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  • The Leader reports that boys born in 1903 need to register for universal service. Universal Military Training
  • The Commonwealth Government passes the daylight savings bill. Clocks will be put forward one hour from October to March for the duration of the war plus six months. Daylight Saving
  • The British government forms the new Ministries of Food, Pensions and Shipping
  • British troops consolidate their positions south of Kut-al-Amara in Mesopotamia
  • The Leader publishes the poem Si-eeta by Dryblower (Edwin Greenslade Murphy)

“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—

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—

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—

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—

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—

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—