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20 October 1916

By October 20, 2016No Comments
  • The Leader reports that 2,000 people attended an anti-conscription address delivered last night by Labor member for Yass, Greg McGirr. The Referendum – Mr Greg McGirr In Orange
  • Keith McClymont of Stuart Town writes home from France, where he is “enjoying the delightful French climate, in the midst of beautiful green trees”. He says that French women “have gallantly thrown off the veil of inability, which most other women have contracted through long years of inactivity, and tilled the soil and provided the French nation with a glorious harvest”. The Women Of France And The Horses Of Australia
  • Edward Francis Fitzgerald describes how he was injured in The Battle of Pozieres. Orange Soldier At The Somme
  • Allied forces repulse enemy attacks on Schwaben and Stuff Redoubts on the coldest day to date in The Battle of The Somme, with temperatures ranging from -2.2 to 8.8 degrees Celsius
  • Francis David Roy White sends a poem to his mother at Mullion Creek describing The Battle of Romani in the Sinai Desert in August

Before the first red flush of dawn
Had stained the sandhills white,
And ere the stars began to pale
That glittered through the night;

Before, the first lone desert bird
His morning song had sung,
Behind the base of Royston’s Ridge
Ten thousand rifles rang.

And Royston brave as ever, stood,
Spoke out his firm command—
“Though every man should fall to-day,
We here must take our stand;”

And in the eyes of every man
There gleamed the battle light;
The wings of dawn unfolded
On a fierce and deadly fight.

The sun rose o’er the desert,
And shed his rays of gold
On scenes of death and bloodshed
And fighters fierce and bold.

And down the line of helios
The message flashed along—
“Turks attacking on our front.
Some fifty thousand strong.”

And oh they came, and fiercer, grew
The din of shot and shell
And side by side Australia’s pride
And Maorilanders fell.

The boys of fair New Zealand;
Our brothers, brave and true,
The men who fought beside us
In other battles, too,

And soon the field was spotted
With wounded men and dead,
While Maxim guns and Vickers
Poured forth a stream of lead.

Yet men fought on unmindful
Of weariness and thirst,
While shrapnel hissed around them.
And big shells screamed and burst.

There was no time for thinking
Of home and sweethearts then,
And new men fought, like Britons.
With old Gallipoli men.

And foremost in the battle
Where bombs and bullets sang,
Was good old Colonel Fuller
And Ned Kelly with his gang.

Through all that day the battle
Was raging at its height,
But still our line, unbroken,
Stood proudly out that night.

Though strong the Turks were charging,
From every ridge and track,
Our boys fought on like demons,
And drove their army back;

Across the field of bloodshed,
Where lay their many dead,
Exhausted, in disorder,
Their beaten army fled.

Aye, in that hard-fought battle,
Beneath a blazing sky.
There’s many a wreck this day has made
A name that will not die.

And now the battle’s over,
And victory has been won,
There’s many a mother’s heart will swell
With pride about her son.

But there is grief and sadness
For many hearts in store,
For those who fill the deathroll—
The lads who speak no more.

But now the note of victory
Is sounding far and wide,
So let us toast the heroes
Of that bold Southern side.

And, though my years be many,
I will remember still
The battle of Romani—
The fight round Royston’s Hill.