Graeme Miles

They Bunged Us in Khaki double CD

The Ironopolis Singers are delighted and very proud to announce that their new show They Bunged Us in Khaki, based on Graeme's national service, is to have its premier at Saltburn Folk Festival, in the town's community theatre at 3pm on Saturday, 12th August, 2022.  Also being released at the same time is an accompanying double CD.

They Bunged Us in Khaki follows Graeme's military service from his call-up in 1955 to his "demobbing" in January 1957.  During this period he wrote about twenty songs of life in the army. The sixteen songs in the show are interspersed with prose based on Graeme's extensive and fascinating army record. Also included are some songs of conflict which he wrote after leaving the army, including the "Troubles" of Northern Ireland. 

This is the third show by The Ironopolis Singers based on the excellent format of Graeme's songs preceded with prose.  They are excited to be performing what is probably a vital historical archive about a legally enforced form of military service known as National Service which was abolished in 1960 and which may not be known about today.  Graeme joined the Royal West Kents and trained on Salisbury Plain and the Luneburg Heath where he was housed in sumptuous barracks.  In his songs he decribes the life in the army of the ordinary "Tommy" and not about the times when they were put on "jankers" or thrown into a cell to sober up.

When Graeme's call-up came it was at a time when the UK was still getting back on its feet after a terrible world war.  Rationing continued but an exciting teenager culture was emerging with the advent of coffee bars, juke boxes, Teddy boy suits and skiffle music.  He was clearly a reluctant conscript yet always said he would not have missed the experience. Illness prevented Graeme from fulfilling his potential as a soldier, yet his superiors rated him highly and described him as a person of "extraordinary intelligence".

The double CD costs £10 (p&p extra) and can be bought from www.graememiles.com or through ailsamackenzie@aol.com. 

The Ironopolis Singers were formed especially to perform Graeme's songs and prose in as a show with a theme. This is their third, the previous two being Songs of Ironopolis and Purple Acres. The current members are Sue Collier (vocals), Ken Hall (narrator, vocals), Kevin Hall (vocals), Marion Hall (vocals), Paul Lucas (vocals, guitar), Ailsa MacKenzie (vocals, celtic harp), Alan Young (vocals, english concertina, dulcimer, vocals).

The songs in They Bunged Us in Khaki are: Shores of old Blighty, The Eagle and the Dove, Squaddie's Lullaby, Last Call of the Day, The Heath of Luneburg, Playing at Games of War, The Green Howard Soldier of Northallerton Town, Sergeant Billy Maclane, William Dove, Soldiers of the Queen, The Railwayman's Farewell to Darlington, Tommy's Joined the Durhams, Across the Shingle, Song to Clara, Coronach for a Young Man and Two Years in the Ranks . A good proportion of these have never before been recorded.  There are rousing choruses, gentle refrains and haunting solo song - something for everyone.