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annh Jun 22
It was going to be the trip of a lifetime. Sydney, Cairo, Constantinople, maybe even Jerusalem if there was time and breath left in us. We came from the far-flung reaches of the earth to the bustling capitals of the Middle East. Just me, my good mates -  Blue, Grim and his cousin Frank - our chaperone Sergeant Major O’Donnell, and 1,500 other lads of the 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade.

Frank copped it at Gallipoli, never even set foot on the beach. I left him screaming on the metal deck of the landing craft awash with ***** and blood as he watched his innards unfurl. ****** oath, they stunk! Like ten-day-old snags left out in the Adelaide sun. His Mum always said she’d have his guts for garters if he enlisted underage. I reckon she’d never use that expression again. She was a nice lady too, that Mrs Gibson.

Tell me, fair dinkum, what do 18-year-old, daring-do dreamers from Parramatta know of the chain of high command, a war of geopolitical strategy and stiff upper lips. The bewhiskered gentlemen who manoeuvre their pieces in imperial map rooms will live to fight another day, and yet hold their fallen troops accountable for the unpredictable tides of history.

Grim took Frank’s death hard. From that day on his war was one explosive suicide mission. In the end, he walked into a spray of Turkish gunpowder at Chunuk Bair. The Distinguished Conduct Medal he earned that day sits on my mantelpiece beside a photo of the four of us at Giza. His sister Molly, my dear sweet Molly, turned out to be the love of my life. Funny how that happens - the threads that hold us together, the ties that bind brothers, the strangers who become our saviours.

The sergeant major succumbed to typhoid fever in Palestine and that left Blue and me. We sit and remember. We laugh at the horror during the day and shiver in our beds at night. We wage war with ourselves, our choices, our victories and defeats. We marvel at the world and the territorial ambition of nations, shake our heads at the repetition of dumb history, and raise our wavering fists to those same men in their ivory towers. It’s in all the newspapers that the Vietnam conflict is this generation’s Dardanelles Campaign. ‘A vain and protracted engagement fought in a topographically hostile arena with disproportionate loss of life’ is what I read. Yet wonder of wonders, a Yank - Blue knows his name...but I forget...Neville Someone - walked on the moon last month. Do y’reckon we helped to make that happen? Four cobbers from New South Wales, who had a knack with horseflesh and a taste for kangaroo feathers, on an adventure which spanned more lifetimes than I could ever have imagined.
The 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade was a mounted infantry brigade of the First Australian Imperial Force, which served in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. During the Gallipoli offensive, the brigade served in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). After being withdrawn to Egypt, they took part in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign until their disbandment after the end of the war in 1919. [Wikipedia]

Cobbers - friends
Fair dinkum - true, no *******
Kangaroo feathers - the distinctive emu feather plume which adorned the slouch hats of the AIF light horsemen. So named as a practical joke by the cocky troopers themselves.
Snags - sausages
Michael Feb 24
Regimental Square, Sydney
ANZAC Day, 2017

I thought "I'll march this Anzac Day,"
To Sydney thus I'll make my way.
But then, to set my medals straight,
I pause a moment at my gate
To ponder 'neath the starry sky
On where I'm going to and why.

To there, the Square on George Street.
The place where all we blokes do meet.
To greet once more to have a say,
Gathered there on Anzac Day,
To think for moments in that Square
About the men no longer there.

No longer there but always there
These ghostly memories on the Square.
Their presence felt as we give thanks,
Shuffling, murmuring in their ranks,
And as the bugle calls last post
We proudly stiffen with that host.

Standing tall with all those men
Who link our presence now with then;
Their bayonets, bullets, marching feet
Providing terms on which we meet:
Our bridge, our nexus, common ground
For sharing with them that sweet sound

Which gently fades away.
The square on George Street, Sydney has been named Regimental Square. It commemorates the dead of The Royal Australian Regiment since its formation.
Karl Tomkins Apr 2018
Sons and daughters of New Zealand Soil
Buried far away in strange lands
We stand here at dawn on this day
In the towns where you grew up but never grew old
To remember you and your sacrifice
You did not grow old so we could
Karl Tomkins Apr 2018
An old man sits in his Reclining chair
Silent and still as a windless day
He looks out the window
To a time and a land far away
He remembers the constant state of fear
He remembers the death that was there
Letters from a sweetheart in a foreign language
That laid strewn across the ground
After he killed a young man that looked just like him
His screams and cries keep him awake sometimes
He remembers his mates Jim and Jack
Who never made it back
He still can’t talk about the hit Jim took
Jack they couldn’t find all the pieces
They say he was lucky he came back unscathed
Or did he?
Mollie Mar 2018
Those who fell at  Gallipoli

For those who arrived at Gallipoli, for those who fell at dawn
For those who fell at Gallipoli,
together we shall mourn.

Strong in heart and mind those soldiers had to be,
But they kept our country free,
those who fell at Gallipoli.

Now poppies grow among their graves, those who fell at Gallipoli, those who fell at dawn,

Their memory shall not die, for they shall live on in our hearts,
We will remember them you and I.


