We use cookies to improve your experience on our website and ensure the information we provide is more relevant. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we will assume you are happy to accept all cookies on the Army website. You can change your cookie settings at any time.


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 

Share this page

Bookmark and Share