Mike Subritzky

ANZAC – THE LEGEND

I can still hear cannon firing
in the distance of my mind
and the sound of battle
high on Chunuk Bair
and the fading calls for ‘Mother’
from dying wounded men;
and the dead on Lone Pine ridge
and Sari Bair…

They came from Alexandra
and gold towns on the coast
while others worked the gumfields in the North
the scowman and the drover
the farmer and the clerk
each signed up for a shilling and a war.

They were kitted out in Trentham Camp
and sailed away at dawn
on HM Transports bound for morning tide.
Then, they came ashore in April
at a place called ANZAC Cove
and there in bloody battle
thousands died.

And they fought to hold the valleys
and they fought to hold the heights
and they fought to keep the Johnny Turk at bay.
And the angry roar of battle
and the clash of sword and steel
and the young lives lost
we remember on this day.

We commemorate Quinn’s Post
we commemorate the Pope’s Hill
we commemorate Shrapnel Gully too.
And the Rhododendron Ridge line
the Apex and the Sphinx
and we lay a wreath for all the Kin we knew…

*(pause)*

Distant Gallipoli remains forever
in this nation’s memory.
That time of great conflict
and noble blood sacrifice
of young New Zealand men, and Australians…
ANZACS
a generation lost in Legend;
who laid down their lives for King and Empire on foreign soil.

And now long years and legends past
young Kiwis and their Digger mates
venture to that Turkish coast
and marvel in silent tribute
at the sacrifice that was made
and our nationhood was raised
by brave young men with no known graves
who lie amongst the scrub thorn and the poppy red
on the blood soaked slopes of Chunuk Bair…
and the dominating heights of Lone Pine and The Nek.

Author’s Note: In memory of the members of my family who were Anzacs, and my son Lance Corporal Danny Subritzky who served in the New Zealand Contingent at Gallipoli in the year 2002