By Mollie Spencer
The work of my nine year old self though
Karl Tomkins Mar 2018
The dawn cracks as the majestic artillery ceases its roar.
I sit in a trench that once sustained life.
A boy in men’s clothes, watching and waiting.
The whistle sounds that puts my heart in my throat, as fear rolls across my body.
I climb the 20 foot ladder in seconds, over the top rifle at the ready.
I’ll do my part for king and country.
As I look across the writhing and moaning muddy hell.
The barking of machine guns reach my ears.
With the sound of steel bees whizzing past my head I run past the barbed wire nest that protects our trench.
As I sprint with a scream in my voice, a fear in my heart and heroics running through my brain.
I see the enemy close yet a 1000 miles away.
Suddenly the world goes quiet, slows, my legs fail and I fall to the embrace of the mud.
Another lost son to the heavenly hell of Passchendaele
I Wrote this thinking about my Great Grandfathers and the hell they went through in World War 1
Maddie Oct 2017
In the fight for our country,
Forever in war.
Hands over their hearts,
There lives they swore.

Gun shots fire,
The horrible sound.
The brave men howl,
Another one down.

And now the field,
Is covered in red.
The trumpet plays,
As we bow our heads.

They sacrificed themselves,
Were forever in debt
We will remember them.
Lest we forget

M.F
They were sentenced to toil
on foreign soil; to leave
their homes for the Empire.
They were told to wallow
in the mire; too young to
understand the state of
Things: they were driven by the fire
of pride, love, and mateship.
Forced to age past their true
physical years; to see
young blood drip from young knees,
tears drip down old, pure dreams
of their homes allowing glee
in the dances of their own.

Let not that true, free fire
slip from our souls. Let not
their true eyes leave our own.
Let not their voices leave
our own. Let not their breath
leave our safe lungs. Let not
their calloused hands part
with our own.

Sentenced to toil on a
foreign soil: let not their
memory melt away
into dust and cold rain;
For they are ours, and, by
God, let not the wild and
rampant passing of time
dissolve them in waters
foreign to our own.
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.” - Laurence Binyon

Today was ANZAC Day, a day where we commemorate the great sacrifice of the many servicemen and women who tirelessly give their lives to serve our country. In particular, we remember the courage of those who fought in the landings at Gallipoli, a ****** conflict that saw the death of many of our young.

Lest we forget.
Gracie Knoll Apr 2016
In fields of red our soldiers sleep
Their souls in heaven for God to keep

Our freedom comes at such a cost
We will remember the lives they lost

An endless sleep brought on by war
We pray for peace forevermore

But we know a day will come
When we will call our brave and young

To take up arms and defend our land
So we ask for God's mighty hand

Our country's one full of free men
Because of thousands who'll never wake again

So as I watch the red sun set
I Whisper their names lest we forget
We will remember.
Maggie Emmett Apr 2016
In Neverland - never to grow old
never to marry that sweetheart
never to have children and grandchildren
nor watch hair thin and grey.

Full of derring-do - more dash than discipline
lanky and loose-limbed they swank and saunter
not like soldiers at all
no doff the cap humility
to the old rules and distant monarchies.

From a newly stolen world
hardly secured or steady with itself
lodged on the edge of a vast continent
clinging to a rim of turquoise blue.

Now cramped
in the pock-holed sores of ancient lands
richly bone-dusted from time to time.

Waiting for the fight to end
to go ‘back home’ ‘over there’
to farms and factories; schools and stations.

Still there - left behind
in the archipelago of cemeteries
as far as Fromelles, Pozieres,
to Bullencourt and Paschendaele
in fields of beetroot and corn,
fields bleeding red with poppies
beside the Menin Road at Ypres
in bluebelled woods of Verdun
in the silt of the Somme
on the plains of Flanders
in the victory graves at Amiens

Monash’s boys - the lost boys
cried for their mothers
begged for water
screamed to die
hung like khaki bundles on the wire.

Commanded by Field Marshalls
who never went to the fields,
who played the numbers game
in a war of bluff and bluster,
who never touched the dirt and slime,
nor waded through the ****** slush
of broken men and boys,
never waist-deep in mud and sinking,
wounded and drowning in that shambles of a war

Wearing dead men’s boots
and shrapnel-holed helmets
tunics and leggings splattered and rotting
with dead men’s blood and brains

Some haunted boys came home
knapsacks full of secret pictures,
old rusty tins crammed with suffering
breast pockets held their grief
wrapped in shroud-shreds.

They brought their duckboard demons
to the world of peace
Gas-choked fretful lungs still brought
the caustic fumes with every breath exhaled
and from every pore the death-sweat of decay.

But most boys were lost boys
lost forever in that no-man’s land
that Neverland of lives unlived.
© M.L.Emmett
25th April Anzac Day 2016
In remembrance of the total waste and loss of young mens' lives in WWI. For all the civilians who died and the mothers, wives and sisters who waited in vain for so many soldiers who never returned.
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