It’s A Long Way From Fighting In France – Patrick Evans

Football boots in the corner,
School days fresh in his mind,
Train ride from Horsham to Adelaide,
Reg looked old for his age and he altered his name,
But they let him embark just the same.

George cuts sugar in Queensland
With the men who are harder than nails
He marched from the farm when they heeded the call
The King needs good men, good men to enlist,
And the good men just couldn’t resist

And the fires burn bright through the cane fields,
Backs bent firm to the task,
Bundaberg is a long way,
It’s a long way from fighting in France,
Some men live and some die just by chance.

Waiting for action in Egypt,
Flanders the next stop they say,
Watch the wounded return from Gallipoli
Writing letters back home, back home through the night,
Don’t worry Mum I’ll be alright.

On the Somme the rain pours in November,
An offensive is mounted in Flers,
Scared silhouettes disappear in the smoke,
Tripping over their mates, their dead mates in the dark,
While the bullets keep finding their mark.


Reg Ellis was killed by a sniper,
George found his body next day,
Rescued his letters and pay book,
The boy’s body was left, left in the retreat,
In the mud and the stench of defeat,

George Osbourne returned as a hero,
And he tried to forget what he’d seen,
But at night when he works in the cane fields,
He sees Reg’s dead gaze, his eyes in the flames,
Though he never remembers his name...

Chorus x 2