Duncan Harold BUTLER

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    Alan Squires

    Do any members have Duncan Harold Butler in their family Tree? Interested to know more if you do.

    Story: Duncan Harold Butler
    Following last ANZAC Day this poem came to my attention, it was written by a Butler from NSW.
    Duncan Harold Butler was born in Horsham Victoria on 21st June 1906 to parents Duncan John Butler and Mabel Blanche Pengelly. Other children I have found include Alfred William (1902), Mamie Florence (1908) and Arthur Thomas (1910) all born in Horsham.
    Duncan enlisted for service at Wagga NSW on the 24th June 1940 when he was 34 years old. His occupation he listed as a Minister of the Church of Christ, and he was single. The family had moved to the NSW at some time, as his father’s address was given as “Warwick” Gilgandra NSW, Duncan’s address was given as 115 Tarcutta St Wagga.
    Duncan Butler had enlisted in the Army during WW11, (NX36263) was captured and spent three-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war working on the treacherous Burma Railway. This is Duncan Butler’s poem about his mates on the Railway.
    By Duncan Butler, 2/12th Field Ambulance
    I’ve travelled down some dusty roads,
    Both crocked tracks and straight,
    And I have learnt life’s noblest creed
    Summed up in one word, “Mate”.

    I’m thinkin’ back across the years,
    A thing I do of late
    And these words stick between me ears
    “You gotta have a mate.”

    Someone who’ll take you as you are
    Regardless of your state
    And stand as firm as Ayers Rock
    Because he is your mate.

    Me mind goes back to ‘43
    To slavery and hate
    When man’s one chance to stay alive
    Depended on his mate.

    With bamboo for a billy-can
    And bamboo for a plate,
    A bamboo paradise for bugs
    Was bed for me and mate.
    You’d slip and slither through the mud
    And curse your rptten fate
    But then you’d hear a quiet word
    “Don’t drop your bundle, mate.”

    And through it’s all so long ago
    This truth I have to state,
    A man don’t know what lonely means
    ‘til he has lost his mate.

    If there’s a life that follers this,
    If there’s a Golden Gate,
    The welcome that I wanna hear
    Is just “Goodonya mate.”

    And so to all who ask us why
    We keep these special dates,
    Like ANZAC Day, I tell’em “Why?!
    We’re thinkin’ of our mates.”

    And when I’ve left the driver’s seat
    And ‘anded in me plates
    I’ll tell Ol’ Peter at the door
    “I’ve come to join me mates.”

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