by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : April 2010
OUR AUSSIE HEROES They came from Sydney; they came from Melbourne and from Gundagai, Young men of all description with excitement in their eye. They came from Darwin and from Broome and down round Ballarat, They came from all over Australia to wear the old slouch hat. They marched abreast in lines of khaki down George Street in their droves; Then boarded the ships at Circular Quay, bound for a place we named Anzac Cove. They waded ashore in the cold grey dawn, but were felled like wheat of the field; And how they fought and struggled and strived for cliffs that would not yield. For the enemy held fast and rained down steel -- with this hell our young men bore. They were battered and wounded, but the spirit never broken -- oh, the tragedy of men at war! Soon mates, brothers, fathers and sons lay silent side by side, As the sand washed red with the lives of many, at the changing of the tide. The guns thundered on as our lads fell before them -- then a quiet befell upon all. Quietly the word was passed down the trenches, "Stand ready for a total recall!" After so much death, sadness and misery, our young warriors sailed away But left so many gallant friends behind who gave us our Anzac Day. Peter Johnson THE LAST CHARGE He huddles in the trench trying to keep warm in his greatcoat stiff from rain and mud. Looking either side he notices how few they are now compared to when they first landed. The faces are weary, pale and gaunt, the fate that awaits them soon is not hard to imagine. It's quiet, not even the sound of a bird, cannons have silenced them all, soon it will begin. Mist rises across the open expanse, soon they will charge, bayonets fixed, kill or be killed. Don't think of home, it will dull the edge, he must be positive as he moves toward the enemy He wonders if they are afraid, like him, yes of course, perhaps this time death will find him, No need to speak to each other, looks on faces are enough as they brace to go over the top The wait for the sound of the whistle seems like an eternity, God please let it be over soon Sergeant moves amongst them, "Fix bayonets lads, nothing up the spout, God bless you all." The shrill of the whistle shakes them; they rise up and scream a war cry as they go over. The stutter of machine gun begins followed by the screams of the wounded and dying. He moves from side to side hoping it will narrow his chances of copping a bullet as he runs His throat choking smoke in the cold morning air, his bayonet in front always moving on He can hear his comrades fall beside him and their cries for help, he can't stop now. He's half way there, he must go on, he sees the puffs of smoke from the enemy's guns Almost there now, what will their faces show as he comes into their trenches, surprise, fear? He's made it, he's there wielding his bayonet ruthlessly cutting, stabbing and killing. The pennant rises, a victory, at what a cost, bodies surround him oozing fresh blood. Bury the dead, bandage the wounded, eat, sleep, try to forget the carnage he has just seen. Waking, the sweat has chilled, he puts his hands to his face and sobs, please let me go home. It's over, the guns are silent, the troops leave, taking with them memories to forever haunt. Pete Johnson