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14884438 Lance Corporal Frank Baggaley, RMP, on 'Rustic'

Frank Baggeley on his horse

Going on duty in Wadi Sara, Palestine 1947.

This painting, commissioned by Mrs Baggaley, now hangs in the Royal Military Police Corps Officers' Conference Room, Southwick Park, Fareham, Portsmouth together with six former Corps Colonel Commanders.

Desert sands,
There he stands
Fifteen hands.
Army stable his home
With me he would roam,
A canter, a gallop or trot
On patrol, weather hot.
Early morn with a neigh
he thanked me
For his morning hay.
I cleaned his room,
His servant, an RMP
Lance Corporal Groom.

The time 2 am
Up to the hills of
Jerusalem.
Clippety clop, clippety clop
Street lights, jumping shadows
Over the top!
Come nineteen forty-eight
Sadly I had to say goodbye.
Stable gates, tears in my eye.
My mate, 'Rustic'
From the Barbary Coast
A flea-bitten grey.
Are you forgotten?
Neigh lad, neigh.

Photo and poem: Frank Baggaley, Palestine Mounted Police