Gaps In The Ranks

Another ANZAC Day is here,
Another milestone passed;
A few more gaps in the ranks -
A few more than the last.
Time’s thinning down the old boys -
Time that keeps marching on;
It seems but yesterday, when, as lads,
They battled on the Somme.
But there’s a gleam in those old eyes -
And still their step is proud;
The old Dig’s on parade again -
While passing through the crowd.
His medals and his colours -
Proudly showing on his chest -
Show the places where he fought,
And where he did his best.
As the Cenotaph he passes,
He’s thinking of his mates -
And of our gallant sailor boys,
And blokes who flew old crates.
Before his mind there passes
Flanders’ mud and Egypt’s sand -
And the everlasting memory
Of the Rose of No-man’s land.
Once again he’s at Gallipoli,
And wading for the shore,
Where he won the title ‘ANZAC’
That will live for evermore.
And he’s proud of all the young blokes,
Who fought in World War Two;
They did the things all over
That the Old Digs used to do.
And they’re marching right behind him,
As they step up with their band;
They proved themselves at Tobruk -
Up in Libyan sand.
When on leave they saw Beersheba
And Jerusalem in the hills;
And they saw Old Dig’s initials
On the wall at Tiger Lil’s.
And they milled round the Wassa;
It must have been a sight
When they tossed the old pianna
In the middle of a fight.
But the march is over,
And the service has begun;
The man of God sends up a prayer
For every fallen son.
They sing Onward Christian Soldiers,
And Nearer My God to Thee;
And we realise the sacrifice
They made for you and me.
The crowd breaks up and go their way;
Some stay to chat with friends;
It’s pounds to nuts Old Dig heads for
The place the elbow bends.
And will he let his head go !
Why strike me pink.....hooray !
He’s the proudest man who walks this earth
For today is ANZAC Day.

Les Keeble