The Aboriginal Soldier

A poem by Sandra Gaal Hayman, Mount Annan, NSW.

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Sold! Show me how No, thank you

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!

Read another one?

Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, The Aboriginal Soldier, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/poems/the-aboriginal-soldier>, retrieved 21 April 2024

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

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