Thanks for the Memories

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Based on the Bob Hope song ‘Thanks for the Memories’ and featured in the 1949 official history of the First Marine Division, this poem was written by two Australian Red Cross girls.

Thanks for the memory
Of coloured campaign bards
Blossoms and stars
Of rum and cokes
And moron jokes
And driving in staff cars.Cartoon
How lovely it was.

Thanks for the memory
Of castles in the air
Fingers in my hair
Of Collins Street
And kisses sweet
And those medals that you wear.
How lovely it was.

Thanks for the memory
Of evenings in your clubs
MPs around the pubs
Of drunks and fights
And dreadful types
And whirling jitterbugs.
How lovely it was.

Thanks for the memory
Of St. Kilda’s Esplanade
You took me home
And stayed and talked
Of Luna Park
And gardens dark
Those football games you played.
How lovely it was.Jitterbug

Thanks for the memory
Of visits to the Zoo
Those crazy things you’d do
Of southern drawls
Long distance calls
And dreams that won’t come true.
How lovely it was.

I was so sad when we parted
Although I knew you didn’t care, dear
I’d hopes all our dreams we might share, dear
But know I know
I was just snowed - but

Thanks for the memory
Of troops who’d been in strife
Kids who enjoyed life
Of love affairs
And foolish cares
And photos of your wife.
How lovely it was.

Abridged version. Reproduced from The Old Breed: A History of The First Marine
Division in World War II
, George McMillan, Infantry Journal Press, Washington,
1949. pp. 155-158

 

Image 1: Illustration of U.S. Marines with Australian women.
George McMillan, The Old Breed: A History of the First Marine Division in World War II, 1949. 
~ Rachel Jenzen Private Collection: donated by Colonel Mark Paul Fennessy ~

Image 2: “Apt Pupils: The young ladies of Melbourne were eager
to learn American ways, including jitterbug dance steps”,
in George MacMillan, The Old  Breed: A History of the
First Marine Division in World War II, 1949.

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