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Anzac Cove

Anzac Cove

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

They spent the night on the Prince of Wales

Not one of them slept a wink,

Packed like herrings against the rails

It was hard to even think,

They scribbled their final letters to

The folk that they loved back home,

Then briefly thought of the western plains

And the lives that they once had known.


They’d never fought in a foreign war

They’d never been far from home,

But were part of the greatest Empire

That the world had seen, since Rome,

They would stay to fight in the fields of France

In the shattering burst of shells,

But first were sent from the Pyramids

To the straits of the Dardanelles.


There were miners from Coolgardie

There were farmhand boys galore,

Ready to fix their bayonets

As they closed on the Turkish shore,

The boats were lowered at two o’clock

With the Moon behind a cloud,

And then the pinnaces towed them in,

For some it would mean a shroud.


It was said that they’d land at Gaba Tepe

But they couldn’t afford a flare,

The current drifted them further north

So they landed at Sari Bair.

A line of Turks took to their heels

When they saw their bayonets,

But they surged across the beach to find

They were blocked by a line of cliffs.


They cursed and they clawed their way up these,

They were stranded in ravines,

The Turks were firing down on them

From the heights that they hadn’t seen,

The second wave got the worst of it

As the boats came in a glut,

The beach was strafed with an enfilade

And they died, still standing up.


They saw their mates from the Groper state

Drop dead without a cry,

Face down, out in the harbour with

Their harness, floating wide,

A Digger would curse that he’d lost his hat

Would sit and peer about,

Then blood would gush from his forehead

And you’d know that his lights were out.


You couldn’t be still for a moment there

You had to move on ahead,

The snipers up on the heights would

Take a sight, and you were dead.

They pushed on up and they took some out

And the view was better there,

They knew they needed to take the heights

Of the hill called Chunuk Bair.


The maps that they had were out of sync

And the scrub was six feet high,

They’d stumble blindly over a ridge

To drop where the bullets fly,

The reinforcements, down on the beach

Were still pinned down to a man,

With half the company out of reach

Or filling their mouths with sand.


They never made it to Chunuk Bair

The party was forced back down,

Back on the beach the sea was red

In a fifty yard surround,

The ships were shelling, and overhead

There was shrapnel, flying free,

Most of the officers were dead

And the rest were out at sea.


There’s blood on the sides of Chunuk Bair

There’s blood in the hills and plains,

And the bleached white bones of Australian sons

Are revealed in the winter rains,

A nation blooded a world away

From its acres of golden wheat,

Where its people stop on an April day

And they bow their heads in the street.


Their losses, they were horrendous

And the Turks lost even more,

Eight thousand diggers had lost their lives

And you may well ask, what for?

They left the beach in December

In the night, just as they came,

And Rosemary grows on the Turkish shore

That engraved the Anzac name!


David Lewis Paget

© 2013 David Lewis Paget

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Featured Review


Amazing poem keep up the great work i can't wait to read more

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Not much into wars or battles but FAB piece nonetheless. I felt as if I were there in that war or battle with them as they tried to beat the other side.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The tragedy of war... A great read as usual!

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Incredibly educational and entertaining as well.
I continue to learn at least one new thing each
time I read one of your poems. Thank you very
much. Your Fan, Claire

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You write so well, David. I am impressed :)

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

As with your other writes...
this speaks measure...
the history in the plot lines...
and how the story unravels...
I do like when you put them in narrative voice...
I can follow along the lines and get the full impact...

Posted 9 Years Ago

Wonderful tribute to brave lads who died needlessly. History can be so sad and yet when will we learn? Thanks for writing this. Their descendents don't want these boys forgotten.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like it great rhythm and rhyming and entertaining as well

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yet another brilliant tale.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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28 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on May 21, 2013
Last Updated on May 21, 2013
Tags: Dardanelles, Turks, Australians, Diggers


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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