A Donkey’s Tale

I’m just a little donkey, standing four foot four
It was never my intention, to serve in the First World War
An army vet inspected me and checked my teeth and all
Then put me on a transport ship, I thought I’d have ball

At first it didn’t seem too bad, the rocky hills a curse
Before I joined the army, I’d struggled through much worse
We were all in this together and mateship stuck like glue
They even gave me a name, I was simply called “Hey you!”

This place was named Gallipoli, I called it hell on earth
Where the Aussie fighting soldiers, truly proved their worth
They’d all be home for Christmas, well that’s what they all thought
But on these shores for centuries, deadly battles had been fought

The Turks rained down their hail of fire, the shells burst far and near
One of them came down so close, it blew off half my ear
I had no time to lick my wounds, there were many worse than me
They were taken to a hospital ship, anchored far at sea

I carried them with loving care, sometimes with teary eyes
While all around the stench of death and the wounded’s pleading cries
Then overnight they all packed up, and left those tragic shores
Their story now established, to live through future wars

Yet I am not forgotten, as I lie in eternal rest
For there are those who honour me, a purple poppy on their chest
So may I leave with you, some advice my friend
When you struggle on life’s rocky road, stick with it to the end

Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton
19 December 2017

 

 

FILE PHOTO: Group comprising (from left) Lieutenant Colonel W B Lesslie, a Canadian officer attached to the Royal Enginers; Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, 3rd Field Ambulance; Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Bowler, Beach Commander Gallipoli; and Major C H Villiers-Stuart, Intelligence Officer. In front is Kirkpatrick’s donkey “Murphy”. Bowler has his arm in a sling because of a wound incurred upon landing. Photograph taken before 17 May 1915, in front of Bowler’s dugout, by an unknown photographer. Villiers-Stuart was killed on 17 May 1915. Private Kirkpatrick was killed on 19 May 1915. Photo via digitalnz.org


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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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

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