South Burnett residents share their Anzac stories
ANZAC day has always been a special day for Denise Brown to remember her grandfather.
Daniel David Roots was only 19 when he left for war as one of the boys from the bush from the Burnett region, she said.
"When I was a kid at school, everything was about ANZAC day and the junior red cross and we always went to a dawn service," Mrs Brown said.
He came back after being a prisoner of war with a box full of photos of the soldiers he fought alongside, mostly from the Canadian-English forces, she said.
Every year Mrs Brown places four poppies at the cenotaph of the dawn service for the four of the men in the photos in her grandfather's box.
"I didn't know who those other four guys were, obviously they were important to him and I feel that they saved his life," she said.
Mrs Brown wrote a poem about her memories of her grandfather.
Memories of Dah
When I was a little girl sitting by my granddad's knee
I'd point and say "what's that Dah?"
As he read the newspaper to me -
Dah smoked and drank and would have killed people too-
For King and Country
He was in the 'Fighting Fifteenth'
Headed for Gallipoli -
He was born on a farm which is now a piggery
And like his surname
He was the Roots of our family tree -
A survivor - a man of the land
His tutor was his dad
A huge grand railwayman
Who built the Aramac tramway
With cattleman's money and station hands
Great Granddad was a big flash man
Who 'split the blanket' with his wife
And when 13 -
Dah came to live with his Aunt Jones near Byee
So with his brother George and cousin Alice
Made up the numbers for the School at Cloyna -
Until he went to work on the stations and for his dad at Aramac
So far from mum in the big city.
A postcard to his father from the Army read
In the event of my death -I leave everything to you -
He was only eighteen.
He and his mate Tommy had joined 'The Fighting Fifteenth'
They went to Enoggera for training to form the 'second part with Taswegians embarking over the sea for Egypt.
Where he met the Pommies who wanted to teach these 'Colonials' the art of how a horse should ride.
With the bush boys spirit of pride and mateship
The English were outwitted - had their horses jittered and their tent pegs pulled.
The Anzacs Conceded Defeat - the Turks had them beat and in Egypt the 15th reformed.
Onto France - it was no Sunday Dance
The killing and bloodshed had left some in a trance -
An English 'stiff upper lip'?
Not a chance!
Listen to the full poem below:
For the dad I never knew
AARON James McIntyre, late of Tingoora and Murgon, wrote this poem about his father, 2nd Lieutenant Aaron McIntyre, who was killed in action, age 26, at Pozieres on July 29, 1916, before A.J was born.
I wore my father's medals,
Each Anzac Day, for years,
But I never felt the glory,
Through the sting of unshed tears,
So, I marched on, sad and lonely,
In this military scene,
A small boy in a column,
Where his father should have been.
The men who marched beside me,
Would pat me on the head,
With a kind of rough compassion,
For a boy, whose dad was dead,
And their eyes would fill with sorrow,
And a sadness cloud their face,
For the many boys with medals,
Marching in their father's place.
The bitterness would choke me,
And I marched with downcast head,
For I knew there was no comfort,
In the hour that lay ahead,
So, I listened to the speeches,
But I felt no surge of pride,
For, medals are cold comfort,
When your dad has fought, and died.
My heart would start to tremble,
As the bugle's notes rang loud,
And the Last Post's haunting sadness,
Brought a stillness to the crowd,
But, I never saw the glory,
For the bitterness that grew,
And my heart would fill with yearning,
For the dad...I never knew.