Opinion – A Legacy So Dear

                          A Legacy So Dear

Oh what have we done to our legacy, so precious and dear

Now with leaderless tribes and damaged moral compass I fear

Once so strong, proud, united and standing tall

With a free way of life envied by all

A nation built on faith, vision, blood, sweat and tears 

Now slowly sliding into a mire of apathy in recent years

Where Jesus has been blindfolded and stood against the wall  

Our history mocked and smothering PC revision is compulsory for all

So many miles of our journey since convict chains, pick and spade

Once a fair go, open doors and meals where conversation was made

Today, shut and lock crowded streets, pollution and blinking lights 

Sedated two legged sheep grazing on electronic text day and night

From prosperity to an empty treasury and not one brass razoo left

Family castles in cold darkness thanks to national energy plans bereft

Gone is our beloved soap box in the park to express a point of view

Now replaced by PC with many rules of what you can and can’t do

Where is the sense purpose and vision we so desperately need?

Why kill Unity by constantly sowing “Them and us” as toxic seed?

What of dams to taste sweet water and no bitterness of drought?

How can we sleep safely when night is owned by thieves and louts?

Are we robots mid crumbled concrete and windows of opaque glass? 

How can we be so blind to tomorrow and shun lessons of the past?

Can’t we see the angry dark storm clouds looming so very near?           

Oh, what have we done to our legacy, so precious and dear?

George Mansford © September 2017

PC—#***#% Political Correctness

Opinion – It’s Time to Stand Tall—No Compromises

We live in a world of increasing social changes and shrinking common sense.  Thus as we blunder into tomorrow without understanding yesterday, it does beg the question, “where are we going?

Can we really expect our youth, (tomorrow’s leaders) to march forward with confidence and sound sense of purpose when they are continually bombarded with new and questionable culture?  Surely it is a critical phase of development when they should be mastering the basic skills and values of life?

Can we really expect they will appreciate the  wonders and beauty of life including love, sharing , caring and responsibility when they are brainwashed in many dark corners of our society to believe it’s all a free ride without commitment and respect?

Do we believe that honour, duty, love of country, personal discipline and choice of spiritual belief will come from increasingly family breakdown, the current pathetic examples of political leadership or some drug dazed star on stage?

When did we decide that the education of minors provides no choice of their own to accept or deny religion?

Can we really expect a youngster to develop confidence and resilience when always wrapped in cotton wool?

How can you pursue the dream of enhancing one people and one nation when governments continually encourage the theme of “them and us” and more often than not at the expenses and inconvenience to the majority of our community?

Why should we demonstrate tolerance to those who publicly state their evil intent to destroy our society and its way of life?

Incidentally, is there a national plan in action for progressive and positive assimilation for migrants from day one of arrival? I think not. I remember clearly in early post WW2 years when my mother and other ladies met New Australian families (as we called them without malice or spite) and guided them to help adjust in the early phases after their arrival. Even youngsters were tasked to escort their new mates to school.

Attitudes and standards have changed dramatically since those days when once the law was enforced, regardless of circumstances.  Today, the opposite is true. There are examples where our government is turning a blind eye to illegal conduct. There are increasing numbers of incidents where exceptions to our rules dilute authority and breeds resentment. Masked polygamy, hidden child brides, defiance to court procedures and incredible leniency for the drug dealers who are poisoning our society are examples which already cause irritation and in time will develop marked hostility within our society.

How did all this deceptive and smothering social engineering start? Who are the authors and on whose authority? Just how many of us agreed to such monumental and very questionable change?

There is no doubt we should seek knowledge, master new procedures and pursue vision to enhance our society. However, it does not imply we charge hell bent into tomorrow and discard proven and well established values in our haste to go where we know not where.

The bitter irony of it all is that in past war when our way of life was threatened by alien forces, we were as one and gave all to protect such values. Today they are slowly being eroded, assisted by our apathy, political correctness and   obsession for compromise.

Like it or not, we are in war of social change and must defend our precious values. There is a real and urgent need for positive and sound leadership. We must stand fast in our beliefs. It is a legacy passed on to us by past generations who achieved it with blood, sweat and tears.

There is no room for compromise.

