Many years have glided by

Since I saw Fromelles

Still I see it each July

Hear the guns! Fromelles!

See duckboard doused with blood!

Heat the five nine’s crunching thud!

See that body in the mud!

Cordite Stinks! Fromelles!

Lightly out of Bac St Maur

We went to Fromelles

Kissed the girl behind the bar

Gaily for Fromelles

Wended down a winding sap

Halt. A  murderous thunderclap

The front platoon is off the map

Hell opened at Fromelles.

Gasping ‘neath the parapet

Over boys! Fromelles

Three hundred yards and then we’re

Set Broken ground. Fromelles

Three hundred more. Consolidate

Dig for love and dig for hate

God! The night is growing late

This gutter’s wet. Fromelles.

Passing words along the line

‘We’re anchored here at Fromelles

The Fifteenth is fast, the Eight is fine

We lied at old Fromelles

Steadily digging through the night

We’re filling bags, we’re making it right

Tomorrow sees us sitting tight

What! Cornered at Fromelles.

Bombing at us from both ends

Fritz knew his Fromelles

55th on you depends

The keeping of Fromelles

We’re holding what! Two hundred yards

Both flanks in the air? Pooh, pooh canard

What’s that? Retreat! We’re running hard

Sauve qui peut! Fromelles.

We’re back behind the parapet

Gasping from Fromelles

Many a fellow’s sun has set

Bloody mess Fromelles!


Snowy to the Somme: A Muddy and Bloody Campaign, 1916-1918

By Timothy J Cook.
Newport, NSW : Big Sky Publishing, 2014