Thursday, October 04, 2012


The Battle Of Fromelles JG Ridley

19th-20th July 1916 where the 5th Australian Division and the 61st British Division lost over 7000 troops in 12 hours of fighting.


Before me in the silence

I see that fateful day

And hear the distant tumult

far echoes from the fray;

I see the battered trenches,

They bayonets and the shells,

And once again I’m fighting

In the battle of Fromelles


The whistle called to action

A fighting force untried;

And men from peaceful pastures

Plunged in the blood red tide.

Over the broken breastworks,

Under a hail of shells,

Into the jaws of fury,

Charged the heroes of Fromelles


Forward they went for honour,

Forward they raced for right,

Fighting their maiden battle

All through the angry night.

Man after man went under;

Food for the hungry shells,

Falling to further freedom,

On the field of far Fromelles.


The sun rise in the morning

Greeted a ghostly sight;

Thousands of mangled bodies

Bathed in the tender light.

This with the wail of wounded,

The stench of blood and shells,

Made rich the war gods harvest,

On the field of sad Fromelles.


What of the silent victims;

The men who never returned

To love ones in the homeland

Who waited, prayed and yearned?

Surely their solemn message

The voice of the bugle swells

To draw the tears of sorrow

For the fallen of Fromelles.


Men of the old battalion,

Comrades who saw and heard;

This was the birth of bloodshed

For the famous Fifty-Third.

Hard were the days that followed;

Such as our history tells,

But not a strenuous conflict

Than the battle of Fromelles.



Now as the vision fadeth,

We see through the years we go,

What is our preparation

to meet the final foe?

Death has no fair exemption,

Fierce are its fatal shells:

Christ is the Concrete Shelter

For the veterans of Fromelles.


-July 16-17 1929, John G Ridley late of the 53rd Battalion 5th AIF

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Hit Counter