ancestry, australia, writing

ANZAC 2017.

I was 6, too young for the grandparents to explain to me who was in the photo in the hall and why he was wearing a funny hat they called a slouch hat. Mum said simply: “He is just someone who died in the war. Now go outside and play”.  His story had to remain a mystery because my Grandies both died that year, but I do remember the bomb shelter that the neighbours had built and the gas masks that hung in the shed.

That photo remained a mystery but it prompted the penning of some lines many years later…………

BATTLE LOST

I gaze down the hall                                                                                                                                At that picture on the wall,                                                                                                                  I seem to do so many times a day.

Their battle’s now been won,                                                                                                                As they sing in the sun                                                                                                                           Silent odes to peace that’s come their way.

Aware not of the living, but the dead,                                                                                                I wear furrows ’bout my head,                                                                                                            And nightmares are the stuff of my sleep.

Had I but predicted                                                                                                                                What my fears had depicted,                                                                                                              My mates may not be buried now so deep.

I wish that I could go                                                                                                                              To be with them, for I know                                                                                                                I am merely waiting for my time to cease.

But I craved for the fight.                                                                                                                      Now that picture oft in sight,                                                                                                                Shows my loss and their fate: Rest In Peace.

FROM LEFT: Pte Nick Namnik, 2/7th batt.  [my father]                                                                                          Pte. Antonio Namnik. Cook. [wounded twice in PNG and returned to serve both times after rehab.]                                                                                                                                                  Maj. Dr. Kevin Fagan. [Assisted Weary Dunlop at Changi POW Camp. Brother of Roy Fagan, Deputy Premier of Tasmania. ] [my second cousin].                                                        Pte. Tom Riley and brother Lt. Les Riley of 4th Field Regt. served together from Tobruk to Damascus. [my mother’s brothers].

BLESS ‘EM ALL,  BLESS ‘EM ALL,  THE LONG AND THE SHORT AND THE TALL ……………….

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