Crouching Cornish miner
Digging through soft soil
Subtle, secret, dirty, deadly,
Men are cowering underground
Listening, for the slightest sound
Made by enemy tunnelling men
Waiting for the moment when-
Suddenly - shots in the dark
Blindly swung shovels in bone-crushing arcs
Screams as bullets find their mark
Cornish mines are deep underground
Through hard granite rock
And a man has to pound
And hammer and blast his way to unlock
The ore .....
But down here it's not at all like that
Here you're a desperate sewer rat
And your aim is to kill and dismember and maim
So that those up above are enabled to gain
Another few yards
Of blasted blighted
© nigel hallworth 2014
25,000 trained British Royal Engineers were engaged in tunnelling work during the war, with 50,000 support troops.
When one side broke through to an enemy tunnel, there was desperate underground fighting.