The men in jungle
green marched on down the sunny street. The tall men and the short men,
the slender men and the robust men swung on their way with the quiet,
assured air that only soldiers have who have learned to be soldiers by
meeting the enemy in battle.
Joe and the cove
behind him and Blue and the bloke with the scar on his jaw and the
thousands like them who marched. These are the Australian Soldier, not one
man but thousands of men, the vulgar and the fastidious, the quiet and the
rowdy, the rough and the gentle. They know battle. They know the dirt and
the misery, the courage and the comradeship, the weariness and the deep
They learned about
these things in the Desert and in Greece, in Crete and in Syria, in
besieged Tobruk and on the bloody sands of El Alamein. They met them,
again in New Guinea, in the evil green of the jungle, where a snapping
twig means danger and a careless step might mean death.
They will march on, these men, and some of them will die on other
battlefields, and sickness and wounds will take many of them out of the
battle line, and some will still live when peace returns to the world, but
the Australian Soldier will be in the line at the last as he was in the
line at the first.
For though these men are part of the Australian Soldier he is more
enduring than any of these men alone and he will live when they are
dust-the thing they created that is bigger than themselves.