Soldiering in the 51st
Born on the sands of Egypt, christened with rum, then issued 303s
Your sacred Cloths now stitched with proud deeds for all to see
And as you guard the Colours neath sun and bright stars
The ghosts of the 51st are watching from afar
As a troubled world reaches out for tomorrow
Changes to our way of life will surely follow
Respect, pride, and other social values may erode and alter
Be on your guard; your military standards must never, never falter
Thus, proud tales will still be told with great ado
Mid campfires, corroborees and deep echoes of didgeridoos
Of duty by the 51st to nation, in peace and war
And among the Regiment’s clear footprints, will be yours
The ghosts of 51 linger each morn, to hear the bugle sound
To watch with pride, as you go to seek and master new ground
Go now, with powerful strides into a new page of history
Shoulder to shoulder, and resolute, whatever the unknown may be
From the oldest to the youngest in the column, each and every day
Be you in the field, barracks, office and factory, or at play
I will wager “London to a brick” and with confidence say
“Often, will be your proud past whispering; “Ducit amor patriae”**
By George Mansford
**My love of country leads me
The 51st in the Space Age
In early 1916, the 51st Battalion, AIF was raised in Egypt.
Its original members being Gallipoli veterans and recent reinforcements from Australia.
Today, it is an integrated unit comprising ARA and reservists with the role of conducting reconnaissance and surveillance within the vast isolation of far-north Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands.
The proud history of this unit is readily available from the Internet.
Clearly, the nature and composition of this unit today is yet another example of using reservists with regular-army support to maximum effect on varying security tasks within their own respective regions.
After all, it’s a big country with limited military resources, and besides, it provides a challenging sense of purpose for young warriors, which they and their leaders readily seek.
Australian Army soldier Private Clayton Baird from 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, ready for a vehicle-mounted patrol during a training exercise in the Townsville Field Training Area. Photo by Major Al Green.