The Royal Signals Org.UK Datasheets

Recording Signalling Methods, Technology, Equipment & History for Posterity

The following is a compilation of many different sources and information by Petra, some she found from on-line web sites, some from books, some translations from German sources and a lot is simply written by herself, including the noticeably "odd" inclusion of her very twisted humour from which everyone distances themselves! (even Petra) That said you can hopefully still learn a lot and have fun? So anyone who is unhappy with the content of this free newsletter or datasheet can ask for a full refund under our standard Policy. A copy of the policy can be purchased for three hundred pounds sterling including P&P from Petra directly.

Some Signals Versions of WW2 Song "Lili Marlene"

The song Lili Marlene was also made into several "unofficial" Royal Signals versions...

Lili Marlene (Bedford Truck) & Lili Marlene (Land Rover)

The First version of the Lili Marlene song (Land Rover Version) is based on some parts that were discussed in the Herforder Signals Yahoo group, and also in the Main Signals group, where two verses became known, the rest is made up by Petra to describe going on Exercise, and so interconnecting the two parts described by Ian Beat and Chris Hayles…

I am sure there are many better verses, and we are open to receiving suggestions…

The Second version of the Lili Marlene song (Bedford Truck) is based on one I made up when cleaning Vehicles on the Ramp for FFR (Fit For Role) Inspection. This was between 1972 and 1976 in Herford, and originally started as "Underneath the Rover, Brushing down the Springs" but eventually got modified to under the Bedford (Wireless Box Body)… Since these were much worse to clean…

Signals "Lili Marlene" (Land Rover & Going on Exercises)

(Based loosely on the Royal Signals Germany 1960s-70s Version)

Early in the morning Squadron on parade
Here comes the Sgt. Major and his donkey serenade.
Some silly Ba***rd shouts "right dress!"
you should have seen
the bloody mess
we are the Royal Signals
and what a bloody shower.

Later in the morning vehicles on the square
Trailers full of Compo, a hidden crate of beer
Some silly Ba***rd shouts "mount up!"
The engines start, we all drive out
To go play games with soldiers
Who need our Signal skills

Driving down the Autobahn, convoy rules we break
We drive our ancient vehicles to form a great big snake
Green flag at front,
and Blue at back
A yellow flag
for those who slack
Speed of light RF Signals
who sometimes drive real slow

We cause a major tail-back, the Germans get irate
Flashing lights and Honking, to show we make them late
They push up our rear-end desperately
so switch to I.R. Lights do we
No brake lights can they see
and no MPs are around
and hear the crunching sound

Antennae whips are tied down, the ATU is out,
The Signal strength is zero, much better if we shout,
Our radio set is just dead weight
It hisses like an angry snake
We are the Royal Signals
and we too make mistakes

By now we've done some drinking, our bladders are quite full
We need to make a quick stop, some zippers we must pull
So we wave ahead quite desperately
to tell the rest, to stop and pee
and here we do not jest,
we need to take a rest

We decide to stop, then the rest will see and wait?
But they don't use their mirrors, don't miss their lost tailgate,
The convoy goes on quite merrily,
While we stand there and have a pee,
Now we need to catch them,
We've got to catch them up!

Driving down the Autobahn at 90 miles an hour
in our old Land Rover, what a bloody shower
You can't change up and you can't change down
The gear box is in but it's upside down
We are the Royal Signals
But our REME mans a clown

Laying out the D10, the Genny is on the Go,
Putting up the Clark mast, and wading in the snow
Wet hessian nets we lug about,
some branches found
that are quite stout
we are very nearly ready,
to relax and cook our tea…

"Hello Zero Bravo", our location it seems is great,
even if the setting up has made it get quite late,
egg butties and sausages we fry,
as darkness sets in upon the sky
Then from Zero Alpha
A "Crash Move" signal comes,

Driving down the field track at 60 miles an hour
all our bits and pieces, thrown in while we were sour,
Trailer badly packed, but who gives a care?
Besides we left
a lot back there,
Including a sleeping Corporal
But maybe he won't mind?

Driving down the Autobahn at 90 miles an hour
in our Mk two Rover, what a bloody shower
Four Wheel Drive is still engaged,
The gear box snarls, it is enraged
And smoke comes from our Engine
and we'll make REME cry!