 

               A Changing World 

Forgotten are the silent scarred hills from not so long ago

Where once came screaming curses of friend and foe

Pain and misery etched in earth soaked blood

So many dreams and hopes lost in the mire of mud

 

Came the day white doves flew and church bells rang

Dancing in the streets and victory songs sang

Politicians preached of “peace and precious values for all”

For those lost in the hills came the sobs of bugle calls

Young and old gather on our special day of the year

To recall sacrifice in times of bloody strife and fear

Sadly, some still wet behind the ears with empty heads seek fame

They demand revision of our past and for war, we were to blame

Others intent on mischief to change our proud way of life

Slyly infect us with political correctness, so smothering and rife 

Space age bands blare with deceptive tunes called diversity 

While old choirs no longer sing that the power of a nation is unity

Illegal drugs, child abuse and faltering family structure  too

Xmas trees and friendly Christian wishes on cards soon to be taboo

Greedy inept politicians pick poor people’s pockets for more taxes

At schools, proven social skills and disciplines face sharp government axes 

On those now forgotten hills come the echoes of pain 

As restless ghosts whisper of betrayal, again and again 

Their youth stolen, dreams buried and a way of life lost bye and bye

Can you hear the wails of all past generations as they ask “why?” 

George Mansford ©August 2017

 

Are We Burning Our Bridges?

Are We Burning Our Bridges?

History is the soul of any proud nation

Deeds in a never ending journey via many stations 

A reminder of who we were and what we are now

A legacy from those who strived with shovel, pick, horse and plough

Recorded are the rights and wrongs and lessons to be learnt

Never should our proud past be shamed, scarred or burnt

 

There are those starved for recognition seeking to change history

No rules for such empty heads and their tantrums are common to see

Planned mischief is their aim and tempts the naive to follow

Going backwards seeking yesterday while stumbling into tomorrow

It’s all about manipulation of power to change our way life

Farewell unity and harmony –welcome diversity and strife

 

The new order demanded by revisionists is busily at work

Never a sound reason from its unknown authors who in shadows lurk 

Christianity is very much on the list as a whipping boy

Ridicule, no xmas cards, tinseled trees or magic toys

Sweet nursery rhymes censored yet blinkers used for drugs and hate in songs  

Jesus is mocked (and please tell me, “what did he do wrong?”)

So here’s to Namatjira, Henry, Banjo and Melba who helped open doors

The migrant, butcher, ANZAC, shearer, Drover’s wife and more

Revere the Pioneers who began the journey to make our country as one

Despite flood, fire, drought and famine, they always won

Shoulder to shoulder, we too must go forward; all for one and one for all  

“To seek tomorrow and honour our past” will always be our rallying call   

George Mansford © September 2017

 

Vietnam Reflections – Always as One

Address by George Mansford (Cairns 18 August 2017)

Today throughout our nation there will be gatherings such as ours to reflect on our involvement in the Vietnam War and above all, to honour our fallen. In doing so, we also pay our deepest respect to yet another generation of our military currently on operations. It seems nothing changes on our troubled planet

Was it so long ago that our men and women went to war in a place called Vietnam?

It was a time when frequent government lotteries in rolling barrels full of birthday numbers determined which 20 year old males would be conscripted for two years’ military service.

It was a time of anti-war demonstrations and vilification of those in uniform and their families which caused our military to become closer and united more than ever.

It was a time when protesting mobs burnt our national flag and the consequences were that our troops cherished the sacred cloth even more.

In Vietnam our units stood fast in battle. They endured the physical and mental demands placed on them. They refused to relent against what seemed impossible odds on more than one occasion. Always evident was their battle discipline, confidence and trust in each other and even when battle weary, no matter when or where, were the grins.

As well as major battles, it was also a time of countless patrols, ambushes, cordon and search operations, much of which is now long forgotten and gathering dust in history records

Always are the veteran’s memories of such times. How could they ever forget the wok wok of the beloved Huey and the familiar drone of the Caribou or perhaps they were on one of the warships patrolling a very dangerous coast line. The nurses waiting at the landing zone called Vampire ready to receive yet another group of wounded.  Do you remember counting the days until it was one day and a wakey before going home and so many dreams to pursue?

