Thursday, April 19, 2007

Friday's History Lesson- Joke, Poem and Slouch Hat.

During any of the wars that Australian Armed Forces have been active, it is widely known that Aussies are a jocular bunch of people. We can take the piss out of each other and, if it even comes to a brawl(fight, fisticufs), then there would always be a beer shared at the bar to make up. So, for this coming ANZAC DAY, instead of a dreary post on what we all know the atrocities of wartime, I am going to present a history post on a joke, a poem and lastly, the Aussie Slouch Hat.

Beginning with a joke, told to many by veterans....

On some air bases the Air Force is on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle.
One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, "What time is it?"
The tower responded, "Who is calling?"
The aircraft replied, "What difference does it make?"
The tower replied "It makes a lot of difference.
If it is an QANTAS flight, it is 3 o'clock.
If it is an RAAF plane, it is 1500 hours.
If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells.
If it is an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3.
If it is a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft, it's Thursday afternoon."

Following is a poem I found, written anonymously, found in a notebook not that dissimilar to the one my own Grandpa carried with him throughout his occupation in the 2/14th Field Regiment from 1940 to 1946. He served up in Darwin and then over at Papua New Guinea. He had stories, jokes, wishes and even recipes on how to cook meals for an Army of men!!

If nobody gave us a helping hand
And nobody seemed to care,
If the prizes of life all went to the strong
and nobody gave us a share.
If nobody had the time to give
A thought to you and me
And we had to struggle as best we could
What a hopeless world 'twould be.
Lending a hand to help the weak
Can lighten another's load,
Giving our best with a willing heart
Can brighten a lonely road.
'Tis something to live for, someone to love
That purpose in life depends,
And there's nothing to equal the gladness and joy
Of making and keeping friends!



A symbol of distinction and pride, Australian Soldiers have adorned their heads with the slouch hat with its side turned up. The turned-up side was held in position by means of a hook and eye fastener, and badges were backed with a distinctive cloth rosette in the corps or regimental colour. So, if you were from one section, you would have a certain badge to signify this. The badges have changed over the years, from Boer War to post WW2.

People know when an Aussie soldier is about, whether he is causing a rucous with his jokes, swooning people with his poems or wearing his distinctive slouch hat.

Lest We Forget


gawilli said...

Great history lesson, Cazzie. Those two soldiers look particularly handsome in their uniforms and slouch hats. As always, I learned something new in that I did not know what a slouch hat was. Thanks for sharing the nice collection of info!

Steve said...

How does it go?

They shall not grow old,
As those that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn,
Let the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We shall remember them!

Steph said...

What an awesome post! Well done Cazzie, you really captured something truly Australian here.

surfercam said...

I like jokes against Kiwis.
Well done!

Keshi said...

yep with ANZAC DAY coming up this is an apt post Caz.

**If it is an QANTAS flight, it is 3 o'clock.
If it is an RAAF plane, it is 1500 hours.

hehe how true.

Nice hat and Lest We Forget indeed!


Jay said...

I love your Friday history lessons. So much great information.

Cool hat too.

captain corky said...

I really enjoyed the poem. I liked the history lesson too.

angela marie said...

Very much I do not know about. **sigh**

poody said...

thanks that was very interesting. Just another reason to love all things Australian!

James Burnett said...

Cazzie, great post. I loved the poem. I've been a fan of the slouch hat since I was a little boy. But I was a geek, a war history buff even as a child.

BTW, thank you for visiting my blog so much lately. I appreciate your insights. I'll be adding you to my blogroll later this evening when I do site maintenance.

Cazzie!!! said...

Gawilli, I agree they do look smashing in their uniforms :) Glad you liked my mix of info :)

Steve, I get goose bumps everytime!!!

Steph, thanks lovey, glad you liked it :)

Surfercam, PMSL, I have soo many Kiwi friends they know who they are and we always try outdo each other with wise cracks :)

Keshi, thanks hon.

Jay Man, I am glad you learned something new :)

Captain, yes I liked the poem too, and there were soo many to choose from too.

Angela Marie, I am not sure we will ever know everything. There was so much I could tell, from the storis my Grandpa told me, from the stories patients tell me, from the stories people told me when I was a cadet and marched in the Anzac marches.

Poody, thanks, I know, we are a lovely bunch of hooligans us Aussies, LOL.

James, I enjoy reading your interesting posts, always something different, variety IS the spice of life.
My brother and I were war buffs as kids too, always something new to learn :)

phishez_rule said...

Theres something quite distinctive and patriotic about the slouch hat.

Its quite unique and very, very aussie.

Hale McKay said...

Great post! I never knew those hats were called "slouch hats."

I loved the "control tower joke.

I only tonight discovered your comment over at my other site Suppository For The Soul .

Considering the age difference, getting 26 of those songs was impressive.

