On Trek by the Quarterbloke
I have gathered my belongings, and I’ve put them in my pack—
There’s a half a ton a-pulling and a-straining at my back.
And I’ve chucked my old tin helmet, and I’m wearing now instead
A collapsible gor-blimey, which is comfort for the head.
I have had my shoes amended, I have had my feet inspected,
I am passed as fit for marching by the mile.
I have had my hair cut freely, and my clothing disinfected,
But d’you think that I am grousing? I should smile.
There’s a little Frenchy village that we hope we’re passing through,
An estaminet pour Soldats where we used to parly-voo.
There are cider apple orchards we’d be most annoyed to miss
And there’s one or two among us with a girl or two to kiss.
There are fields all white with harvest, there are roads without a shell hole,
There are roofs without a hole to spill the rain;
So we can’t be very sorry when we leave this damned old hell-hole,
And Division’s going out on trek again.
We have done with endless strafings, we have done with standing to,
We have done with steel and bullet shell and shock;
And we’re going barrack-squaring, as the old troops used to do
In the days before the Kaiser ran amok.
We are leaving shattered houses, leaving desolated regions,
We are making for the townships might and main,
Till they turn us round all standing, the recuperated legions,
And they head us for the trenches once again.
For we’re going out on trek again,
Out of the line on trek again,
Back-areawards on trek again;
Our feet are all a-dance
Upon the good old cobble roads,
The humpy, bumby cobble roads,
The hell-for-leather cobble roads.
The cobble roads of France.
This entry was posted on March 19th, 2018.
- Orange Police Court fines Finnish national, Carl Augustus Garson, 10/ for failing to obtain an alien’s certificate of registration, as stipulated under the War Precautions Regulation. Another Alien Fined
This entry was posted on March 18th, 2018.
- Allied air reconnaissance on the Western Front reports new German supply roads with heavy motorised traffic and horse-drawn transport in the vicinity of St Quentin. Unbeknown to the Allies, the German army is preparing to launch their Spring Offensive.
- German forces capture Nikolayev in Southern Russia
This entry was posted on March 17th, 2018.
- Old schoolfriends Trevor Gerald Livingstone Flynn and John Francis Barry return to Orange on final leave before embarking for overseas service. On Final Leave
This entry was posted on March 16th, 2018.
- Day 1325 of the war
- Newly-elected mayor of Orange, William Ernest (Bill) Bouffler, convenes a public meeting to discuss arrangements for the impending visit of the Governor General, Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, and Lady Helen to Orange
This entry was posted on March 15th, 2018.
An Austro-Hungarian officer from the Odessa port command welcoming a German U-boat in Odessa Harbour, 1918. Image courtesy Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 112601).
- German troops occupy the port of Odessa on the Black Sea
This entry was posted on March 14th, 2018.
This entry was posted on March 13th, 2018.
The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow during WWI, German official photographer. Image courtesy Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 86905).
- The Bolshevik government of Vladimir Lenin moves the Russian capital from Petrograd to Moscow. Moscow is located further away from the German presence and is therefore more defensible.
This entry was posted on March 12th, 2018.
- Australian war casualties now number 230,798. This figure includes 43,157 dead, 115,841 wounded, 808 missing and 3,011 prisoners of war
- The Leader reports that “horses are prone to the very human weakness of malingering and shamming illness” to avoid service on the front line. Wiles of War-Shy Horses
- George Smith, a labourer from Springside, writes a letter of thanks to the Orange Christmas Comforts Fund. Xmas Parcels
This entry was posted on March 11th, 2018.
This entry was posted on March 10th, 2018.