Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems




From the George Bateman Collection, copiled by Howard Rose.

About these poems

These poems were collected by George Bateman in battle situations from North Africa to Kokoda. Georgie and several of his mates enlisted in Bingara , Northern NSW, in 1940. They found themselves in the newly created 2 /1st Pioneer Battalion.

They were given some basic training at Greta and Dubbo, then shipped to Palestine. The Troopers were not made welcome in Palestine.  A well worded poem put a better perspective on the conditions, written by E.R. Saunders.                                                                   

On his return, Georgie talked about the War, only briefly. His recollections on Palestine were also echoed by  his mates, who really hated them, as they stole everything that they could, Georgie once said that the “wogs” could “pinch” their ground sheets whilst they slept on them.

I have enjoyed rewriting these poems, as I began my life in the War Years and came involved with many who were lucky enough to return. I treated most of the “returned men” with the respect that they deserved and now by recalling their lives, I feel even closer to these gallant men that were once only “boys” on the Battlefronts.

In Ron Irlam’s book, “Bushmen Soldiers At War”, the names of many Bingara men and women enlisted  in the three services. Some families were represented by five members, my family was one. My uncle, Vincent John McTaggart, was killed in Singapore, leaving a wife and three children.

We talk of sacrifice but we who have been lucky enough to grow up without the threat of war, still would not understand. It has been my wish that these poems be printed in book form to give to our school students.            Howard Rose, Bingara.

The Rose Family of Bingara.                                                                                                                                            The Rose Family settled in Bingara , not long after Cunningham  discovered the area in 1827. About 1841, members of the Old Family obtained a grant of land where the Hospital now stands. They remained there until 1886, when the Campbell Bridge was built. They moved north along the Gwydir , firstly to the Three Mile, where “Rosehill” was built. The first Rose went off to battle in the Boer War from here. Jim Rose went to the 1st War, also from Rosehill .


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