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Recruiting Sargeant (Newfoundland)
See Also The Recruiting Sargeant (Irish)

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Two recruiting sargeants came to the CLB
For the sons of the merchants to join the Blue Puttees
All hands enlisted, five hundred young men
Enlist ye Newfoundlanders and come follow me

The crossed the broad Atlantic in the brave Florizel
And on the sands of Suvla, they entered into hell
T'was on those bloody beaches, the first of them fell
Enlist ye Newfoundlanders and come follow me

So it's over the mountains and over the seas
Come brave Newfoundlanders, and join The Blue Puttees
You'll fight the Hun in Flanders, and at Galipoli
Enlist ye Newfoundlanders, and come follow me

The call came from London for the last July drive
"To the trenches with the Regiment, prepare yourselves to die"
Roll call next morning, just a handful survived
Enlist ye Newfoundlanders and come follow me


The stone men on Water Street still cry for the day
When the pride of their city, went marching away
A thousand men slaughtered, to hear the King say
Enlist ye Newfoundlanders and come follow me

There's a lot of history behind this song that deserves mention.

Newfoundland was a British Colony at the outbreak of WWI, and wanting to do their bit for King and Country, they raised their own army (offically known as the Royal Newfoundland Regiment) from scratch. The were typically the "sons of the merchants" in St. John's because, although the common fisher-person did enlist, many were needed elsewhere on fishing and/or sealing boats (much the same as farmers were never asked to fight in WWII, since their production was as important to the war effort as anything else).

Their uniforms were sown by their parents and loved ones, khaki sackcloth that was availible. However, before the unifroms could be completed for the inital five hundred, they ran out of material. For the puttee (a piece of cloth that goes around a soliders thigh), they were forced to use blue sack cloth (hence the name "Blue Puttees")

The second verse details how the first five hundred initally encountered battle, on Suvla Bay, which turned to be a slaughter house for both sides (I believe the Turkish were the 'enemies' at that battle). The Florizel has been in a number of less than nice situations, being on the scene of the 1918 Seal Hunt Disaster (for more info read "Death on the Ice" by Cassie Brown) and her own wreck (for more info read "A Winter's Tale" by Cassie Brown)

The third verse deals with the Battle of Beaumont Hamel during which at 8:45 am, on July 1st 1916, 800 Newfoundlanders went "over the top" of the trench into no-mans land and were promptly slaughtered. The battle ended within thirty minutes, and when roll call was taken the next morning, on 68 of the original 800 answered.

The fourth verse decribes the city the mourning for their lost youths. Entire familes were wiped out, including the Ayr family (prominent merchants). The future of what was called the Ayr dynasty was dependent on four of C.R. Ayre's grandsons. All died on July 1st, 1916.

Notes On Guitar Tabs:
All guitar tabs have been contributed by visitors to this site and represent
their interpretation of the tune. I am unable to verify their accuracy.

{C}Two recruiting sargents came {Am}to the CLB
For the {F}sons of the {C}merchants to join the Blue {G}Puttees
{F}All hands {C}enlisted, five hundred young {Am}men
{C}Enlist ye {F}Newfoundlanders and {G}come follow {C}me

The Recruiting Sergeant 
  D                            G        b
A new recruiting sergeant came to the CLB -
       G           D                                 A
To the sons of the merchants: "Come join the Blue Puttees!"
G           D                 b
All hands enlisted, 500 young men.
   D                 G            A           D
"Enlist, you Newfoundlanders, and come follow me!