When we read in the daily papers of perilous times, afar.
Of dreadful scenes on the battlefield and carnage in time of war
And of birds of prey that are hov’ring around for their ghastly spoil.
And hold their feeds where human gore is the cloth of the corpse strewn soil;

Then we shudder, appalled, as we ponder o’er the so called glory of war,
Of victory won for the monarch at a cost too great by far;
For it makes widows and orphans, and robs us of our best.
And fatherless leaves our birdlings, and desolate makes our nest.

But enough of war and its horrors afar we need brave hearts here;
And, thank God, Australia has heroes, hearts of oak that know no fear;
Each one ready his life to offer – ’tis the solemn truth I speak
Aye, ready to succor the helpless, the suffering, aged, and weak.

Then thank God for Australia’s heroes.and bravest amongst them all
Are our own noble, brave fire-flighters God bless them one and all.

Australian Fire-fighter. 8Jan2013. (

Australian Fire-fighter. 8Jan2013. (

Watch them enter your burning building –there a child, there-hold your breath
Aye, watch as those brave men cooly risk the chance of a terrible death.
“Hold your breath'” I said. Nay’ look upward look up than the night-cloud higher.
And plead to Heaven for those heroes who are wrapped in shrouds of fire.

Look, mother, distrated mother (if you can in your anguish wild)’
Yon men at the risk of their own dear lives have saved for you your child!
Brave hearts. “What’s their recompense?” say you. Why none. I answer you, none. Save it be an approving conscience and a knowledge of brave deeds done

Australian Walker & Holmes families shelter on Jetty. 4Jan2013. (c) Tim Holmes. Courtesy:

Australian Walker & Holmes families shelter on Jetty. 4Jan2013. (c) Tim Holmes. Courtesy:

For you and for me. Ah! we know not when their aid we, too, shall need.
Then unitedly let us offer with grateful hearts their meed.
Let it be a substantial offering to our fire- men brave and true.
Who have done so much, still are willing much more for us yet to do.

Let us give what each would offer if our home were wrapped in fire.
And a loved one still were within it-a mother, a child, or sire
Would we not ungrudgingly tender to them who that life would save
Something worthy of such deeds heroic something worthy the good and brave?

"Black Saturday" Vic. Australia. 2009.

“Black Saturday” Vic. Australia. 2009.

 Copyright © 1914. Mona Marie

(c) Mona Marie COURTESY: TROVE

(c) Mona Marie COURTESY: TROVE

Published: The Ballarat Courier, Victoria, Australia. Friday 19 June 1914, page 4.



FURTHER RESOURCES: for Article and photo of koala and fire-fighter.

Trapped…  A Childhood Memory – by Catherine Crout-Habel

UPDATE: 10Jan2013 -on the Holmes Family of Tasmania

Holmes Family sheltering under the Jetty. Tasmania, Australia 4Jan2013

Holmes Family sheltering under the Jetty. Tasmania, Australia 4Jan2013

UPDATE: 11Jan2013 –  The Brave-Firefighter returns home to his family



    • Thanks for caring Kristin. As you probably know NSW has had SO many raging bushfires out of control but latest news is that more and more are being contained. My nephew, and family, in South West Victoria were in danger again but looks like they’re now OK. Always bad but particularly bad conditions right now. Take care.

    • Thanks JG.. Thankfully I’m not in a bushfire prone area but my daughter and her family are 😦 However, they’re safe, so far. Particular bad conditions right now . Thank goodness for these volunteer fire-fighters who risk their very lives for others.

  1. This summer has been horrific for fires already. I lived through Ash Wednesday and those memories are something that etched deep into my memory, and because of it I have a tendancy to worry when I smell smoke. Now my hubby is a ‘firey’ in our local Country Fire Service, and is more than likely to be confronted with these terrifying conditions sooner or later, I get more worried 😦

    • Oh, it would be such a terrible worry having your hubby as one of “THE BRAVE- FIREFIGHTERS” Alona. I’ll keep him in my prayers, day and night, along with everyone else facing the terror of a bushfire. Once experienced it’s never forgotten and, of course, you’re living in our beautiful Adelaide Hills so you have a double worry. Take care… am thinking of your and your loved ones xxx

  2. I love this verse, the style may be different to that of today, but the sentiments are the same… The photos you have chosen truly do depict not only the horror of bushfires, but also hope, bravery and compassion. Thank you.

    • Indeed… and to think that Mona Marie wrote this 100 years ago but still reflects the situation right here, and now and so beautifully. It really touches into my very soul. Thankyou Chris for for your feedback re: the photos. Much appreciated.

  3. Pingback: TO AWARD OR NOT TO AWARD???… | Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

    • G’day Shelley… Bushfires here in Australia are an all too common occurrence and most of us have horror stories to tell.
      Am guessing that she probably was affected and agree that it’s a beautifully written tribute to our brave “firefighters”… whom, in regard to bushfires, are unpaid volunteers who are released from their paying work to put their lives on the line and fight to save other peoples lives, and livelihoods. Thanks so much for your heartfelt comment. xxx

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