DESCRIPTION: "In an old Australian homestead With roses 'round the door, A girl received a letter 'Twas a message from the war... He played his part that April day, And now he lies in Suvla Bay." The grieving girl turns away suitors and joins the Red Cross
EARLIEST DATE: 1987
KEYWORDS: Australia battle death mourning
1915 - The Dardanelles campaign. British forces attack Gallipoli; the Australians and New Zealanders form the spearhead of the second phase of the attack, at Suvla Bay. All the attacks are bloody failures
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Meredith/Covell/Brown, pp. 206-207, "Suvla Bay" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [134 words]: It has been said that the Australian participation in the Dardanelles campaign is what made Australia a nation. Certainly it etched itself deeply in the Australian consciousness. It would be amazing if there were no traditional songs about it. This song (like the later "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda") seems not to be of actual folk origin, but it seems to have become part of Australian tradition.
The tragedy of Suvla Bay was not so much its failure (World War I was, after all, a war consisting of very little except failure) as its *needless* failure. When the troops went ashore in 1915, they encountered no resistance -- but their commander sat there and did nothing until the Turks could build a defensive position. From then on, it was a case of the ANZACs being slaughtered for nothing. - RBW
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