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Stewie Mudcat Australia/NZ Songbook (1010* d) RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia 14 Nov 20


I was trying to remember the title of this poignant song to post on Remembrance Day. I finally tracked it down - better late than never. Like many, I can't stand Ian McNamara as a radio presenter, but he is often given some beaut songs to air.

LAST MAN FROM DUNOLLY
(Mike Whittle)

I知 the last man from Dunolly
of our battalion at Fromelles
General Haking gave the orders,
And the troops were shot to hell
All the mates that I signed up with
I was with them as they fell
My fifty ninth was cut to pieces
And the sixtieth as well
Well, the doc says I値l recover
While the nurse looks set to cry
But I知 left wondering why of all us mates
I知 the one who did not die

Now I致e just been told they値l ship me home
But the thing to understand
Is that every mate that I grew up with
Is lying dead in no-man痴-land
So I知 writing you this letter
And you値l get it with the mail
For I値l be homeward bound you see
When the Warilda next sets sail

I値l be home and I guess that
I値l be drinking on my own
There were Douglas, Pat and Roger
We壇 find shortcuts through the scrub
When we had a thirst worth quenching
At the old Dunolly pub
So, I値l be home, and I値l raise a glass
To all these friends I致e known

Oh, I知 the last man from Dunolly
Of us volunteers who went to war
From the sports ground
Where we all signed up,
It seemed a cause worth fighting for

And I知 the last man from Dunolly
From the fifteenth brigade there at Fromelles
That evening when the orders came
So many diggers fell
I was right by James Barnfather
When he copped one in the chest
Of my mates from 喪ound Dunolly
He may just have been the best
I knelt down there beside him
I spoke with him as he died
Fifteenth brigade could not advance
No matter what was tried
So in retreat, back to our lines
We trod through guts and blood
From our mates and other diggers
Blown to pieces in the mud.

But I値l be home, I値l be home
But I guess I'll be drinking on my own

So I知 the last man from Dunolly
Of our newly-formed brigade.
There were no gains made at Fromelles
Despite the price we paid
Us diggers, we had just arrived
In fact we壇 barely got our kit
When we were slaughtered our thousands
Sent out to do our bit
I知 the last man from Dunolly,
Who saw Pompey Elliott痴 tears
Greet the remnant of his brigade
When Command ignored his fears
You know the wounded here
They are strange to me
I scarce know four or five
Of my fifty ninth battalion
Perhaps a hundred may survive

But I値l be home. I値l be home
I will raise a toast to all these mates I致e known

See I知 the last man from Dunolly
Who saw action in Fromelles
And lost all his mates on the battlefield
But was with them when they fell

Youtube clip

Mike Whittle's note on the song:

The last man from Dunolly: Dunolly is a typical Australian small town in the North West wheat growing region of Victoria. Early in World War I it was common practice to send the recruits from a single town or local region to a single platoon, and in a rural town there痴 a limit to the number of men of service age. Monuments erected after the war record losses that were sometimes devastating to the area when a particular company had heavy casualties. 5,533 Australian and 1,547 British soldiers were sacrificed on the 19th and 20th of July 1916 at Fromelles in a pointless assault on a virtually impregnable position. The incompetence of the commanding officer, General Sir Richard Haking, was extreme even by the standards of the day. He had commanded two previous attacks on the same objective in 1915 both of which ended in disastrous failure with great loss of life. He justified his incompetence by remarking that the losses would 鍍oughen up the troops. His actions became a serious issue for the Australian government.

Pompey Elliott

--Stewie.


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