his due:
Three cheers for the man on the ground.
E. Sykes. 1942.



E. Sykes, “Three Cheers for the Man on the Ground,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 25, 2024,

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