‚ÄčAustralians at War

They left their farms
Their factories Their families
The Empire had called
They needed help
Australia the true friend
Was always there

The colony took up arms
Assisting her Queen
First the Crimean
Then against the Boers
These distant wars
Weren't Australia's wars

1914 the Empire called again
Europe was at war
Under British leadership
They rushed the Galipolli peninsular
Only to be cut to ribbons
By well placed Turks

This was the great war
From 1914 until 1918
Across Europe and beyond
Lives were lost needlessly
They stopped Kaiser Bill
Making the World safe again

News from Europe in the '30's
Sent shock waves around the World
The Fuhrer had Germany mesmerized
They were going to take over
And rule the western world
In 1939 they entered Poland

Again Australia rallied
The men went to war
The women went to work
Taking their man's place
Keeping the country going
Their men defending freedom

The war moved to the Pacific
Japan gave America a black eye
Then turned towards Australia
Bombing the city of Darwin
Taking it's Asian neighbours
And many Pacific islands

Prime Minister John Curtin
Demanded our troops return
Their job is to save Australia
We need them more than you
New Guinea the line in the sand
Our diggers stopped them on Kokoda

In 45 the war was ending
Australia mourned their PM
Curtin died in July
Not allowed to enjoy
His greatest moment
Another victim of war

The war to end all wars
They called World War Two
The World will be united
Divided in half
Germany will never rise again
The future promised peace

A new kind of war evolved
More a war of words
It became known as the cold war
Each side insulted the other
Building respective arsenals
Daring the other to attack

Communism was spreading
Down the Korean Peninsular
A scared western World
Amassed their forces
Driving communism north
Past the 38th parallel

Uncomfortable peace for 10 years
Saw communism grown in Asia
Vietnam it lastest target
Rallying the west again
America threw money and troops
Australia conscripted an army

An ugly war ensued
Innocents killed or maimed
Defoliants killing jungles
Agent Orange sprayed everywhere
Changed soldiers forever
Driving some mad

Late '72 Whitlam said enough
Bringing the Diggers home
The first time returning troops
Weren't national heroes
Because of an unpopular war
They became villains

They haven't been in a real war
Since evacuating South Vietnam
A few minor scrapes
Assisting roles in the Middle East
Hopefully never again
Will we send thousands of troops

Anzac Day is their day
Each year the numbers thin
Old and young alike
Proudly march to the shrine
Playing two up in the pub
Representing those gone before

A minute of silence on the
11th hour of the 11th day and month
Honours diggers who didn't return
Their lives for our freedom
We should never forget
These men were braver than you