Signals "Lili Marlene" (Bedford WBB & FFR Inspection)

(Based loosely on my own Royal Signals Germany 1974 Version)

Underneath the Bedford, Up upon the Ramp
Steam hose in my hand, I now look like a tramp
Hot water jets fly away from me,
The spray-back makes it hard to see,
It makes a muddy slime,
oh what a super time,

I can not understand, for the life of me
why the dirty water always jumps on me,
I'm cold and Wet, and quite dirty,
I need a cup of NAAFI tea
Instead of dirty slime,
oh what a super time,

Underneath my Bedford Brushing off the Springs,
Wire Brush and Rust dust
gets into my wet things,
'Twas then that some oil now dripped on me,
got in my clothes, effectively
made me a dirty swine,
oh what a super time,

Time has come for painting, Picasso I am not,
Red-lead as I am splodging, upon me it must drop
I paint over each rust-spot I find
got paint in my Hair
and on my behind
too bad I do not care,
the stuff gets everywhere,

And then comes the Sergeant to check upon my work,
How close I come to calling him a stupid F**** Jerk,
"you've missed some here!"
he smugly says
Points his stick a stupid way,
And I pretend to thank him
and hope he goes away,

Now its on with Matt Green, then its on with Black
"you've missed some bits up there" says the Sgt coming back.
"Touch up this bit and over there,"
more paint on me and in my hair,
than on the Bedford Truck,
I cry "Just my Bleedin' luck"

Time for a quick NAAFI break, its close to half past ten,
we saunter round the back, not to get caught once again,
Suddenly the RSM bounces out,
Then comes a familiar shout;
"Oiii were are lot going?"
"well not looking like that!"

Waffle on him is useless he's heard it all before,
he orders "get cleaned-up before going to NAAFI's door"
so off we go to our barrack rooms,
we sadly slouch,
RSM is a grouch
and that with our dirty grime,
oh we'll miss our NAAFI time,.

Mixed dirt and rust and paint has gotten everywhere,
So pulling off the Coveralls doesn't help much here,
dirt has gotten into my every-place,
not only on my hands and on face
it's more than I can bear
ouch, it's even got down there!

Swarfega, Soap and Shampoo fight to make us clean
Sand and diesel mixture, begin to strip our skin,
its then quickly on with some clean gear,
and lateness makes us loose our fear,
of Hairing down the staircase,
five steps at a time…

We should be walking smartly, inside must not run,
If the Sergeant cops us, our NAAFI Break is done
But it is late and we are cold
and need a Bun before it gets old
We couldn't give two hoots.
Run with Sparking Hobnail boots.

At least we now feel human, and desperately need a snack
But the NAAFI break is over, no buns are on the rack,
A quick tea and a pork pie has to do
Quickly gobbled down, a biscuit too
Then back to my old Bedford
From the ramps, to take it down

The paintwork's mat and perfect, exactly as required,
But for FFR Inspection, more Bullsh*t is required,
So I apply a secret mixture, very sly
paraffin, gunk and diesel I apply
which will never ever quite dry,
but it makes that perfect shine

Drive onto the main square, Get into the line
Thirty shiny vehicles and one of them is mine,
Shining as if it were brand new
it looked quite clean for a minute or two
until the dust sticks on to it,
then I wish it were not mine!

Laying out the tool kit, and the 2 ton Jack,
Pick-Axe, Spade and handle, are laid out to the back,
Genny and the sectioned Mast,
I hope that I'm Inspected last,
then on FFR Inspection,
more Bullsh*t is required

During the Inspection, an officer I offends
Now doing extra Duties, To try make amends,
Little bit of rust that I had missed
Told him which of my parts
he should have kissed
You should have heard him shout
I'm still trying to work it out

So with that I ran out of ideas to write about, but am sure many of our readers have some of their own, or can use the above to help them think of new ones… So the Hunting Season for "Reader's own Versions" is now open. If you have any verses to the above, or other versions, please drop us a line… Regarding the First version, I was triggered into action by an Post by Ian Beat, which was a mixture of two verses and I copy below… Ian Beat wrote:

Just got reminded of this little ditty which we used to sing with gusto whilst pursuing our chosen calling. (Usually in the pub) during the sixties.

Sung to the tune of Lilly Marlene

Driving down the Autobahn
90 miles an hour
We are the Royal Signals
and what a bloody shower
Some silly Ba***rd shouts right dress
you should have seen
the bloody mess
we are the Royal Signals
and what a bloody shower.

If anyone remembers any other verses I'd be interested to hear it.. (Sounds best while consuming copious amounts of Hereforder. Amstel is OK but the harmonies go to sh*t)

I once ran my Saracen into the Saracen in front whilst treating my crew to this little ditty over the IC.

Ever seen six siggies wobbling about with heads ringing as a result of the resounding Doi-oi-oi-oi-oi-oing! only experienced by the occupants of two unbendable armoured metal boxes colliding at speed. Didn't half put a head on our stash of bottled Amstel.

( the collision completely closed up the heavy duty tow hook of the leading Saracen and buggered the fording plate on mine.. REME were well pissed off) This kind of regular occurrence was typical of Recce Troop who were labelled 'The Misfits'

Anyone at 22 Sigs, Lippstadt in the mid sixties may remember our Troop bar named (aptly) The Misfits. And was located in the attic of the Accom. block. It was noticed however that the unsightly marks leading from the Attic bay windows to the gutter turned out to be baked Vomit and we were ordered to clean up our act or else. (We never did...we got posted to 7 Sigs instead)


Royal Signals ... Figure 1  Any Remarks?, Drop Petra a Letter (A postcard from about 1917)

Figure 1 Any Remarks?, Drop Petra a Letter (A postcard from about 1917)

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