Poem by E.M. Little

“The True Memorial” – E M Little


What mean these monuments of bronze and stone
Which in our midst like sentinels are set?
What mean these words I read with solemn tone?
Methinks a vow is made – “Lest We Forget!”

But lately on a hundred fields we saw
Our sons to wondrous heights of valour rise,
They deemed stern hardship but the price of war
And every bayonet thrust a patriot’s prize.

And they their lives thus rendered to the state
In noble tribute of their country’s worth,
But vain the tall memorial and ornate,
Till men of honor serve their land of birth.

One recompense alone to those who fell
Can we who hold the land in trust yet make,
And that – the dark disrupting force to quell,
And raise the nation’s Standard for their sake.

Edwin Maurice Little served with the 15th Battalion. He left Australia on 21 October 1914 and served on the Gallipoli peninsula. On 7 May 1915, Little was granted a field commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. On 29 May 1915, Little was seriously wounded when a bomb, which he was about to throw at the enemy lines, exploded in his hands. Little received multiple wounds to the face, right hand and left knee. He was evacuated aboard the Hospital Ship Gascon. Little’s right eye was removed while he was aboard the hospital ship. His left eye was later removed and his right hand was amputated above the wrist. Little was repatriated to Australia in October 1915 and his appointment was terminated by the AIF in March 1916 due to the severity of his injuries.