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We'll find the reason for Pozières

Gassed Australian soldiers waiting for medical help
(Picture made at the Somme front)

By Rob Ruggenberg

There are not many Australian poems on the Great War. Oscar Walters was one the few Aussie poets and Pozières and Passchendaele is one of his better poems.

Pozières lies in Northern France, near the Somme. Passchendaele lies in Belgium, near Ypres.

The ANZAC's fought - and lost many men - on both fronts.

In the taking and holding of the small village of Pozieres in July and August 1916 over 22,000 Australian soldiers were lost.


Pozières and Passchendaele


A hot sun hung in a brazen sky,
And the fields we trampled were brown and bare,
And our throats, you remember, were parched and dry
When you got your issue at Pozières

But earth and sky were a sodden mess.
And the mud was churned 'neath a leaden hail;
And we lay in a muddle of filthiness
When I collected at Passchendaele.

Summer and Winter, the seasons pass.
Spring and Autumn, they come and go.
Skies of lead turn to skies of brass,
And where are the Diggers we used to know?

Faster and faster with each swift year
The Diggers go on their last lone trial,
Since you got your issue at Pozières,
And I collected at Passchendaele.

And it may be near, or it may be far,
And it may be a season of sun, or rain,
When we say farewell to the things that are,
With a hope that it has not been all in vain.

And it may be that everything will be clear
When we meet the Diggers beyond the veil.
And we'll find the reason for Pozières
And we'll know the purpose of Passchendaele.

Oscar Walters (taken from the book Carry On - The Traditions of the AIF, published in Perth, 1940)


  Another typical Australian war poem: Christmas Day on the Somme, by Leslie George Rub.

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