Leaving Anzac

A few years ago The Golfer and I were regular visitors to a local Folk Club – one Tuesday evening back in 2011 the special guest artist was Martyn Wyndham-Read …which I blogged about here.

Anyway during that evening he sang a very poignant song 
One adapted from a poem written in 1916 
about the thoughts Australian Soldiers (Diggers) 
may have had about leaving their fallen mates at Gallipoli (in Turkey)

Today, Monday is April 25th 2022 – Anzac Day


One of my maternal ancestors served at Gallipoli
unfortunately he, plus his Doyle and Muir cousins never made it home

James Bannister

This is my tribute to all those who served and never returned

And this is the poem – written by Cicely Fox Smith in 1916

Farewell to Anzac

Oh, hump your swag and leave, lads, the ships are in the bay —
We’ve got our marching orders now, it’s time to come away —
And a long good-bye to Anzac Beach — where blood has flowed in vain
For we’re leaving it, leaving it, game to fight again!

But some there are will never quit this bleak and bloody shore —
And some that marched and fought with us will fight and march no more;
Their blood has bought till Judgment Day the slopes they stormed so well,
And we’re leaving them, leaving them, sleeping where they fell. 

(Leaving them, leaving them — the bravest and the best —
leaving them, leaving them, and maybe glad to rest!
We’ve done our best with yesterday, to-morrow’s still our own —
But we’re leaving them, leaving them, sleeping all alone!)

Ay, they are gone beyond it all, the praising and the blame,
And many a man may win renown, but none more fair a fame;
They showed the world Australia’s lads knew well the way to die;
And we’re leaving them, leaving them, quiet where they lie.

(Leaving them, leaving them, sleeping where they died;
Leaving them, leaving them, in their glory and their pride —
Round them sea and barren land, over them the sky,
Oh, We’re leaving them, leaving them, quiet where they lie!)


Cicely Fox Smith (pronounced “sigh-sli” as in precisely) 1882 – 1954

Linking to Denyse’s new fortnightly on a Monday feature ~ Life’s Stories

29 Replies to “Leaving Anzac”

  1. Hari OM
    OH, Cathy, I have heard this before but long ago (can it really be 11 years since I departed the shores of OZ??!) Thank you for this heart-rending song/poem both for its key purpose and also for the pulling at the heart of this expatriate! YAM xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hari OM
        A very good question, Cathy… and not just as straightforward to answer as I would like it to be. But I appreciate your asking it. A query that is ever in front of my thoughts for the next couple of years… YAM xx

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh how right you are Joanne- the war to end all wars was not very nice at all. And then war turned up again and again and again


  2. A truly beautiful tribute. Sadly I slept in this morning and missed any live coverage of the Dawn Service, Will catch up on a bit of housework and then watch all the ANZAC shows

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully you did manage to catch some of the Melbourne march. A very big turn out this year after the break because of ‘you know what’


    1. Caroline- It is a slightly different take on life in the trenches and the effect it had on those who were there. I like the haunting melody and the sadness of the words


  3. They truly were so much braver than we are
    Today is so emotional for so many
    I hope and pray they have all found peace in the otherworld
    Lest we forget

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The song struck a nerve that first time I heard it Debbie and that’s what gave me the desire to find a recording as well as the poem the song had been based on. Once heard never forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a very moving poem. I have an uncle who died fighting at MonteCasino and my cousin Jenny always sends me memories of him and how our grandmother mourned his death.
    I watched live services this year on YouTube, Dunedin and Cairns. Very emotional

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was one of the battles NZ troops were involved in…..we don’t want war right on our doorstep but it was so hard for families of ANZACs when their ‘children’ had gone so far away from home


  5. ANZAC Day has certainly had a resurgence in how its remembered and the importance of the efforts of those who gave so much for our country hasn’t it Cathy. I think it was in danger of disappearing, so it’s nice to see it still being a national day of remembrance each year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not actually in danger of disappearing but there were a few years here in Melbourne when the crowds (and those taking part in the march) were down in numbers. The RSL cautiously allowed descendants to march and that has swelled the numbers; also other countries are now joining in to remember their service personnel.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been telling Bob over and over, that war and peace and war and peace has been around since the beginning of time and will be until the world is gone or just go on forever. humans no matter the country they are in can not get along

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a lovely song, Cathy! Actually there are so many good songs about war – as with many other sad aspects of life. The ANZAC abbreviation was new to me and I didn’t know about ANZAC day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was a very special and poignant post to read, after ANZAC Day Cathy. I too am glad that we remember with reverence and appreciation all those who have gone before us to ensure we have the democracy we prize now. Thank you for sharing your blog post with the community at Denyse Whelan Blogs. The link up, each fortnight, called Life’s Stories, continues with bloggers such as you linking up and connecting! The next time to do so is Monday 9 May. Warmest wishes, Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

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