Lost Generation by J.R.Poulter, image by Dandi Palmer
The men fought and died for Australia in World War I, are often referred to as the ‘lost generation.’
Australian was a young country and we needed our manpower to build our nation. However, when World War I broke out, everyone in Australia felt strongly it was their patriotic duty to do whatever they could to aid the war effort, including going to fight overseas in a strange country, in appalling conditions.
A great many men died, women too. The dimension of the loss of life was greatly out of proportion to the size of the Australian population at that time. SO many died that there was hardly a family in Australia who had not lost at least one family member to war.
Write a story or poem about someone in your family history who fought in a devastating war.
Illustrate it with a picture of them you have drawn or a copy of a photograph of them.
Do a rubbing of their medals and share with the class what the medals were for.
Think about the lines –
They fought and died – and who’s to blame?
The earth treats friend and foe the same.
And, at the end of the poem –
The scene has changed; the sky’s still blue…
Write them in your own words, explaining what you think they mean.
Why do you think the poet used the words ‘ghost grey’ in the line –
In ghost grey light, they went to war.
The War Memorial in each capital city, has a great many images depicting the various wars Australians were called on to fight in and photos of many who fought in those wars, old diaries the men wrote in the trenches, letters they wrote to loved ones and much, much more.
Try to visit the war memorial in your capital city or the war memorial statues and plaques in your own town or suburb. Write a short story or poem about anything that especially inspired you on your visit.