Lest We Forget: Bush Poet Matt Langdon's Anzac Tribute – 96five Family Radio

Lest We Forget: Bush Poet Matt Langdon’s Anzac Tribute

By Justin RouillonFriday 24 Apr 2020

For Matt ‘Trucky’ Langdon bush poetry paints the ultimate picture of the landscape and of our past.

He became fascinated by the style when he discovered the genre and began writing his own compositions as a teenager.

“I’ve always loved the imagery of bush poetry – when you listen to something like ‘The Man From Snowy River’ – if you let your imagination run with it you can start building a movie in your mind.  That’s what I’ve always loved about it.”

His first poem was written for his father and tells the tale of growing up in the regional community of Gloucester in New South Wales.

In recent years Matt’s work has focused on championing causes and giving a voice to those he’s passionate about supporting.

Listen to Matt’s Anzac tribute Lest We Forget in the audio player above.

The longer form poem ‘Young Billy Smith’ tells the story of two young diggers going off to World War I.

“The characters in the poem aren’t real but the stories are – the stories are a mash up of real stories that I’ve read and researched.  I’ve done that to try and highlight what the original Anzac’s would have gone through.”

But it’s the Anzac Day tribute ‘Lest We Forget’ that Matt has a personal connection to.  In part the poem pays respect to all those who served and never returned, but it’s also been inspired by his grandfathers involvement in World War II.

“My grandfather trained with the Z Unit, but two weeks before they deployed he came down with pneumonia, which saved him as his entire squad ended up being wiped out.  He became a turret gunner in the B-17 Flying Fortresses and served in the Pacific.  The poem is also paying my respects as someone who never served, to say thanks to those who went through hell – that’s what ‘Lest We Forget’ is all about.”

Matt is also passionate about inspiring the next generation to discover his love of bush poetry.

“In many respects it is a bit of a dying art form, I’m 40 and I’m one of the younger people doing it.  I am looking at opportunities to volunteer with schools and youth orgonisations to teach it to kids.  It’s just such a unique way of telling a story – you can take something absolutely mundane and turn it into something that people will ask – where’s the movie!”

Lest We Forget by Matt Langdon

I need to give a thank you

To someone I know not

Someone who’s long passed away

Someone that time forgot

Someone who’s just a memory

And left their family bruised

Someone whose final resting place

Their family did not choose.

The calling they did heed

To go and fight on foriegn shores

And stand up for a way of life

Defending rich and poor

To stand against oppression

Tyranny, and genocide

And would have gone down swinging

On the day they died.

The saddest part of war

Is we know not where they rest

My heart it greives to give

A send-off worthy of the best

Their sacrafice was ultimate

The price they paid supreme

They gave their life for you and me

A hero not since seen.

Then there are the others

Who returned full of regret

Lamenting that it wasn’t them

Whose final fate was met

They watched as mate and stranger

Dropped on either side

Whose memories and friendship

Now in those old eyes reside.

Relieved that they came home

From a hell that they can’t shake

The wonder why their mate, not them

Still their heart it breaks

Their service and their sacrafice

A nation did expect

Our ANZAC’s gave us freedom

Liberty and respect.

Those that serve us still

They do with ANZAC pride

In our hearts and memories

All of you reside

You fought to give me freedom

Laid down your life for me

A debt I’ll never be able

To pay back to thee.

So every year on ANZAC

I’ll read this poem again

The only way I’m able

Say thank you with my pen

Know you’re not forgotten

And let us share your regret

Thank you to our diggers

God bless, lest we forget.





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