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30 April 1917

By April 30, 2017No Comments
  • Australian businessman, Albany Bell, describes his experience as a volunteer military secretary with the YMCA accompanying Australian troops on their voyage to the front. Baptism of Soup
  • April 1917 becomes known as Bloody April, due to the huge number of casualties sustained by the Royal Flying Corps at the hands of the German Luftstreitkr√§fte during the Battle of Arras. 275 British aircraft are lost; 400 casualties are sustained, including 207 deaths, a casualty rate nearly four times that of Germany.
  • German U-boats sink a total 430 Allied and neutral merchant ships during the month of April
  • Lieutenant General Frederick Stanley Maude defeats the 13th Turkish Corps at Shatt-el-Adhaim and Kifri in Mesopotamia
  • Turkish forces occupy Mush in Armenia
  • The Leader publishes a tribute to Australian soldiers written by Miss Campbell, a signaller from Durban, South Africa. In Praise of Anzacs

We stand on the shore of Durban,
And watch the transports go
To England, from Australia,
Hurrying to and fro.
Bearing the name of nation
Who are heroes to the core
To stand or fall by the Motherland,
And they’re sending thousands more.

We’ve watched the ships returning,
With the cripple and the maim,
With limbs that trail and falter
Theirs an immortal name!
The deathless name of ”Anzac,”
That thrills from pole to pole,
The remnants of the heroes
On the long and glorious roll.

And now, in their tens of thousands,
Come the men to fill their ranks;
And what can we do to show them
Our love, our pride, our thanks?
We can’t do much (I own it),
But give them a passing cheer
While the real elite beat a shocked retreat
Why, they saw one drinking beer!

O! God, could we show these misers
The path that the Anzacs went!
Could they rest in their beds at night-time
Or dine in their damned content?
Could they talk with a sneer of Australians
When one or two get drunk?
I’d rather a drunk Australian
Than a wealthy Durban funk.

He’s a better man than you are
You dear teatotal saint;
You do not drink – you do not fight!
What wonderful restraint!
We stand on the shore of Durban,
For we’re not all made like you,
And the glorious name of ”Anzac”
Thrills us thro’ and thro’.

But all we can do is to cheer them,
And throw them a trifle from shore;
We’re not millionaires (like some are),
Or perhaps we would try to do more.
They are coming in tens of thousands,
And here’s to their honour to-day
Here’s to the Sister Dominion,
Who is showing us the way.