The Team of ’38

No Comments

ANZAC Day 2020

My grandfather, Ernest John Parker Rust, passed away in March at the age of 98.

Pop was a father of five, a plumber and a devoted husband. He also fought for Australia during WWII, with a role as a Corporal in the “Z” Special Unit that saw him putting his life at risk many times over. I have always been proud of my grandfather’s contributions during the war.

While he didn’t speak of his experiences at length, he often put his memories and feelings in writing. This is a poem he wrote several years ago which always brings a tear to my eye.

The Team of ’38

Are my creams all pressed Mum?
It’s summer of ’38
The first day of the cricket season
We have a team that’s great

Eric is our captain,
He knows cricket most
Behind the stumps there’s Jack
He always stands in close

In slips are a pair of mates.
and both have names of Bill.
Harry is at long on
This player knows the drill

I’m placed there at mid on,
and hope to make a catch
when the batsman wacks the ball,
I’ll duck and quickly snatch

Of course there’s Graham, Tom
Blue and Sid who bowl and bat so fine.
We didn’t win that season
But just you wait till ’39!

A war broke out in ’39
Six years of death and crime.

But now it’s time to play again
No Mum to wash and iron my creams
She died while I was gone
Now they hardly fit, it seems

Eric our captain,
Shot down on Belgium soil
Jack the wicket keeper
Died ‘neath German skies

Those two in slips
The two called Bill,
The Burma Railway claimed
My old mate Blue he disappeared
When the Sydney sank in shame.

With Graham, Sid and Tom,
I marched on Anzac day.
Now that day’s a lonely one
They too have slipped away.

On the telly now I watch
The cricket and it’s great

Then in my mind I always see
That team of ’38.

By Ernest Rust
April 2011
Born June 1921

Pop this is our first ANZAC Day without you. We miss your presence greatly on this day.

About “Z” Special Unit

Z Special Unit (/zɛd/) was a joint Allied special forces unit formed during the Second World War to operate behind Japanese lines in South East Asia. Predominantly Australian, Z Special Unit was a specialist reconnaissance and sabotage unit that included British, Dutch, New Zealand, Timorese and Indonesian members, predominantly operating on Borneo and the islands of the former Netherlands East Indies.[1]

The unit carried out a total of 81 covert operations in the South West Pacific theatre, with parties inserted by parachute or submarine to provide intelligence and conduct guerrilla warfare.[2] The best known of these missions were Operation Jaywick and Operation Rimau, both of which involved raids on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour; the latter of which resulted in the deaths of 23 commandos either in action or by execution after capture.[1]

Although the unit was disbanded after the war, many of the training techniques and operational procedures employed were later used during the formation of other Australian Army special forces units and they remain a model for guerrilla operations to this day.

Source: Wikipedia

Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash

Previous Post
My amazing clients: Business Blueprint
Next Post
Three low-cost marketing strategies which brought me new leads

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed