In fact The Lincolnshire Poacher seems to have been the official march of the 10th Foot of Lincolnshire, but why can't I search out any reference to the novelty hit of the fifties that used the tune to tell how "you'll never get rid of the bomp-bomp-bomp, no matter what you do"? OK, it was The Thing, by Phil Harris. It's always in there somewhere. --Old Dickens 15:12, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
The website of the American contingent of the Tenth of Foot (Bostonian Peeled Nuts) includes a wonderful page of songs of the era, including Polly Oliver - a rather different story from our Polly/Oliver's. --Old Dickens 17:59, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I've still got it in my head that Polly and the girls are also a re-imagining of the "eternal soldier" types most famously used by Sven Hassel in his series of pulp-fictions about the 27th (Penal) Panzer Regiment in WW2. Although the first book in the series, Legion of the Damned, is itself a homage reworking of Erich-Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, updating the action to WW2 Nazi Germany and still using Remarque's original characters. A direct link back to Remarque's clasic anti-war novel - not to mention the classic film made from it - might be wholly in keeping with Pratchett's intentions here.
- Major Clogston - Oberst Hinka
- Lieutenant Blouse - Lieutenant Lowe
- Sergeant Jackrum - Oberfeldwebel Willi Bauer, "The Old Man"
- Corporal Strappi - Sergeant Heide, the die-hard Nazi, snoop, and informer
- Polly Perks Fahnenjunker Sven Hassel
- Igor -
- Maladict - Corporal "By The Grace of God" Josef Porta
- Carborundum - Private Wolfgang "Tiny" Creutzfeldt.
I also wouldn't be surprised if a bit of Hašek’s classic satire Good Soldier Svejk creeps in there as well... in fact, there are odd echoes.
The idiot-savant Svejk, a peasant who hides cunning under a stupid-seeming exterior,narrowly evades arrest by the secret policeman Corporal Bretschneider (Strappi?) and on enlistment into the 91st, is assigned as batman to the officer Lieutenant Lukaš and at one point has to shave him (cf Polly and Blouse). The company cook is a mystic who claims to receive spiritualist messages from long-dead monarchs. The regiment belongs to an Army serving a dying empire (Austro-Hungary, which fits the central European vibe of "Borogravia") and in fact crumbles into defeat in its first serious engagement. Svejk spends a long time detached from his unit and trying to find his way back to it, evading capture and the enemy on both sides (he is nearly shot for spying and/or desertion)
There are also interesting resonances with Alan Moore's comic serial (in 2000AD in 1984-85) [Ballad of Halo Jones], later published as a sci-fi graphic novel. After several false starts in life, Halo Jones enlists in an all-female Army unit and fights in several wars. Again the eternal Soldier types recur.
--AgProv 08:55, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Cheesemongers et al
A rather funny line in University Challenge in summer 2009
PAXMAN: "The names 'Cheesemongers', "Cherrypickers', 'Bob's Own', 'The Emperors Chambermaids', and 'The Immortals' are or have been used for which groups of men?"
PAXMAN: "No! They are regiments in the British army and they're going to be very cross with you."
Chrisboote 14:49, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Sgt. Towering's Battalion
Lt. Blouse's description of Sgt. Towering's regiment, as contained in the book, is rather clear:
‘You’ll have noticed, sergeant, that the men were wearing the dark-green uniform of the First Battalion the Zlobenian Fifty-ninth Bowmen. A skirmishing battalion,’said Blouse, with cold politeness. ‘That is not the uniform of a spy, sergeant.’
This is, of course, a reference to His Majesty's 95th Regiment of Foot, established during the Napoleonic wars and featuring in Cornwell's Sharpe series (Sharpe, it's main character, being an officer of 2nd Battalion/95th Rifles for a time). 95th Regiment, also described as 95th Rifles, was an experimental units specialised for skirmishing, armed with rifles instead of muskets and, indeed, wore dark-green uniforms. Due to higher accuracy of rifles vs. muskets, the 95th was often able to inflict casualties from a safe distance, just as described by Sgt. Jackrum in this scene.
- Seems more like an actual annotation than discussion thereof. --Old Dickens 01:47, 24 November 2011 (CET)
I'm pretty sure last time I read this one that there's a line where one of the soldiers is asked her age, and she replies "N-n-nineteen" but I can't for the life of me find it again. I'm not up for reading my way through it all over again, I have things do to, but speed-reading and skimming has not revealed itself. Anyone care to find it? (If you can find the page number in the Doubleday 1st ed that would be dandy.) --Lias Bluestone (talk) 23:02, 30 November 2020 (UTC)