Shoo! Fly! and Company G? Railways Magazine January 1942 WW2 and ACW

Two interesting pages from a random issue of Railways magazine Volume 3, No. 21 January 1942 which I scanned before I passed them on.

Above is a 1941 era Cruiser tank “en route to embarkation points” – official LNER photograph – and obviously a propaganda shot. such open daytime shipping shows our allied armoured might, replacements only a year and a half after the disastrous loss of tanks at Dunkirk and the Fall Of France in May 1940.

And now from WW2 to the American Civil War (amongst the early Wars to use railroads)

“Shoo! Fly! don’t bother me!

For I belong

to Company G!”

This 1860s minstrel song instrumental can be heard here on this Library Of Congress

According to Wikipedia: “Shoo Fly” is among the songs (“John Brown’s Body” is another) claimed as compositions by T. Brigham Bishop.

According to Bishop’s account, he wrote “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” during the Civil War while assigned to command a company of black soldiers.

One of the soldiers, dismissing some remarks of his fellow soldiers, exclaimed “Shoo fly, don’t bother me,” which inspired Bishop to write the song, including in the lyrics the unit’s designation, “Company G”,_Don%27t_Bother_Me

Wikipedia also mentioned a Spanish-American War troop connection in the 1898: “when flies and the yellow fever  and mosquito were a serious enemy.

Bing Crosby included the song in a medley on his album

(about 22 minutes) in on  Join Bing and Sing Along  (1959)

and its the second track on the Disney Children’s Songs album No. 3

… notably without the Company G part.

So Shoo Fly – temporary railway loop or American Civil War minstrel lyric sung by black (Union?) Soldiers (of the USCT US Coloured Troops?)

And the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B? That’s another story, another war and another Company.

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, 7 October 2022


I have not followed this Anne Parrish link up for The Perpetual Bachelor (1925)


Invading Poland one station at a time but a few days early – WW2 Telegram from the Jablonkow Incident



The telegram currently in an auction  features a simple message in German: “2 Company crossed frontier about 0100 hours without incident. Herzner.”

The atlas obscure website mentions: “The pithy communique is dated August 26, 1939, a week before the typically cited onset of the war. It chronicles a little-known German commando force’s covert mission, assigned by Hitler himself, that was part of a large-scale effort to prepare for the invasion of Poland…”

“The ‘Jablonkow Incident’ was one of numerous German provocations in advance of, and in preparation for, the invasion of Poland, which had been scheduled for September 1,” says Neal Pease, a historian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, via email. “The immediate purpose of the German raid at Jablonkow was to try to capture a strategic rail tunnel.”

I recently read  about this bizarre incident in Richard Overy’s slim paperback volume of history, 1939: Countdown to War (2009). You can read more about this here:łonków_incident

This bizarre story, the first commando raid of the war, might make an interesting early WW2 railway related Skirmish or raid scenario for future gaming.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 25 July 2019