The unkindest defence cut of all.


This poem has been credited to a number of people including Pam Ayres. It was in fact written by M.Sig P. I. Fisher [known as Ian or Paddy among other things] during his time at RAF Wyton. Since retiring from the RAF he has made a name for himself as a poet using the pen name Peter Wyton.  The poem captures thoughts on defence cuts past, with many of the RAF stations listed now distant memories.  There are several versions of the poem around online, but I understand that this is the definitive version.  It is posted here in good faith for your enjoyment.  The photo is my own.
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I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
I’ve an office in MOD
and a copy of Queens Regulations
which only apply to me.
I can post myself to Leuchars
and detach me from there to Kinloss,
or send me on courses to Innsworth,
then cancel the lot – I’m the boss.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
but the great Parliamentary brains
neglected, when cancelling people,
to sell off the Stations and planes.
The result is, my inventory bulges
with KD and camp-stools and Quarters,
plus a signed book of speeches by Trenchard
which I keep to impress the reporters.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
I suppose you imagine it’s great
to be master of all you survey, but
I tell you it’s difficult, mate.
I inspected three units last Thursday,
As C-in-C ( Acting ) of Strike,
then I swept half the runway at Laarbruch
and repaired Saxa Vord’s station bike.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
it’s not doing a lot for my health.
Unit sports days are frankly exhausting
when the Victor Ludorum’s oneself.
On guest nights the Mess is so lonely,
there are times when I wish I was able
to pass the port to the chap next to me,
without seeing it fall off the table.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force,
my wife says I’m never at home,
when I’m not flying Hercs, I’m at Manston,
laying gallons and gallons of foam,
or I’m in my Marine Craft off Plymouth,
shooting flares at the crowds on the Ho,
or I’m Orderly Corporal at Luqa.
It’s an interesting life, but all go.

I’m the last man left in the Air Force.
I’m ADC to the Queen,
I’m Duty Clerk at St. Mawgan,
I’m the RAF rugby team.
Tomorrow I’m painting a guardroom
and air-testing numerous planes.
The day after that I’m for London,
to preach at St. Clement Danes.

I’m the last man left in the Air force
and I’m due to go out before long.
There’s been no talk of any replacement
and I won’t even let [I]me sign on.
I hope to enjoy my retirement.
I’ve put up a fairly good show,
and I won’t cut myself off entirely.
There are always reunions, you know.

© Peter Wyton

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