The Day I Won the Raffle by W.D. Evans

I'd won this bloody raffle,
It was like the Melbourne Cup.
Never cost a single cent,
The day they called me up.
 
To fight for Queen and Country,
Was the answer to the call.
My Mother's heart was broken,
Then she began to bawl.
 
We fell in at the barracks,
In the confussion and the fuss.
Then they hearded us aboard,
This beautiful lovely bus.
 
Now at this very moment,
I was at my prime in life.
Being taken off the farm,
And away from my darling wife.
 
We landed up at Pucka,
In the heat and dust and flys.
With sergeants screaming at us,
As we wiped our teary eyes.
 
They tried to teach us marching,
But we weren't very neat.
For most of us were born,
With only two left feet.
 
First prize was a slouch hat,
The second was a gun.
With boots and greens and webbing,
In which we learnt to run.
 
With a weeks supply of rations,
And a bed roll on your back.
With the strain of every mussel,
You carried it on your back.
 
Three feeds a day and clothing,
The pay was twice of home.
And all this open country,
For all of us to roam
 
But this was not a picnic,
For they drove us like a slave.
Up at six an on a run,
Then back to shower and shave.
 
I couldn't see the point in this,
But the Corporals thought it fun.
All I really wanted to know,
Was how to shoot a gun.
 
I'm sure when things get sticky,
And the lead is flying around.
To stand and salute your Captain,
Would lay you dead upon the ground.
 
They kept it up three months or more,
Our maching skills down pat.
With rifle drill and shinning brass,
Under our new slouch hat.
 
They slimmed us down and made us fit,
And a few bob in our wallet.
But none of us could ever run,
Faster than a bullet.
 
Our march out parade at Pucka,
Was very moving sight.
We'd all grown up from little boys,
To take on all this might.
 
The very best of Aussie youth,
We were fit and Unit strong.
Drilled to take and never question,
What is right or what is wrong.
 
We headed up to Sydney town,
In the darkness of the night.
It changed our lives forever,
To see the twinkling of the light.
 
Three more months of training,
With weekend leave and fun.
But they still refused to give us,
This thing they called a gun.
 
Then up into the jungle,
On piquets in the dark.
Bashing through the undergrowth,
Where a dog couldn't bark.
 
Crawling through the trenches,
Up to your guts in mud.
Then climbing up the water tower,
Hitting the river with a thud.
 
It washed away the mud and slush,
As you slowly swam ashore.
Racked with pain and almost dead,
They sent you around once more.
 
Fully trained and fighting fit,
We'd survived the course and won.
Then the day finally came,
When they handed us a gun.
 
Then off we went to Vietnam,
To fight this bloody war.
And to do our bit for Country,
To even up the score.
 
But to find the hidden enemy,
It wasn't very tame.
'Cause in the jungle or in the streets,
They looked all the bloody same.
 
They took up on at Long Tan,
Beneath the rubber and the rain.
They came at us by the thousands,
But we stood our ground again.
 
As darkness fell with ammo short,
The fighting intensified.
Many a soldier lay wounded,
And many a soldier died.
 
When the rain finally stopped,
And with the raising of the sun.
Many a soldiers life was lost,
But the battle we had won.
 
Many of us still fight today,
And many of us are rattled.
But I'll never forget the day I won,
That wonderful bloody raffle.

W.D. Evans

2011 ©

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