Remember the Australian Soldier

Remember the Australian Soldier

I am an Australian soldier; I stand tall and proud and true
I train and fight for freedom; I honour my country and protect you
Established in the Sudan and Boer I’ve always done you proud
With Volunteers and Regiments from Federation to conflicts now

The First World War (sheer tragedy) we lost too many men
And the women who supported- the nurses who cared for them
From our fateful landing upon the ANZAC Cove
The mateship that we honour is bound by all we know

To the Aussie soldier courage, teamwork & initiative are barely but a start
For professionalism, loyalty and innovation are clearly in our heart
From World War II and wars beyond, from Vietnam to peace keeping today
Australian soldiers are deployed around the globe from their families far away

And I know each soldier joins the ranks because they feel it too
It’s the spirit of the Aussie digger; it’s what we call true blue
But contact front can take a life, a new name to cast upon the wall
In bronze to forever commemorate another loss too great to call

Recently we lost Russell, Pearce, Locke and Wood
McCarthy, Lambert, Marks
And forty-one names for me to me to recite
Please keep them in your hearts

For green on blue is not the way a soldier’s meant to die
For any loss of life through war is hard to justify
And those returning still live the hell, the smells, sights, sounds and fear
That follow them in dreams and thoughts; some take them to despair

Sadly the number of soldiers affected by PTSD who are taking their own lives
Are far outweighed by the names cast in bronze, those men we highly prize
This growing toll also sacrificed so that we may live in peace today
Please stand tall and proud to honour that gift; God bless their souls I pray

Give strength to those who loved them best as we remember them always
We will honour their ANZAC spirit to the very end of days
But in life’s passing their mateship is still here with you; I believe it’s standing by your side
I ask that you remember the Australian soldier
With love and hope and pride

Note:          If your loved one’s name appears in my poem, I have done so with the greatest of respect.

RIP fine soldier.

I would be honoured if you read my poem at any ANZAC Day service, Remembrance Day or other service as appropriate.

A few years ago I wrote to Mark Knight requesting permission to reproduce his cartoon with my poem, and he posted back to me that it was fine to do so. His incredible cartoon represented exactly what I was trying to convey in my poem. Mark, if you don’t want your cartoon here, please let me know and I will remove it.