Remembrance Day

                 Lest We Forget  

Once upon a time on dusty lonely tracks, swagmen roamed

While Drovers by campfires longed for home

Teachers used tools of rote, chalk and black boards on the wall 

Cobbler, miner, farmer, blacksmith, clerk, grocer, nurse and all 

They heard the call to war and stepped forward as one

To serve their young nation until duty was done

To reflect on what was; if not for such heroes, where would we be?

The sacrifice and nobleness of their time to keep us free 

Brave deeds and mateship with a young nation’s flag held so high

To hear them singing “Australia will be there” as their battle cry

Loving families waiting for the casualty lists with hidden fear

An unwelcome knock on the door and a new life of countless tears

The tracks where swagmen trudged are now tar and white lines 

Drovers’ campfires are long gone, thanks to Father Time

A new generation of teachers with computer and flashing screen

Gone are the cobblers and others; yet Florence is still to be seen

Yet their ghosts still mingle with our people who remember    

Never to be forgotten by city and town to beyond the Never-Never

Concentrate and you will hear the rhythmic steps and see them again

Marching in columns, be it searing heat or icy drenching rain

Dreaming of their tomorrow to be home with loved ones once more

Homesick for distant blue mountains and golden sandy shores

Seeking peace, deep sleep, love, laughter and no more sad hooroos

Now the column is fading , yet their genes and spirit are still with you

In a troubled world, we “Down Under” must stay together

As one people, one nations, one flag, today, tomorrow and forever 

Going forward in armour forged with our precious values of life 

Never faltering as we defy storms of discontent or evil strife

New generations follow, learning of our history and soon standing tall 

What better way to remember and salute those who answered the bugle call

                                                  George Mansford © October 2018



  1. George – you are brilliant as ever. One of the finest soldiers I have ever had the privilege to serve with. Best wishes, Adrian d’Hagé (Darj).

  2. John Hunt says

    What a wonderful poem, time to reflect and ponder on what was and what is.