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Buy Hal Colebatch’s “Australia’s Secret War” here.

Hal Colebatch’s excellent book “Australia’s Secret War” has just won
the Prime Minister’s Literary Award.

My father, an AIF infantry sergeant during WW2, had often told us how the
wharfies (dock workers) had sabotaged our war efforts.
On at least two occasions they had to load their own troop ships and
wharfies had to be removed at gunpoint.

Despite years of suppression the truth eventually emerges.

I wonder where old wharfies go to hide on ANZAC Day?
Perhaps they all assemble at their pub,
And drink and justify their war time deals and extra pay,
And hope the left from history will scrub
Their acts of sabotage and thieving during World War Two;
Refusing to load ships then bound for war.
To enemies of freedom was their loyalty always true;
These weak men all Australians should deplore.

While those who chose to fight the foe were leaving for the front,
The wharfies were demanding danger pay.
These soldiers for their country’s sake would bravely bear the brunt
Of combat, while in bed the wharfies lay.
In Townsville back in forty two, the ships they wouldn’t load,
For diggers heading off to stop the Jap.
And all around the country this behavior was echoed,
Until the digger’s patience it did snap,

And Tommy guns and bayonets were brandished at the dock,
As soldiers then the ships themselves did load,
The wharfies, now evicted, from the sidelines they would mock,
And by these acts the seeds of hatred sowed.
So if you wonder why, between the forces and the left,
There’s no love lost, they just don’t get along;
Consult true history suppressed by Governments bereft,
Of how the weak willed tilted at the strong.

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