Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems




From the George Bateman Collection, copiled by Howard Rose.


by Sgt. E Gilbert & N Lansberg 2/1st Pioneers


On the sixth of April, forty one. at Derna, by the sea,

I gazed across the ocean, with thoughts so dear to me,

I thought of those at home and friends I left behind,

But thoughts of a quick retreat from here, had never crossed my mind,

I still recall that fateful day, when my brain almost snapped,

To think that it had started,

The Benghazi Handicap.


Across the pass, for miles and miles our transport held their way,

I've never seen as much before, in any single day,

"Tommies", Aussies, Boys in Blue, and even Wogs as well,

All came in a panic stricken state, their fateful tale to tell,

Jerry's coming down this way so fast to have a crack

At all the runners in 

The Benghazi Handicap


For two whole days, this rabble came and went in headlong flight,

They never even stopped to eat as they travelled through the night,

And Jerry's planes machine gunned them and gave them merry hell,

Of burnt out trucks along the road, this tale could better tell

But who cares if things like this occurred or some other fellow crashed,

Each man thought of himself in,

The Benghazi Handicap.


To our quarters we had stayed, till this mad rush had passed,

We then received the order, we were to move at last,

To our trucks, our company moved, all filled, all filled with great dismay,

Then imagine our surprise when we went the other way,

Right back into Jerry's path, we didn't give a rap,

We knew we were no longer starters in

The Benghazi Handicap.


And now we were safely at  our posts and prepared to make a stand,

And fight for the liberty, that offers in our land,

We've consolidated here at last, and brought him to a halt,

In Aussie pubs this tale I'll tell, as it cannot be surpassed,

For in the Benghazi Handicap

The Pioneers were last.


And when this war is over, and Victory has been won,

And we are crowned with Glory and our praises are being sung,

We'll go about our daily chores, in a bright and cheerful way,

With ne'er a thought, to mar our joy of that eventful day,

And when the sun is sinking, and the day has nearly lapsed,

Out thoughts will always wonder to

The Benghazi Handicap.


On my return to our bright shores, and I take myself a wife,

I'll tell her tales of war scarred years, that came into my life,

I'll tell her tales of Lybia and how it appealed to me,

And all my adventures in spots across the sea,

When my children ask me questions, their heads I'll gently pat,

And again I'll tell my story of

The Benghazi Handicap.



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