Anzac Day in Australia

Norm and Renate
Norm with his beautiful bride, Renata

ANZAC: Australian & New Zealand Army Corps 1914 – 18.  Lest We Forget.

_____

I’d like to share a poem written by a friend of mine: Norman Ronald Casson.

Norm was a special man. He loved life. His nature was sweet, which echoed tales of fun and laughter. A ‘big’ man, he towered over me, and most.

Norm passed in 2011. He wrote many poems and always shared a joke or two.  We loved this man, and miss his smiling face. His eyes held such an honest gaze with an intelligence that belied his unassuming gait.

One of Norm’s most attractive qualities was the way in which he saw ordinary events in such great detail, both physically, and in that elusive quality of the ‘heart’, as is evidenced by his poetry. 

Here is one of his ANZAC remembrance poems:

(Listen while you read) 

The Vigil

I met an old digger on Anzac day and the

look in his eyes seemed so far away,

He’d marched before dawn and now out of breath,

had remembered his mates and their untimely death.

And he spoke of a war long before my time

where just to survive, you grew old while still in your prime

And he said….. Eleven of us volunteered from my home town,

there wasn’t even enough uniforms to go all around.

 

And a sergeant thought he’d get a country boy fit

with latrine duty, digging the pit.

Then herded onto boats and Dardanelles bound

to fight Johnny Turk upon his home ground.

Three days at Pozieres almost drove us insane,

the German big guns, the shells fell like rain.

 

And the mud at the Somme could bog a man down

with a ninety pound backpack, you’d easily drown.

The devil must have taken note, as we sprang from the trench

and charged head long for the barbed wire fence.

The orchestra of gun fire played all the time,

sleep was a luxury so hard to find.

 

Then Armistice Day, I stood all alone,

ten of my mates would never go home.

So I’ve marched each year down to the square;

stood at attention at the stone monument there.

But I can put faces to those names graved in stone

and at least, in my memory, I can bring my mates home.

Poem © Norman Ronald Casson

_______

© Carolyn Page

20 thoughts on “Anzac Day in Australia

    1. Thank You, David. A solemn day for Australians and New Zealanders, particularly those who have, and continue to lose loved ones in, and because of battle.
      Norm always knew ‘what to say’. A sincere man who enriched my life, and continues to do so.

  1. A wonderful tribute, all the more powerful for his own service. Very personal, intimate, and, as you say, shows a loving heart…. Nice to see in a man at all, much less one who survived war…. A testament to his spirit…

    gigoid

    1. Yes, Ned, he was indeed a loving heart. A true-blue Aussie, honest and sincere. It’s a little over 4 years since he left us, and we miss him still. Some people leave indelible marks…

    1. Thank You, Catherine, that’s lovely of you to say.
      I have truly respected this man for his open and honest character. I’m still very moved by his presence in my life, and miss him still. Whenever we met (generally at dance socials) I always knew I would have a wonderful conversation ranging from laughs, to sincere and profound truths. I am so pleased you feel I did his poem justice.

  2. A touching poem &tribute! Thank you, Carolyn! I must say, you recited it well, truly! Sigh!A cheer and ball of love out to Norman Ronald Casson. ♡♡

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