The Young Aussie Diggers

by Morrison Lakey April 2014

The young Aussie boy
No more than seventeen
Split up into groups of six
Of blokes he’d never seen

One said “How’s it going mate
You seem a bit too young!
You don’t look that much older
Than a man of 21!”

He then said, “Pleased to meet you, I’m Martsson
But you can call me ‘Mart’
Just as they had started talking
The boat was to depart

Weeks and weeks at sea
Through the thickened mist
Land at last was sighted
An urge they couldn’t resist

Each and every soldier
Shouldered their loaded gun
“Remember the rules” The commander shouted
“One for all, and all for one!”

The Young Aussie Diggers
Stepped out onto the beach
And before they could even turn around
The boat was out of reach

As it sailed off into the distance
The men began to march
The fog now in their faces
The fog as white as starch

The eerie silence followed
See or hear, they could not
They took their battle stations
Then came the first gunshot

Suddenly, the air exploded
Men dropping left and right
“Damn those bloody Turks” Mart said
“They’re putting up a fight”

“I’ll cover ya to that trench” He said
“You’d better run like hell!
Little did Mart know
The front line had already fell

It was then he saw the battlefield
The boy of seventeen
His comrades dropping, one by one
Their demise all but clean

The sand turned red
The sand stained with blood
The tides, ever-rising
The beach began to flood

The bodies of the defeated
Of those who couldn’t flee
The raging tides behind them
Pulling them out to sea

His blood froze in an instant
His veins as cold as ice
This wasn’t about the kill count
This was about sacrifice

The ground beneath exploded
And as the sand subsided
He saw Mart’s tattered figure,
His fate none but decided

Sprinting across the sand
Through the leaded rain
A bullet hit his shoulder
A shoulder now in pain

Once he’d made it to Mart
The man, waiting to die
Mart spoke his final words
The boy began to cry

The skies above were raging
The boy gripping his injured limb
The heavens split right open
And cried along with him

Those years have long passed
He lived day by day
His skin turned to wrinkles
His hair now of grey

At the grave of Martsson Williams
For that was his name
This man forever remembered
Deserving of his fame

The polished marble headstone
This alone, marked the life
Of a 31 year old man
Who made the ultimate sacrifice

The ‘boy’ of 93
Now grey and old
His tattered army jacket
His only shield from the cold

He let out his tears
And stared at the ground
Mart’s grave was empty, he knew
His body, never found

He remembered Mart’s last words
“Make the decision you won’t regret”
He put his hand to his heart, and whispered
“Lest We Forget”