Post Number: 338
|Tuesday, April 25, 2006 - 07:19 am:||
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.
(From a poem by Laurence Binyon)
Post Number: 1358
|Tuesday, April 25, 2006 - 09:40 am:||
Thank you Elisabeth. My mother's Dad was in Gallipoli in WWI, as a machine gunner, and although 8,000 Australian and NZ soldiers gave their lives there, Grandad Robert Beazley survived.
May I contribute a David Campbell poem, which has significance for me.
My Dad was in Lae, New Guinea, with the 47th Battalion in WWII.
Men in Green
Oh, there were fifteen men in green,
Each with a tommy-gun,
Who leapt into my plane at dawn;
We rose to meet the sun.
We set our course towards the east
And climbed into the day
Till the ribbed jungle underneath
Like a giant fossil lay.
We climbed towards the distant range,
Where two white paws of cloud
Clutched at the shoulders of the pass;
The green men laughed aloud.
They did not fear the ape-like cloud
That climbed the mountain crest
And hung from ropes invisible
With lightning in its breast.
They did not fear the summer's sun
In whose hot centre lie
A hundred hissing cannon shells
For the unwatchful eye.
And when on Dobadura's field
We landed, each man raised
His thumb towards the open sky;
But to their right I gazed.
For fifteen men in jungle green
Rose from the kunai grass
And came towards the plane. My men
In silence watched them pass;
It seemed they looked upon themselves
In Times's prophetic glass.
Oh, there were some leaned on a stick
And some on stretchers lay,
But few walked on their own two feet
In the early green of day.
(They did not heed the ape-like cloud
That climbed the mountain crest;
They did not fear the summer sun
With bullets for their breast.)
Their eyes were bright, their looks were dull;
Their skin had turned to clay.
Nature had meet them in the night
And stalked them in the day.
And I think still of men in green
On the Soputa track,
With fifteen spitting tommy-guns
To keep the jungle back.
Trading style :CFD's predominantly. Looking for ways to enter CFD trading over long term.
Post Number: 10
|Tuesday, April 25, 2006 - 06:11 pm:||
This applies more to soldiers and war in general:
~ Vergissmeinnicht ~
Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.
The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.
Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht
in a copybook gothic script.
We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's decayed.
But she would weep to see today
how on his skin the swart flies move;
the dust upon the paper eye
and the burst stomach like a cave.
For here the lover and killer are mingled
who had one body and one heart.
And death who had the soldier singled
has done the lover mortal hurt.
The poet, Keith Douglas (1920-1944), was killed in Normandy.
The title means "Forget me not".
(Message edited by colin_twiggs on April 26, 2006)
Post Number: 2253
|Monday, April 25, 2011 - 10:34 am:||
On the ABC Internet this morning another story was published regarding WW1.
This time it was about the discovery of yet another set of remains of a soldier from that period.
How lightly that now rolls off the tongue: "... from that period."
My grandfather was born in 1890, and was a machine-gunner at Gallipoli.
He arrived with the third wave of landings.
He was 24yrs old.
Incredibly, I discovered this morning when researching the Internet for this post, that the Gallipoli campaign lasted only 7 months, and the casualties were high.
But after the evacuation he was sent off to France in 1915, and I believe he spent much of the remainder of the war as part of a "peace-keeper" force at Ypres,
and eventually took part in the third battle of Ypres, according to family knowledge from his accounts.
Today you would be hard pressed to find Ypres on a map.
During the 100-days offensive - a series of battles that pushed or held the German armies back at/near the Hindenberg Line.
Grandad was part of the forces holding Ypres. Who really knows exactly what he did now.
Anyway, the ABC story (The Drum Opinion piece) prompted these memories.
They may not be as accurate as they seem to me, but these are my recollections of his story.
And I have tried, more than once, to piece it together.
His war service record is at the Australian War memorial Archives in Canberra, and I have viewed his records there, and have yet to download them.
Few people want to hear individual stories anyway.
The rest of the story is a little different - and a bit more amusing!
After spending 3 more years in and around Ypres and Amiens, (and maybe Somme) after the war, tidying up with others,
he came home to "The Gums" at Tara western Queensland. He had survived the Gallipoli and Western front campaigns, and the Spanish flu in 1920.
That flu was responsible for killing more people than the Great War did - in excess of 20 million people.
The property was home to Cecil Kentish and family, of whom my grandmother was a pretty daughter.
She had waited throughout the years for him to return.
The day of his home-coming arrived, and he came to the property via the mail-wagon.
The mailman left him off at the gate, and he was walking up to the house - about a mile further in.
A buggy was sent down to pick him up, and my great aunt was driving it.
Grandad couldn't tell the difference between her and my grandmother, and when the buggy arrived, he was "all over her like a cheap suit."
She was flattered, of course, but had to remind him: "Hey Bob - I'm Hazel, Not Winnifred."
Well, it had been more than 7 years since he left, and they were young! Of course people change appearance rapidly in 7 years!
This was a family joke for many years, and eventually he forbade mention of it - an action that only heightened its effects!
In later years he became a keen gardener, and green-keeper at the Nanango Bowls club.
He often spoke about the poppies of Flanders.
He passed away at the age of 97 years, in 1987 - still sharp of mind, and still on his feet!
Keep Smiling - Don't look back
Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something ~ Thomas A. Edison
Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have ~ Margaret Mead
Post Number: 203
|Monday, April 25, 2011 - 11:31 am:||
I still contact my wifes Pop on ANZAC day, who now lives in Perth. He was not part of our forces though a scottish navigator on Bombers from England over Germany. He was shot down over Poland, hidden by a local family, found by the SS and incarcerated for three years in a POW camp.(escaping twice) to be recaptured and then taken with the "Hun" when the allies overan the camp.
To think that he is still alive after all the hassle he caused them is inconcievable. Many are not. Lest we Forget.
"Success is a lousy teacher.It seduces people into thinking they cannot lose."BILL GATES.
Post Number: 757
|Monday, April 25, 2011 - 04:22 pm:||
My wife and I went to the Anzac Day March today in Melbourne. My wife marched with her Dad's medals as he had died last year. I finished up watching and a young woman wearing four of her own medals slotted in next to me.
She was on leave from the Air Force and has served in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and will be going back soon.
My father's father was a medic on the western front in WW1 and Mum's father was at Gallipoli and we have his photo album from that war.
Shell bursting over trenches
Destroyer with troops first day 25-4-15
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