Some small corrections Phillipa, you've run verses two and three; and five and six together. They should read:
When I was twelve I left the school and went to find a job
With growing kids me ma was glad of the extra couple o' bob,
I'm sure that better schooling would have stood me in good stead,
but you can't afford refinement when you're struggling for you're bread.
Now when the Great War came along I didn't hesitate,
I took the Royal shilling and went off to do my bit,
I lived on mud and tears and blood, three years or thereabouts,
Then I copped some gas in Flanders and got invalided out.
In '26 the General Strike it found me on the streets,
'though I'd a wife and kids by then and their needs I had to meet,
For a brave new world was coming and the brotherhood of man,
But when the strike was over we were back where we began.
I struggled through the thirties, out of work now and again,
I saw the Black Shirts marching, and the things they did in Spain,
But I raised me children decent, and I taught them wrong from right,
But Hitler was the lad who came and taught them how to fight.
We discussed this and other songs in the thread on Songs about getting old>