From Clee to heaven the beacon burns,
The shires have seen it plain,
From north and south the sign returns
And beacons burn again.
Look left, look right, the hills are bright,
The dales are light between,
Because 'tis fifty years to-night
That God has saved the Queen.
Now, when the flame they watch not towers
About the soil they trod,
Lads, we'll remember friends of ours
Who shared the work with God.
To skies that knit their heartstrings right,
To fields that bred them brave,
The saviours come not home to-night:
Themselves they could not save.
It dawns in Asia, tombstones show
And Shropshire names are read;
And the Nile spills his overflow
Beside the Severn's dead.
We pledge in peace by farm and town
The Queen they served in war,
And fire the beacons up and down
The land they perished for.
"God Save the Queen" we living sing,
From height to height 'tis heard;
And with the rest your voices ring,
Lads of the Fifty-third.
Oh, God will save her, fear you not:
Be you the men you've been,
Get you the sons your fathers got,
And God will Save the Queen.
Had a look at the 53rd Shropshire regiment he mentions and looks like they were mainly involved in imperial conflicts in India including putting down the 1858 rebellion which had some of the bloodiest massacres of Indians, if I recall. The line about 'the Nile spills his overflow' either refers to the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War (which had the brutal indiscriminate shelling of Alexandria) or the Anglo-Sudan (Mahdist) War, both of which involved Shropshire 'lads of the 53rd', now incorporated into the The King's Light Infantry (Shropshire Regiment), fighting by the Nile defending & expanding imperial interests and protecting the Suez canal. Wiki sources:
h/t Chris Wood who did a poignant song arrangement of the poem a few years back: