Moving On

In this war we’re always moving,
Moving on;
When we make a friend another friend has gone;
Should a woman’s kindly face
Make us welcome for a space,
Then it’s boot and saddle, boys, we’re
Moving on.
In the hospitals they’re moving,
Moving on;
They’re here today, tomorrow they are gone;
When the bravest and the best
Of the boys you know “go west”,
Then you’re choking down your tears and
Moving on.

‘Banjo’ Paterson

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‘Banjo’ Paterson

Banjo Paterson 1935 John Longstaff Winner of the 1935 Archibald Prize

Banjo Paterson 1935
John Longstaff
Winner of the 1935 Archibald Prize


Andrew Barton Paterson was born at Narrambla homestead, near Orange on 17 February 1864. His parents, Andrew Bogle and Rose Isabella Paterson were graziers on Illalong station in the Yass district. The eldest of seven children, he was instructed during his early years by a governess, but once able to ride a pony Andrew attended the bush school at Binalong. In 1874 he went to Sydney Grammar School where in 1875 he shared the Junior Knox Prize with (Sir) George Rich, and matriculated aged 16. Whilst at Sydney Grammar he lived at Gladesville with his widowed grandmother, poet Emily Barton, who fostered his love of literature. (more…)

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Time out in Egypt

Banjo Paterson, captain with the 2nd Remount Unit in Egypt, organised morale boosting activities for the men of the Australian Light Horse.  In a letter to his publisher, George Robertson, he explained:

I got the idea of giving a rough-riding display in public.  We won five out of seven events open to all troops in Egypt at a show the other day.  In the wrestling on horseback, one of my Queenslanders, a big half-caste named Ned Kelly, pulled the English Tommies off their horses like picking apples off a tree.  You say what does this do towards winning the war?  Well, it shows that we are up in our work and are doing it and it is not too easy.  At the present moment I have two men with broken legs, one with a fractured shoulder blade, two with badly crushed ankles, and about seven others more or less disabled.  I have never had to tell a man twice to get on a horse, no matter how hostile the animal appeared; in fact, they dearly like to do a bit of ‘grandstand’ work even though they risk their necks by it.

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