- Anzac Day Stories
- Page 28
- Derek Olley
Lest We Forget
by Derek Olley
Lest We Forget
In choppy water, stirred by men who for their Country fight,
As to their fate unknown, pour forth at first the morning light.
Whilst warships stand and wait offshore, crimson turns the foam.
The flushed young faces, wrought with fear, make the beach their home
Smoke from dark funnels billows out, now blackening the sky.
As they await, the brave young hearts, seek comfort e'er they die.
How loud the battle cries of men, Canukes and Tommies too,
Mingled with the Anzac's call, as to the shores they drew.
Where field guns roar with hellish din and shells fly overhead,
And on the sandy surging beach lie the wounded and the dead.
For dauntless were those brave young men, who landed on that day
In Anzac Cove, in the Dardanelles, where the waiting Turkish lay.
How could they know their fate that day, nor how the fight would end.
There, side by side in a sea of blood, lay brother, father, friend.
And as they gave their lives away, in a fight they could not win.
The ANZAC spirit there was born, on the battle line so thin.
It was from the lands down under, came the Digger and his mate
To die for king and country in the trenches as they wait.
It mattered not how long the odds, their spirit would not yield.
No heathen foe with gun and shell would drive them from that field.
As day stretched into further day, the bitter fight went on.
And as the days stretched into weeks, many mother lost her son.
And new bride lost her husband, children for a father cried,
There as the shells and bullets flew those ANZAC heroes died.
Now decades later, with bowed heads, the silent crowd still stands.
In memory, to honour them, who died in those far off lands.
A half a world away they lie, `neath sand and foreign field.
The men of a gallant Armoured Corp, who knew not how to yield.
For though they were but youth in years, their hearts were those of men.
And in every true Australian's heart. "We will remember them"
On that fateful day, 25Th April 1915, my father, serving with the Essex Regiment, and his cousin from Tasmania, with the ANZACs, landed. They had never met. His cousin was mortally wounded and died later that day on a hospital ship. They never met.