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Albert John Oswald (Jack) Parslow c1916. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

  • Day 990 of the war
  • Cudal farmer, Albert John Oswald Parslow, dies of wounds in France
  • The Leader reports that the parents of Ernest Lachlan Powter have just been informed of their son’s death which occurred last November, indicating “there is something evidently radically wrong with the records office, when a delay of five months is incurred between the death of a soldier, and the time the news is forwarded to his relatives.” Ernest is the youngest known recruit from Orange to enlist in WWI. Personal
  • British troops on the Western Front capture the village of Gouzeaucourt and the neighbouring wood
  • British forces in Mesopotamia drive Turkish soldiers from the town of Seraijik
  • The Leader publishes Thomas the Rhymer’s satirical poem, The Anzacs Were First In Bapaume

We struggle and squabble, by faction obsessed, and air multifarious views
On the War-Winning ways (at the poll) that are best, and the merits of Tudor and Hughes.
We’re hotter in conflict than ever before, wild conflict of tongue and of throat;
Cabals beyond number and juntas galore dictate to us how we should vote.
Election turmoil and political broil claim all our attention at home.
What a satire it is on our pitiful brawl and the wordy defiances demagogues bawl
”The Anzacs were first in Bapaume!’

We fight like the devil in sections and wings, in Leagues and in “National Feds.;”
Each morning some brand-new sodality brings with its parcel of eminent “heads.”
They wrangle and battle and spar and “confer,” and candidates damn or commend,
And tell us the foe of this many a year, now he’s ‘verted, must rank as a friend.
In the laborite camp there is ruction and ramp and schism and chaos and foam.
They’re clearing the decks for a heresy hunt in riven Australia. And there, at the front
“The Anzacs were first in Bapaume.’

They jabber for jobs, our political troops, while the others swing stern to their deaths.
Are we Winning the War with our partisan whoops, our tickets, our damned shibboleths?
In flatulent faction, we simmer and seethe, with puerile passions we burn.
While theirs are the laurels that victories wreathe, the palm that achievements shall earn,
Did their thoughts travel back from the battlefield’s wrack, their fancies distractedly roam,
Do you think, from their work, to the pitiful fray of the Ins and Outs in Australia today
When the Anzacs swung into Bapaume?

Will you make of them heroes, these strategists fine, these talkative, tactical souls,
All out – while the others are carrying the line to carry the land – at the polls?
Will you cheer, till you’re hoarse, while the deeds in the field set Englishmen’s pulses astir,
The gentry whose tongues are most likely to yield their owners six hundred a year?
Will your blood grow as hot o’er babble and plot, political catchword or gnome,
Platitudinous platforms and ward bosses’ ‘rings’ as the sentence like this – with the message it brings
“The Anzacs were first in Bapaume?”

They charged through the carnage or crouch in the trench, while far from the shell and the shot
Our bones of contention’s a Treasury Bench; we’re fighting like fiends – and for what?
For Victory? Say, will it win them a mile, the pick of our muscles and thews.
It ostracised Laborites finish in style or Bendigo’s captured by Hughes?
While we wallow in faction and sputter our spite, reinforcements as surely decline;
Not the men who can talk, but the men who can fight will cleave us a way on the Rhine.
We gibber, they act. With facetiousness racked; we rangle and jangle at home.
Breast-forward they go, with one soul and one aim, and theirs is the honor as ours is the shame.
Who bothered about the political game
While the Anzacs were taking Bapaume?