View Full Version : Lest we forget

April 24th, 2011, 11:59
On this solemn day known in Australia as Anzac Day I pause to reflect on the actions of my late father during WWII. I also pause to remember those of my ancestors who gave their lives ag Gallipoli and the Western Fronf in WWI. Also those who died in the 'Forgotten War' that was Korea. I had several school friends wo gave their lives in Vietnam. I also remember those 23 Aussie soldiers who have died in Afghanistan and those who have served in Iraq.

Ode to the Fallen

For The Fallen<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,<o:p></o:p>
England mourns for her dead across the sea.<o:p></o:p>
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,<o:p></o:p>
Fallen in the cause of the free.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal<o:p></o:p>
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,<o:p></o:p>
There is music in the midst of desolation<o:p></o:p>
And a glory that shines upon our tears.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,<o:p></o:p>
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.<o:p></o:p>
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;<o:p></o:p>
They fell with their faces to the foe.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:<o:p></o:p>
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.<o:p></o:p>
At the going down of the sun and in the morning<o:p></o:p>
We will remember them.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;<o:p></o:p>
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;<o:p></o:p>
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;<o:p></o:p>
They sleep beyond England's foam.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,<o:p></o:p>
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,<o:p></o:p>
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known<o:p></o:p>
As the stars are known to the Night;<o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,<o:p></o:p>
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;<o:p></o:p>
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,<o:p></o:p>
To the end, to the end, they remain.


Seagull V
April 24th, 2011, 15:03
Lest we forget

For all of those who have served in wartime, the peacekeepers, & those who never fought but still paid a very hefty price (http://www.defence.gov.au/sea_king_boi/), and most importantly - the families of those who have served for they have also paid the price. :salute::salute::salute:


April 24th, 2011, 17:23
Here, here. :salute:

April 24th, 2011, 18:54
:ernae: Raise a glass legacy.

April 24th, 2011, 22:45
For the original 'Diggers'.

When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli

How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again

Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
In a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
For no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then turned all their faces away

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
Who'll come-a-waltzing Matilda with me?
Eric Bogle 1971.

And For the Viet Nam Veterans.
'I Was Only Nineteen'

Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing-out parade at Puckapunyal
It was a long march from cadets.
The sixth battalion was the next to tour, and it was me who drew the card.
We did Canungra, Shoalwater before we left.
And Townsville lined the footpaths as we marched down to the quay
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.
And there's me in my slouch hat with my SLR and greens.
God help me, I was only nineteen.

From Vung Tau, riding Chinooks, to the dust at Nui Dat
I'd been in and out of choppers now for months.
But we made our tents a home, VB and pinups on the lockers
And an Asian orange sunset through the scrub.
And can you tell me, doctor, why I stil can't get to sleep?
And night-time's just a jungle dark and a barking M16?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only ninteen.

A four week operation when each step could mean your last one on two legs
It was a war within yourself.
But you wouldn't let your mates down til they had you dusted off
So you closed your eyes and thought about something else.
Then someone yelled out "Contact!" and the bloke behind me swore
We hooked in there for hours, then a Godalmighty roar
Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon,
God help me, he was going home in June.

I can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
On a thirty-six hour rec leave in Vung Tau
And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle
Til the morphine came and killed the bloody row.
And the Anzac legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears
And the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real.
I caught some pieces in my back that I didn't even feel
God help me, I was only nineteen.

And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only nineteen.
'Redgum' March 1983.


April 24th, 2011, 23:09
Well said Noel.


April 24th, 2011, 23:17