I have posted often on this, as last year’s Anzac Day reposts: 1 shows. In 2015 I posted:
In my Neil’s Decades series you will find much that is relevant.
And going back to the South African War I should add:
….pictures of the people – all relatives – mentioned in those posts…
John Hampton Christison in South Africa; David Christison, his son, a sapper on the Western Front in WW1; Keith Christison, my uncle, WW2
Neil Christison, my uncle, RAAF WW2; Jeff Whitfield, my father, RAAF WW2
Norman Harold Whitfield MC and bar, German New Guinea, Gallipoli, Western Front – from Wollongong; Kenneth Ross Whitfield, my uncle, from Shellharbour
This is the final post in the poetry and music series memorialising my brother’s death.
D H Lawrence 1885-1930
Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.
With Anzac Day coming up I add this song. The lady herself appears near the end She turned 100 recently! A couple of years back I sent a copy to my brother, whose childhood was dominated by World War 2. Also unlike me his earliest memories were of Shellharbour and Wollongong.
He preferred the old songs…
Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson (1864-1941)
The Road to Old Man’s Town
The fields of youth are filled with flowers,
The wine of youth is strong:
What need have we to count the hours?
The summer days are long.
But soon we find to our dismay
That we are drifting down
The barren slopes that fall away
Towards the foothills grim and grey
That lead to Old Man’s Town.
And marching with us on the track
Full many friends we find:
We see them looking sadly back
For those that dropped behind.
But God forbid a fate so dread —
ALONE to travel down
The dreary road we all must tread,
With faltering steps and whitening head,
The road to Old Man’s Town!
My brother Ian, late 1930s or early 1940s