Proud but Contrite

Lewis08 Dad painted this display banner for the 50th Anniversary of his battalion’s departure from Sydney in 1915. In Wounded; a Great War novel, George tells an old Frenchman he meets while visiting a village his father billeted in, ‘Sometimes on Anzac Day I would drive him and a couple of Digger mates … to the Sydney Cenotaph for the Dawn Service and pick them up after the reunion ….  Dad used to paint illustrated banners, depicting battle sites, and I remember how emotional I’d get watching him and his old pals shuffling along beneath them, trying to keep up with the band, proud but contrite, minds thousands of miles away with fallen mates, still just boys in their minds …  and thinking about young men they’d killed, too, I should think.’

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