Chubby was a Pusser, I’d known for many years

We’d catch up every Anzac Day and down too many beers

Our stories became embellished as the day wore on

With risque’ jokes, footie chants and the odd smutty song


Afternoon was culture time, at “Rockers” or “The Bells”

We all knew how to behave or end up in the cells

They had a special raffle, I wasn’t game to look

Don’t know what the first prize was, but it wasn’t a bloody chook


The Reaper would soon show its’ hand, it was rarely out of sight

The Melbourne sliced his ship in two, late one summer’s night

Eighty-two men perished, their cries would never cease

In “Davey Jones’ Locker”, they rest in eternal peace


A great post war disaster, of that there’s little doubt

He floated in the oily sludge, ‘til a whaler fished him out

They gave him one week’s shore leave and to the Navy’s shame

They drafted him to the Vampire, same ship, different name


Next up was the Hobart with trips to the Far East

Six months off Vietnam, the “Green Ghost” became a beast

They thought the aircraft friendly and no one seemed to fuss

‘Til someone near the bridge exclaimed. “Hey!  It’s coming  after us!”


Three missiles struck the DDG and two brave men were lost

Who’d have known that ‘friendly fire’, would come at such a cost

He thought about his family and his time upon the foam

In all the years that he had served, he’d hardly been at home


It was time to take his discharge, time to settle down

And swap the action of a warship for a nice quiet country town

But the Reaper was there to haunt him and he knew he’d never be free

With all the nightmares of his past, depression and PTSD.


We lost poor Chubby late last week, but I pray that he’ll be back

And we’ll both catch up in the afterlife, somewhere down the track

With all the perils he had faced, in the years he’d been my friend

It was the cancer from asbestos, that got him in the end.


Based on a true story


By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton
7 October 2020


IMAGE: A service to commemorate the sinking of HMAS Vampire (I), which was lost in action on 9 April 1942, at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. Original photo by Leading Seaman Bonny Gassner, stylised by CONTACT.










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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

2 thoughts on “CHUBBY

  • 28/12/2020 at 9:39 am

    Vampire was not sunk. It was Voyager.

    • 28/12/2020 at 11:26 am

      Sorry for any confusion Mick – the service was for HMAS Vampire (I), which was lost in action on 9 April 1942 (caption now amended to reflect).
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor


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