It was a time of varying farewells such as watching mates struggling with heavy packs and weapons boarding a chopper or armoured personnel carrier to commence another operation. Departing on Rest and Recuperation to escape the madness for just a few days or going home. No matter the circumstances, always was the firm hand shake, sharp wit, a hug, a wave, a thumbs up as a fond farewell or perhaps a shout of “Take care”. Unknowingly for some, it would be for the last time.

There were forgotten lessons of war from previous campaigns and re-learnt the hard way in Vietnam. There were also new lessons learnt in Vietnam which have since been neglected or distorted thanks to social engineering and the continual onslaught of political correctness.

 Common was the immense camaraderie, determination, wry humour and battle discipline which demonstrated that the magnificent qualities of the original ANZACs had not been diluted.

There was pride, duty, honour and acceptance of responsibilities which had been developed from early age in our society then strengthened in the military during training and mastered on operations.

It was a time of loved ones waiting for news and dreading any unexpected knock on the door. We should never forget the wives, mothers  and families who bore the brunt of isolation, not knowing and always searching for mail and the media for any fragment of news. They met the challenges with dignity and stood the test. Wives were both mother and father and always praying that the next knock on the door would not be by a grim faced official

At war’s end it was a time for adjustment and sadly that was not to be for so many who thought they had come home but hadn’t. There are still those who confront the consequences of war in so many ways.

There were those who in desperation said “enough is enough” and left us to join the fallen.

Today the ranks grow thinner and always are the increasing nudges from Father Time to remind all of their mortality. If the fallen could speak, perhaps it would be to remind all “Who they were and what they were”

They would say “Australia is indeed the lucky country and will remain so, if you, the living strive to keep it so”

They would remind us “To fight the good fight for what you believe to be right”

They would demand “Honour us by your actions as active members of the community; for you are us and we are you. While you live, we live. ”

GM 7/2017

                   

 Reflections of War

On this special day, old warriors will meet here and there

To recall times of duty and when they did dare

To honour fallen comrades, perhaps with a band or choir

Others will reflect at home, even a park bench or beside a campfire 

Father Time has caused more gaps in the ranks since last year

Often a gentle nudge from the River Boatman who is ever so near

Memories will be stirred of comrades, laughter, song, mud and tears

For many, the haunting sounds of battle and sudden fears

Waiting for hidden death to explode in a silent jungle so green

Listening to familiar sounds of wocking blades soon to be seen

Watching a Caribou* high above and all wondering where it had been 

Knowing our warships patrolled a coast line so dangerous and mean 

The electric shout of “contact” and collision with danger yet again   

Fleeting shadows, hostile sounds, racing pulse and heat or drenching rain

Devoted nurses waiting for Dust Offs* loaded with dead and dying 

Casualties in blood soaked muddy rags with grins and rarely crying

Finally came that last roll call and war weary veterans said hooray

Soon after, the first glimpse of excited loved ones screaming “gidday”

Days or years later, waking from nightmares of battle and reaching out

Believing they’re alone, no matter how often they shout 

The gathering will end and the square will be silent once more 

In lonely rooms, parks or by dying campfires, some will ask “What for?”

Whatever they were or what they did or did not do

Let no one forget, they were all as one who served true blue

They march with pride in the column until the next life to be 

Always will be their example of duty, honour and love of country 

Even after the Boatman has taken all of them from life’s stage

Their brave deeds remain forever in many a history page

George Mansford© July 2017

 

*Dust Off— “Dedicated and Unstinting Service To Our Friendly Forces”

*Caribou—RAAF aircraft

 

Black and White Fellas Wearing Slouch Hats

A salute to all warriors, black, white and brindle who served together, fought together and for some, they also died together.

Prologue

Old soldiers from days gone by often wonder where their mates are and how they fared in the years that followed their discharge.

At the reunions there is often the news of comrades doing it tough or have made a million, gone bush or have left the planet and so as the years go, the memories dim as the ranks grow thin. One aspect is certain; the respect and love for each other remains constant and as strong as it was when they were as young men, that “happy band of brothers.”

It began as a group of individuals from all walks of life gathered by the recruiting sergeant, heated on the forge at recruit training and then hammered into shape in a unit they came to love. A unit which was their family for all intent and purpose, of giving, sharing, protecting and enduring, often while exposed to total exhaustion, thirst and hunger.

Mate ship to them was everything. It was a helmet against fear and doubt. Their book of family rules was as a bible, held sacred and which demanded of them duty, trust, respect, battle discipline and love of country.

