William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

CASUALTIES

After a while on an outpost
Johnnie couldn’t take it no more
‘Twas the bullet cracks that he hated most
In that Greek and Turkish war

John talked to his barrack box and kitbag
He spoke to his combat boots
John talked and swore that he hated this war
He couldn’t take it no more!

They tied him into a straight jacket
With a chain around his waist
Tied up in a chain, mad dog insane
John couldn’t take it no more!

John came home nuts, but PJ’s still there
Lance Corporal Lavallee is dead
His girl fucked around so he went to town
Took his sten gun and blew off his head

I don’t know the reason these guys had to die?
Perhaps ‘twas that Cypriot war?
Many tears I have cried o’er Frenchy’s suicide
Poor John, just couldn’t take it no more!

Author’s Note: Dedicated to three casualties of our 1965 tour on Cyprus – my deceased friends – LCpl Frenchy Lavallee, Stuttering John Smylski, and PJ Hoare.

I met John again in 1968 when I was with the Airborne and after he had received shock treatment for his medical conditions. He walked right past me (no recognition). In 1958 I spent six months in depot with John plus 4 years in Europe and John dated my wife’s friend in Victoria (we double dated) before we went to Cyprus. For all intents and purposes John is dead. There is a new dull Zombie John walking around but the John I knew died on that hillside outpost in Cyprus in 1965.

PJ was an old skiing and drinking buddy of mine and he remains in a grave on Cyprus.

Frenchy Lavallee was a very bright young man, and only 19 years old when he killed himself. I was training him to work in the Battalion Orderly Room when we got back from Cyprus.

These are my friends, guys I knew personally; there were probably many other casualties in other Rifle Companies etc. Some of our guys are in mental hospitals and jails – these too are casualties… Bless them all!

RIP guys, I’m coming soon.
Billy (The Red) Willbond