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Quotes and Poems

Below you will find some quotes and poems about the Royal Engineers, that have been written by well known historical figures:

"The Sappers really need no tribute from me; their reward lies in the glory of their achievement. The more science intervenes in warfare, the more will be the need for engineers in field armies; in the late war there were never enough Sappers at any time. Their special tasks involved the upkeep and repair of communications; roads, bridges, railways, canals, mine sweeping. The Sappers rose to great heights in World War II and their contribution to victory was beyond all calculations."

- Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, 1945


Extract from the poem "Sappers"

I have stated it plain, an' my argument's thus
("It's all one," says the Sapper)
There's only one Corps which is perfect - that's us;
An' they call us Her Majesty's Engineers,
With the rank and pay of a Sapper!

- Rudyard Kipling


"The ideal engineer is a composite. he is not a scientist, nor a mathematician, nor a sociologist, nor a writer, but he may use the knowledge of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems."

- N. W. Dougherty, 1955


"We have had such an expenditure of Engineers that I can hardly wish for anybody, lest the same fate befall him as has befallen so many"

- Wellington


"What is a Sapper? This versatile genius... condensing the whole system of military engineering and all that is useful and practical under one red jacket. He is a man of all work of the Army and the public - astronomer, geologist, surveyor, draughtsman, artist, architect, traveller, explorer, antiquary, mechanic, diver, soldier and sailor; ready to do anything or go anywhere; in short, he is a Sapper."

- Captain T.W.J Connolly, the historian of the Royal Sappers and Miners, 1855


"In the event that the situation had deteriorated and a break-in operation to Sarajevo....had become necessary then armoured engineers would have been the lead element. Once again we are reminded that there comes a time in war when Sappers have to go in front to open up the way.

'Follow the Sapper' is a timeless cry."

- Brigadier I.T.D. McGill's Report to the Corps, 1995

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