Poem – Memories The Ninth Battalion (Australia)

By Sun filled day and frosty night,

O’er rugged hills and desert sand,

We learned to work as teams, to fight

In jungles of another land.

From every city, state and town,

All the lovely countryside,

Impelled by Grim War’s cold, bleak frown,

Gathered we at fair Woodside.

And some of us were volunteers,

But mostly we young conscripts were,

With youthful hopes, ambitions, fears,

Young men’s dreams of love were there.

And lusts, for we weren’t choir boys,

Nor simpering wowser nor old maid;

We searched for brawling, drinking joys,

And chased the girls of Adelaide.

Oh, Adelaide, what wondrous pubs,

The Rundle, Gresham (Mind you Roy?);

The Western, Finden, all were hubs

Of social, sinful, youthful joy.

But scarce the city trips sublime,

Beneath the awesome stars our home,

And Sun-bronzed we became with time:

Leigh Creek, Cultana, ours to roam.

At Murray Bridge we fired our weapons ( honed our drills),

Formed section and platoon at Humbug Scrub – and that was fun.

We dug, dug, dug to prove to them that be our skills,

And by night stood freezing piquet on the gun.

Canungra’s forest where, chilled to bone,

We learned to ambush, and by sudden flare to kill.

The Flinders Range, those hills of stone;

Shoalwater Bay did prove our skill.

And at the last and having passed our nation’s test

(for some a final accolade),

And to that question answered yes,

We bade farewell to Adelaide.

At Murray Bridge we fired our weapons (honed our drills),

Formed section and platoon at Humbug Scrub – and that was fun.

We dug, dug, dug to prove to them that be our skills,

And by night stood freezing piquet on the gun.

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