22 December 1916

“SI-EETA!”
“Si-eeta” (erroneously “Si-eeda”) is the greeting of returned soldiers.

They learned it from the Arab bands
Out on the hot Egyptian sands,
Where Mother Nile her flow expands
And harvests grow to greet her;
Our lads in khaki, long and lean—
The Men Who’ve Bled, the Men
Who’ve Been—
Caught it with hearing clear and keen—
“Si-eeta!”

Its meaning’s much, its letters few,
But with their warlike words it grew,
Men who have seen the waters blue,
Where preached the old, St. Peter.
They brought it back across the sea
To you and yours, to mine and me,
A watchword of the days to be—
“Si-eeta!”

It is the greeting of the brave
Who’ve fought beside the Aegean wave
Where thousands their existence gave
To Death, the great deletor;
And now the weak, unwarlike drones
Hear from the men with broken bones
Its soft, symphonic, alien tones—
“Si-eeta!”

But it is more than greeting glad
From mangled man to limping lad
It’s mem’ries of a parting sad
Where foeman fired the fleeter;
The parting from a rocky hill,
Where sang the shrapnel sharp and shrill,
Where many a comrade’s lying still—
“Si-eeta!”

They may not come back as they went,
Their eyes are blurred, their backs are bent,
Their clothes are ragged, soiled and rent,
Their boots may not be neater.
But in the city street to-day
The slinks who did not go away
Have not the privilege to say—
“Si-eeta!”

And in the distant days to come,
When there shall be no rolling drum,
When Europe’s cleansed of Wilhelm’s scum
And earth shall smell the sweeter.
When Peace has spread her godly grace
The future fathers of our race
Before their children’s eyes shall place—
“Si-eeta!”

Comments Off on 22 December 1916

21 December 1916

 

8th Australian Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron camp near El Arish, Sinai, 1916. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Comments Off on 21 December 1916

20 December 1916

Comments Off on 20 December 1916

19 December 1916

Comments Off on 19 December 1916

18 December 1916

Verdun war memorial, 2007. Image courtesy Wolfgang Staudt.

Verdun War Memorial, 2007. Image courtesy Wolfgang Staudt.

Comments Off on 18 December 1916

17 December 1916

General Max von Gallwitz. Image courtesy Album de la Grande Guerre No. 10, 1915

General Max von Gallwitz. Image courtesy Album de la Grande Guerre No. 10, 1915.

Comments Off on 17 December 1916

16 December 1916

General Cunliffe inspects a 3rd Battalion Nigeria Regiment Guard of Honour, Calabar, November 1916. Image courtesy Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 15594).

General Cunliffe inspects a 3rd Battalion Nigeria Regiment Guard of Honour, Calabar, November 1916. Image courtesy Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 15594).

Comments Off on 16 December 1916

15 December 1916

Comments Off on 15 December 1916

Last Post Ceremony

At 4.55 pm each day the Australian War Memorial hosts the Last Post Ceremony. Each ceremony commemorates a serviceman or woman from the Roll of Honour listing the names of more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war.

On Wednesday 14 December 2016 the Last Post Ceremony will commemorate Basil Nicholls from Millthorpe, who, on 22 April 1916, became the first person from the Orange district to die on the Western Front.

The Last Post Ceremony is broadcast live here at 4.55pm AEDT.

 

Comments Off on Last Post Ceremony

14 December 1916

German submarine SM UB-43 in port, 1915–16. Image courtesy U-boats of the Kaiser's Navy, 2002.

German submarine SM UB-43 in port, 1915–16. Image courtesy U-boats of the Kaiser’s Navy, 2002.

Comments Off on 14 December 1916