There was also the black humour used to overcome the loss of a comrade. On operations there were no times for parades, pomp and ceremony. In testing and dire circumstances which were often, any  mood of feeling sorry for one self was not tolerated.  The preventive to such thoughts was the bark of a sergeant to “get off your arse and start moving.”

Many of the wounded were evacuated by stretcher, others by helicopter and there were those who walked with the help of Fuzzy Wuzzy angels.  From Gallipoli to current wars, such sad departures were farewelled by nods, encouragement, a joke or the touch of a hand. Some didn’t make it and left an empty silent space within the team while others were sent home or returned to unit with a welcome of the happiest of grins from mates.

It didn’t matter who you were. Old, young, short on time or reinforcement. It was of no consequence if you were a new chum from the old world or a black fella from the back of Burke, a yokel from a country town or a smart Alek from the city. Even a Kiwi wanting to learn how to play Rugby and cricket was welcome.

You were as one and all wore the same uniform; took the same risks; shared the same rusty tin of meat and the last few drops of water. Exposed to adverse weather they shivered with the icy cold and huddled together under a wet blanket seeking body warmth from each other. They shared their dreams of their loved ones, of going home and of their tomorrows.

You had to be one of them to really understand the depth of their respect and camaraderie for each other.

It is time for the Government with icy cold water to hose down those social engineers who become hysterical when hearing such sins as a   white face painted black. Can we please have our freedom of expression and speech back? And allow our once normal life to return.

The time is well overdue for our Canberra Suits to fire a green flare and tell the world what we strive to be. One flag, one people and one nation and that political correctness is not part our future.

Thus the following scribble is a salute to all warriors, black, white and brindle who served together, fought together and for some, they also died together.

images-32

  White Fella- Black Fella as One

I am slowly drowning in political correctness, day by day

Cos unknown social engineers insist we must live their way

Years ago, they threw a much loved child’s Golliwog into a bin

Today, mention “black fella “and listen to howls of “terrible sin”

I recall soldiering days when we were young and bold

Strong memories of comrades more precious than gold

Regardless of race, no place for shirkers and always marching as one

In peace or war, we wore same uniform with the rising sun

There’s so much about soldiering that strangers wouldn’t understand

Foremost was the sworn sacred oath to defend our land 

Comradeship was a trusty shield against doubt and fear

Our bible was and remains our own sacred rules held so dear

Well aware of the risks yet always going forward as brothers 

When there was great danger, we drew comfort from each other   ,

We shared the last of the food and water, even precious dreams

It didn’t matter who your mates were; black, white or in between

Who cared what race or colour when a brother did fall

He was one of us and the same pain and grief was suffered by all

Then of course there was humour when nothing went right 

Laughter when some never had to darken a face to patrol at night

Black fellas served side by side with white fellas in peace and war

Such as Meanie, Saunders, Sanderson, Don Bowie, Buddy Lea and many more

I’d be so proud of any grandchild of mine to blacken a white face

If it was to honour such heroes as these of another race

Ignore those warped dreamers barking at our heels with loud cry

The ghosts of warriors who served our nation are slowly marching by

White fellas, black fellas and in between; all bidding a fond hooroo 

To a land, true blue, with sounds of muffled drums and didgeridoos

                                             George Mansford ©September 2016

It’s Time To Stand Tall

Two legged blinkered sheep play “follow the leaders” in busy streets

Indifferent to amber signs of threat that our flock could soon meet

Dressed in space age cloth, texting and asking ‘What’s in it for me’?

Yesterday is forgotten and who cares of tomorrow in a land so free

 

There are gatherings where zealots chant “kill Jews and infidels”

While those who disagree are branded racists and bound for hell

Why is it we ridicule the lessons of Jesus Christ who preached love?

Yet ignore rabid fanatics vomiting evil, wielding swords high above?

 

Why so many stark images of drowned children on a lonely beach?

Understandably we weep, grieve and blame leaders far from reach

Yet infants crushed and torn on a French street for obsessive beliefs

Are masked by complacent blankets to calm outrage and grief

 

How false is our honour to past generations who gave all?

While we remain passive to threats that our way life could fall

Can’t we see that a Trojan horse is entering our happy domain?

