Quartermaster's Store, The

"The Quartermaster's Store" is a traditional song from England. It is Roud Folk Song Index no. 10508. The origins of both tune and words are uncertain. It was sung by British and ANZAC soldiers during World War I.


The Quartermaster's Store (WORD)
The Quartermaster's Store (PDF)

But "The Quartermaster's Store" may be an older song of the prewar British regular army, or even have origins dating back to the English Civil War in the 17th century. In those World War I armies, the quartermaster's department was responsible for stores and supplies. The song lists its supposed characteristics, many of them slovenly or unhygienic. The song was known in the United States by the 1930s; it was sung by the Lincoln Battalion, a unit of American volunteers who fought on the republican side in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). During World War II, the song was popular in the RAF as well as the Army. The song is also known as The Quartermaster Corps or The Quartermaster's Corps.

The song has gained wide popularity outside the military sphere, particularly as a campfire song in the Scouting and Guiding movements. The Barmy Army, supporters of the England cricket team, have been known to sing about England international cricketers Stuart Broad and his father Chris to the tune of "The Quartermaster's Store".

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