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Thread: RAF Squadron Toasts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Default RAF Squadron Toasts

    My Dad was a pilot in the RAF in WWII. Over a cognac one evening when we where discussing his War years he offered me a toast which he said was 615 Squadron's official toast. It went; "Here's to the dead and dying; and here's to the next to go". Is this correct?
    Regards Ian Fahy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanked 38 Times in 36 Posts


    Hi Ian,

    Probably, but not exclusive to '615'.

    AN R.F.C. TOAST.

    We meet 'neath the sounding rafters,
    The walls all around us are bare;
    They echo the peals of laughter;
    It seems that the dead are there.

    So stand by your glasses steady,
    This world is a world of lies.
    Here's a toast to the dead already;
    Hurrah for the next man who dies.

    Cut off from the land that bore us,
    Betrayed by the land that we find,
    The good men have gone before us,
    And only the dull left behind.

    So, stand by your glasses steady,
    This world is a web of lies,
    Then here's to the dead already;
    And hurrah for the next man who dies.

    Sung in many R.F.C. messes in France. The lines are really much older and go back to an incident in India when a company of soldiers of a British regiment were decimated by typhus in a besieged camp. Sometimes sung to the air of Sir Arthur Sullivan's "The Lost Chord".

    Airman's Song Book.
    Ward-Jackson,C H & Leighton Lucas (eds.)
    London:William Blackwood & Sons,1967 (2nd.rev.ed.)

    See also:

    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 14th January 2014 at 08:42.

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