Thanks for the visit as well as the comment.

Mark said...

ANZACS rock. Especially my ANZAC mates. Thanks to all of your countrymen for their contributions over the years.

Malnurtured Snay said...

They actually wear that as part of thier uniform?!

mjd said...

Cazzie, Your posts always make make me smile. The poem is perfect. Reading about the slouch hats, which the entire world loves and recognizes as Australian, is great.

Josh said...

Awesome hat. I am somewhat of a hat collector, and I've never seen one of those. I'll have to look for one now.

Queen of Dysfunction said...

I am sending that joke to my dad, he's in U.S. Army aviation.

I always loved the slouch hat, they look so jaunty!

pink ginger 珂琳 said...

I like this post. awesome! good info and lesson.
I enjoyed reading it.

Ginnie said...

Another lesson. Thanks, Cazzie... I've always loved the looks of those "slouch" hats.

Reiki 4 Life said...

what a lovely poem anon. and thanks again for the history lesson. see, i always knew it wouldn't matter that i fell asleep in history class! have a great weekend cazzie!

general_boy said...

Ahhhh... nicely in keeping with our upcoming public holiday!

Cazzie!!! said...

Phishez, love them men in uniform :)

Hale, come back anytime, I like reading your posts too :)

Mark, no worries, I enjoy your sence of humour too, chill mate :)

Snay, as part of their traditional dress, yes, as part of combat No. My husband has one from when he was in the Army Reserves.

MJD, I am so glad you liked the content of the post, I wanted to be different, you know, so much is about the doom and gloom obvious to War and Rememberance..this is opposite :)

Josh, an Army Disposal Store perhaps? Not sure where else to guide you, maybe ebay?

QOD, there were heaps more jokes too, but one was enough for now. Hope your Dad appreciates it.

Pink Ginger, I like to make my readers happy, and I seem to always make you happy :)

Ginnie, ditto for me, love uniforms so clean and crisp :)

Meredith, LOL, at falling asleep in History Class :)

General Boy, thanks mate, I was hoping for the right affect :)

paddy said...

I'm gladened by your warm discription of the Aussie soldier,who it seems is a well rounded fellow indeed. You would no doubt offer him a drink or perhaps a cup of tea on entering your house, land et cetra, just before he kills you. That's me Paddy taking the piss. I don't know who does it better The Aussie's or the Irish. Saw your comment on Rose-tinted-glasses. Pleased to meet your cyber self. Yours:-) Paddy.

chikken said...

That was a really amazing post! Especially for a dumb U.S. citizen like myself :) I enjoyed the history lesson, the photos, the humor...all of it. Thanks.

chikken said...

oops. Sorry for the redundancy. Stupid word verification thingy.

Cazzie!!! said...

Paddy, LOL, love ypur humour, and I reckon we could both have a great chinwag over some Guiness, I have mine with a little lemonade, shock horror, I know, but tis how I likes it. Welcome, yes, I love MJD, she is lovely.

Chikken, yes, I have trouble with the word verification also sometimes, I fixed the multi comments up, no probs.
Glad you enjoyed the post. I try to do a history lesson each Friday, being a nurse by profession, I am not sure it is what I am cut out for, but it has been a success. So, I won't stop something that is working well.

G-Man said...

Hi Cazzie!!
I'm glad I caught this weeks History Lesson..
That Hat is awesome and very distinctive..
You should be proud!
Thanks again for the Lesson and Poem...
You Rock!!!.....Galen
( Thanks for the Link, I'll have signgurl add you to mine)

Homo Escapeons said...

Thanks to your splendid isolation from any Superpowers your Country has so many unique 'trademarks'...we Canucks are always teetering on being completely overwhelmed by the American Cultural Juggernaut.

As a lad I watched Skippy on TV after school and I would pin up one side of my cowboy hat to try and make it look like a slouch...I have always thought that it was the epitome of cool.

susan said...

What a fun history lesson...much better then the kind I had in school.

I love the photo of the soldiers.

Aidan said...

Got to love jokes against New Zealand...

If you like poetry of a mIlitary flavour there is a book called The Happy Warrior...s elected and Compiled by Paul Barett WO2 and Kerry B. Collison...

The book contains poems writen by Australian soldiers to home, in the boer war, ww1, ww2, all peace keeping operations and other conflicts... Very moving and human...

Cazzie!!! said...

Galen, I am proud mate, and it is great to be able to share this with people who dunno it :)

Homo Esc, looks like we have something in common watching skippy and turning our side of our hats up with a pin, my brother and I did just that.

Susan, I agree with ou there, I don't remember much from history, in fact, it was termed Social Sciences of Australia. What I have learned is from the diggers, from my Pop and from my patoents who are ex veterans.

Aidan, thanks man, I will look up that book for sure, always looking for something good to read Also, I can pass it onto my kids:)