The Aboriginal Soldier
A poem by Sandra Gaal Hayman, Mount Annan, NSW.
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He said goodbye to family Sailing aboard a ship to hell His mates were in the trenches With the mud, the blood, the smell. Like many who were with him Small towns from where they came To give themselves for freedom For their country here no shame. They stood side by side as equals Regardless of their skin United they were brothers As Fritz fire kept them in. Sgt Smith got wounded Bandaged, and as he turned away Machine gun fired and hit him hard And took his life that day. His Mother received a letter To say he won't return They sent home all that Smithy had Only then she learned: Not her sons belongings A different soldier boy The sadness heavy in her heart For another's pride and joy. His brother then decided To face this bloody war Fight for King and Country And all that it stood for. Before he had to board that ship War's final days they came Boys returned to their small towns Though their lives were not the same. We will remember all of them Courageous brave and strong A land so far away from home Where none of them belong. In their hearts and spirit Dreamtime be The Aboriginal soldier Who gave all for you and me.
"My grandfather and great-uncle enlisted in WW1," says Sandra. "My great-uncle Sgt Smith fought in Gallipoli and was killed in France. This poem is based on his actual war records and correspondence to the family."
Thank you, Sandra, for sending in your poem and sharing your family's history!