The Dead March On in Front

When you're standing in the crowd, friend,
As the big parade goes by
And all around are cheering,
The one's who did not die;
Remember when you're shouting, friend,
Those other ones who bore the brunt,
They're in the grand parade today;
The Dead march on in Front.

They'll never hear the joyful din
Nor see the waving flags;
Unseen, unheard, they march erect
With a step that never lags;
There's Joe, there's Fred and Andy
Who fell at El Alamein
Ginger and Snow, inseparables
Out on the Libyan plain;
Tom, who dropped at Casino,
Tossing grenades to the end,
Jerry who died near the Arno
The Padre, their guide, their friend.

There are sturdy lads in blue, friends
Shepherds of the convoy fleet,
Heroes of the River Platte ...
They never knew ...defeat;
And gallant merchant seamen, friend,
From tankers, troopships, merchantmen,
Who died out on the watery wastes ...
In the van they live again.

Onward they march with bearing pride
Leading the Big Parade;
Don't think that I'm romancing, friend,
You know the part they played,
Yes, cheer the ones who pass along
Each and all they bore the brunt
But pay a reverent tribute, friend,
To the nations glorious Dead;
Unseen, unheard, in rightful place,
They march in front.

Whakatane, June 1945

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