Or do we flounder in mires of political correctness once again

 

Be you from the cities, country towns or beyond the black stump afar

It’s time to remind Canberra Suits who the bloody hell we are

No matter religion or lack of it; our message must be loud and clear

So stand tall now to ensure we protect a valued way of life so dear

George Mansford @ July 2016

Standing Proud and Tall- Fifty Years On

Each year there are gatherings throughout our nation to reflect on our commitment to the Vietnam War. These services coincide with the battle of Long Tan which is used as a focal point for this long and bloody campaign.

 

No matter when or where our military served in Vietnam, Long Tan represented the challenges, dangers and indomitable spirit of our Armed Forces who held high the ANZAC torch. The battle was a clear example of mate ship and team work including all Arms and Services that supported the gallant D Coy, 6RAR.

 

Long Tan demonstrated the battle discipline, stubbornness and defiance of the ordinary soldier when confronted with what seemed impossible odds. This page of history was synonymous in character with all clashes during the war, big or small from the very sharp tip of the spear to the dedicated Florence Nightingales waiting for the Dust Off helicopters to arrive with a new wave of casualties

 

Nor should history neglect the dedicated families during those years who kept the home fires burning despite anxiety and sleepless nights, dreading an unwelcome knock on the door by a grim faced messenger of death

 

Now  in our life’s journey we have arrived at the 50 year marker  since Long Tan. It is time to remember those who did not come home and so many who thought they had. It is a time to recall so many comrades who have since joined them. It is a time to remind all younger generations of the terrible cost of war, during and long after the last shot has been fired.

 

It is a time for Politicians to revise their policies in regards those who have served their nation no matter when or where and a time for all veterans from yesterday to be together once more, standing tall and proud.

 

Fifty Years On

It was a gathering for the 50th year

Some old soldier on meeting after such time shed a tear

Common was the greeting “Gidday ya ugly bastards, have a beer”

Far different from today’s political correctness, I fear

 

Smiling faces, strong embraces and excitement said it all

To be again with old comrades, one and all

No matter the genes, religion or lack of it, be it yours or mine

All were beloved brothers who had stood the test of time

 

Was it so long ago when we did dare

In swamps, paddy fields and smothering jungle every where

When we dreamed of distant futures so far away

Yet tonight as we reflect, it seems such thoughts were only yesterday

 

Now as the Gathering grows, it makes you feel so young

To hear once more the laughter and familiar songs we sung

Recalling the funny times despite those terrible days so grim

The joy of joshing old mates for past mischief, especially him and him

 

Gone the howling scream above and then deafening fiery blast

Absent is the cruel metal, whirring, humming; there’s silence at last

No more the waiting game and “There’s been a change of plans”

Now it’s “Drink your bloody beer and keep up if you can”

 

Time marches on and many chairs are empty; all is so quiet

The light is fading and soon will come the lonely unknown night

Yet always will be the memories until that final hour

Of a powerful and noble loving brotherhood which was ours

George Mansford ©June 2015

 

 

A Day in the Life of a Soldier

      For all diggers, past,  present and future

 A Day in the Life of a Soldier 

Patrolling through the jungle green

Searching for an enemy yet to be seen

Smothering heat and saturated with sweat

Terrible thirst but not to drink yet

 

A hand signal ripples down the single file

It means a five minute break to rest for awhile

Drinking precious water from a canteen nearly empty

We pray there is a stream ahead with cool water aplenty

 

Watching and listening for danger while resting on the jungle floor

You must wait tonight’s fitful sleep for sweet dreams galore

Of loved ones, hot food, icy beer and a pretty girl to meet

A soft comfortable bed and deep sleep between crisp cool sheets

 

Now a hand signal that we are about to go

We grunt struggling to our feet with heavy loads, painfully slow

Dark clouds hover above and suddenly drenching rain

We’re slipping, sliding in mire and softly cursing again and again

 

A small shelter and leafy mattress with leeches for company at night

Sentry duty at some ungodly hour in blackness totally without sight

Tomorrow, in torn muddy cloth, we’ll search once more for foe

Such is part of soldiering life wherever we go

 

Those yet to serve will often face danger on that unknown track

Cold, hungry, thirsty and weary yet never turning back

Whenever and whatever the task; stepping forward as one

Always the mate-ship, pride and love of country until duty done

George Mansford ©May 2016

 

Forgotten Campaigns – A Secret War

From George Mansford – Warrior Poet and Commentator on topical Events

“An old warrior by the name of John Burns made contact to advise he and other veterans of his unit who fought in Borneo, post WW2, were soon  to return there to recognize the 50th   year since the end of the war against Indonesia, commonly known as Confrontation, (1962-66).   As is the way of old soldiers returning to past battlefields, they will hold a special service to reflect on fallen comrades. John asked me if I could write a few lines for such a special occasion. I was honoured to do so.

