Sunday 3 January 2016

Back from Gallipoli

Back from far Gallipoli, back from the Dardanelles,
Back from the roar of booming guns, and scream of flying shells.
Back from the very gates of death, back to the dear homeland.
Our wounded boys are coming, and they’ll need a helping hand.

They’ll tell of reckless courage, and of deeds of valor done.
Of feats of brilliant daring, and of lasting glory won;
Of comrades lying still and grim (brush the swift tear aside),
And learn how gallantly they fought, how splendidly they died.

We’ll see them live it o’er again, as thrilling tales they tell.
The landing at Gallipoli, the storms of shot and shell;
The white-hot fierce excitement, the shrapnel wound, the pain,
Of weary days that followed — thank God! 'twas not in vain.

And we who hear, let us not fail in our appointed task.
Nay, — in our blessed privilege to help them, lest they ask.
Maimed and crippled, was it worth it, shall we let our heroes rue
The great and glorious sacrifice they made for me and you?

Gladly, unreservedly, unfaltering, unafraid.
They offered all (how many the supremest price have paid),
For King, and Home, and Empire, for the sacred cause of Right,
To keep our flag unsullied, and to keep our honour bright.

Freely as on Gallipoli, they paid the price in blood,
Let us unstintingly pour forth our gifts of gratitude;
And gloriously as they upheld Australia’s honour there.
In offerings of thanksgiving, let us uphold it here.

Author Unknown

Poem: Ballymena Observer, 29th October 1915
Drawing: North Beach on the evening of 5th November 1915 by Major LFS Hore.

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