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A fog as thick as thieves rolled in , covering all that was there
the sodden ground was cloaked with a miasma of despair.
The reek of blood, the stench of mud, and of cordite and shot
permeated the damp darkness, to every muddied spot.
The bombardment kept up all night, it highlighted the wire.
Grotesque caricatures of men were backlit by the fire.
Some moved, some cried, others were still - around them battle raged
though as the mist got thicker yet, no war gods were assuaged.
Men crept out, under cover, hidden by the swirling mist
to stealthily retrieve the wounded, give aid and assist
them back behind their own lines. They also retrieved the dead.
Cut them from the wires ...no prayers for them were ever said.
A call rang out, a ragged voice in pain pleading for aid.
A man cried for his Mother, somewhere another voice prayed.
And volunteers with stretchers lifted wounded from the ground
and doubled back towards their trenches with barely a sound.
"Please don't forget me cobber" came a whisper from nearby
and a soldier slithered into view , bad cut about his eye.
A useless leg was shattered, he said, resigned to fate
"I'm OK boys but won't you please do something for me mate."
His mate was badly wounded, and hope was looking dim,
two burly blokes lifted him up onto the canvas thin
and stretchered him off at a jog, heading back to the lines.
Whilst Simon and another crouched in a shell-holes confines.
"We won't forget you cobber - hold on now, we'll get you back"
for still the lines where these men worked were under fierce attack.
Doubtless the German soldiers were firing into the dark
but every now and then a random shot still hit its mark.
These blokes saved many lives that night - two hundred plus I heard.
And from the generals at the top no voice of thanks was heard,
not that it was expected - they just did what must be done.
Long gone the expectation that 'A war might just be fun'.
They'd left Australia's golden shores one warm November day.
One bloke, an Aussie farmer came from down Byaduk way.
They buried him at Bullecourt - he never made it home
and Simon Fraser's spirit 'cross Fromelle's fields does still roam.
A statue stands where once was the German defensive line.
An Aussie soldier carrying a mate. His courage shines.
Dedicated to those blokes who served and saved ..."I've got ya"
It stands as testimony - "We won't forget you cobber".
http://www.shrine.org.au/Exhibitions/Th ... on/Cobbers
see some scribbles here - http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/