Their visit coincides with an announcement that Australian Mints have struck special 25 cent coins marking service to country and which recognize battles/campaigns from WW1 to Afghanistan.

Sadly two campaigns, the Malayan Emergency (1948-60) and Confrontation (1962-66 ) which involved our military are not included. It would seem secrecy of “Confrontation” is still a must for some in official circles.

Personally I am of the view that if the Mints employed a military historian; he or she should be returned to a Recruit Training Centre followed by compulsory service at the Australian War Memorial for further and proper education of our proud military history.

In the meantime here is a small tribute to all those who served in what still clearly remain forgotten wars.

George Mansford April 2016

A Secret War

Soon, old warriors will gather where once they had been

A harsh cruel arena of rugged mountains and thick jungle green

Fast rivers, steamy smothering heat and drenching rains

Seeking an elusive enemy far and wide, again and again

 

Mute soldiers with whispers and use of hand signals to speak

Tired, hungry, thirsty and dreams of crystal clear water from a creek

Ambushing day and night and wondering what tomorrow will bring

Watching, waiting, slipping, climbing, panting and softly cur-sing

 

Often the unknown and unexpected that suddenly is there

A deafening mines blast or the stutter of gunfire but from where?

The shouts and screams as the drills are quickly done

Adrenalin flows, gasping for breath and wondering who lost or won

 

Always the ANZAC humour and caring, sharing with each other

“Up the Red Rooster” was the battle cry for this band of brothers

Today on parade, now aged with time, they still stand tall and proud

Reflecting on absent comrades as the bugle sobs loud

 

Far away in Canberra, old hidden records are finally to be seen

No longer sealed lips of brave deeds by young diggers in jungle green

For ages it remained a secret war and our troops were never there

On those many well-trod tracks where phantom warriors did dare

George Mansford © February 2016

 

POZIERES

220px-Gibraltar_bunker_Pozieres_(AWM_EZ0098)

Gibraltar Bunker, Pozieres

August 1916 (courtesy Wikipedia)

POZIERES*
The Australians stormed the trenches in the town of Pozieres.
They wrested it from the Germans, who had claimed the ground as theirs.
But the enemy knew the lay of the land, and where each trench was set,
So they poured in high explosive shells, from the village of Courcelette.
For four days and as many nights they bombarded the town.
Shrieking, screaming shells of death were falling all around.
The grinding, crushing, pounding, gradually blew the town away.
Just clouds of coloured smoke were to be seen, by the light of day.
Every Australian in the trenches was buried at some time.
A shell dropped every three seconds on our soldiers in the line.
And they knew that just one shell-burst, could blow them limb from limb.
Like the grotesque twisted bodies they had seen as they came in.
The never-ending shelling would send some men insane.
They never ever would be, quite the same again.
Some were quivering, some just sobbed, some just screamed aloud.
Their nerves were totally shattered by the barrage from the clouds.
The noise was just horrendous, the ground would rock and sway,
And the shells just kept on coming – they’d never go away.
Some men ran towards the Germans, they simply had gone mad.
They could not stand this living hell, and the end for them was sad.
And when the shelling ended, the soldiers were relieved.
Their grim and haunted faces, had to be seen to be believed.
They walked like zombies from the field, their glassy eyes transfixed.
Shuffling like invalids through the dust of shattered bricks.
No soldiers had ever suffered, a bombardment of this kind.
And no words could aptly describe the state, in which it left their minds.
But the legacy they left this world for soldiers yet to come.
Was that ‘shell-shock’ could cause injury, just like the bullets from a gun.

*Pozieres was the heaviest concentrated shelling bombardment
of a narrow piece of real estate the world had ever seen, in this
horrific demonstration of modern artillery warfare.
Bill Charlton c 2014