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  And Do you Remember?
by Hank Emery
    (We are gathered around the RSA leaner,
or is it in the Mess, or in the Baggy’s Bar?
Memories flow back from a time long ago.
Pot bellies, and bald or silver-white heads,
are replaced by long-ago youthful men
that are slim, trim, and fighting fit)
    And do you remember blowing your ass on the way out from Plaman Mapu.
Hell yes mate,
That’s all because I was bloody carrying you!

And what about the corn you swiped
From those poor Dyaks’ gardens
On our way back to home base.
Hell yes mate! Them’s the facts of that long-ago Borneo place

I was sick of Brit ration packs,
And the "ole" Malaria pill
So too were the others like
Brownie, "Rags", and good "ole" Bill.
And Hoot-nanny, Old Man, and
Probably Pat Thomas too
Along with A-rab and Paku,
And all the other right-on guys
And that definitely has to include you!

And do you remember nearly
Scaring the shit out of me
When you had that bloody stupid AD.
Hell. If it’s all the same to you mate,
It did scare
The bloody shit out of me!

And Bill, and "Tufalu",
Along with the whole of
Victor Company too!
All diving for cover, along
With guess ‘you know who!’
Poor Red! Poor Moth!
I stuffed up the platoon’s reputation
One hell of a lot!

And did you fill your quota for your military sin to repent
Of a hundred sandbags a day on field punishment,
Pretty close to it mate. Being the first
In Victor Company to have that dubious honour,
Man you soon got up a huge bloody thirst

Still Kiwis being Kiwis, I knew that
Others would soon join me.
As night follows day that was
A bloody great certainty!
And they did.
Gidday Munster old mate,
How the hell are ya.
This is the easy way
To fill these buggers.
Just like this, see!

And do you remember what GOD
The almighty powerful said.
Hell yes mate, I was sick of him
Watching me pis’n sweat,
And getting that f’n quota all done
Whilst he stood there all bloody slack
In that hot Horseshoe mid-day Sun.

And my poor bloody Maori back,
Getting all sunburnt and f’n red!
Like carrots cooked in an Irish stew
(Who the hell said Maori don’t burn!)
So gleefully I threw in a rock or two.
Man, did God do his bloody stack!
He really did do a bloody right turn!

The bags were destined for
Coy Headquarters it seems!
Something about mortar shells exploding
And bloody rocks into his bunk imploding,
I think he said!
And then buggered off
Muttering about nightmares and dreams
And a last glaring angry scowl at me
And me standing there taking it all,
The dumb "ole" grunt from the Infantry
Inwardly, I was laughing so hard
I just so wanted to pee!

And do you remember dragging ass through
The "Long Green".
Hell yes mate, the guys in the section
Were always great.
They knew that we were mentally
And emotionally stumped
After long fear-filled spells up at the front
And pampered Tufalu and myself
At all of the "smoko" breaks.

Trying to spot those F’n mines
Was always
At the back of one’s fear-filled mind.

Thanks Bill, and Pat, and A-rab.
And Dazzle and Willie too.
And Father and Dinga,
Along with all the other right-on guys,
And Mate, that certainly
Has to include you!

And do you remember about the bloody gun?
Whatever happened there?
Well mate, Pat had it all stripped down.
For tactical cleaning - see,
The parts were everywhere
When bugger me days, coming through the Jay
There’s a couple of unwary VC.

Not one for wanting to be Whakama,
Pat swipes a newly-cleaned rifle
Belonging to poor "ole" Henry Harema.

Throughout the contact, the screams were all heard,
"Pat, you F’n bitch’s son,
Gimme back my bloody gun!"

And when it was all over and completely done
Poor Pat was jollied
By just about everyone.
"Pat you F’n bitch’s son,
You can have my bloody gun!"

And do you remember big "ole" Morrie.
Ah, yes I do. Along with Jim, and Suds, and Ces Fisk.
All the way through
To brave little Horo
The last to die in action, with Victor Six
From Morrie, Infantry’s first,
To Horo, Infantry’s last
The sadness wells up
At names and memory-days long past
Not forgetting all the Other Fallen
A new day begins its eternal dawning.

A New Victor Company is out on patrol
In Timor it seems,
They walk their version
Of our "Long Green"

Loaded with packs and bodies bent
Sons and Daughters, our long-ago children,
Now walk
In the shadows of fear. Where we once went

I honour you all. I remember you all.
Ti hei Mauri Mate! Ti hei Mauri Ora!

Big "ole" Morrie!
A-rab and I swiped his shoes
In Terendak, (for he had been in the cab sleeping)
To pay for the "Lekas John!" cabbie,
He thought his shoes were "bloody leaking"
He did not realise the whole truth of it
Until his feet got really wet
Walking across the sports field to the NAAFI!

Man did he let out a bloody great roar!
Threatening to do us both,
In all sorts of nasty ways
While we were rapidly
Disappearing into the darkness,
And then through the Naafi door
Ah mate, them’s were the good "ole" days

All was forgiven when we shouted
A beer or two or may be three
Yes Mate, those are some of
The happy-time memories,
In my mind I can see
Of big "ole" Morrie,
Along with the others I have of
Ces, and Suds, and Horo, and Jim Gatenby

And yet what upsets me all the time
So called "official records" have got it wrong.
Morrie was Killed In Action, 2 Sep 1967,
No Way Is It 2 Sep, 1969.

And poor old Bill and "Tufalu"
Stand also now
At the noble prow
Of the Warrior’s Canoe

Like so many others,
My Section Commander
And Cover Scout
Are no longer here to take the brunt
Nor give that feared echoing shout
Contact Front! Contact Front! Contact Front! … .

Or hear again that all-time famous, totally caressing,
All-time friendly, emotionally moving,
Instantly alerting, touching softly
Battalion Whistle!

And I suppose these are some
Of those sad-happy-time memories too
I have of all you right-on guys,
And Mate that has to include
Good "ole" you!

Yes Mate. I do remember!
What about you?

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