© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons
459 Magazine - Gremloids
Issued - April 1943
When a Squadron magazine was first mooted, there were certain "Dismal Jimmies" who viewed the project with a dimness amounting to despondency, making gloomy forebodings as to the difficulties that would be encountered - and we (using the plural pronoun which is the prerogative of kings and editors) confess with shame that we were among them. But we have learnt our lesson and we gladly acknowledge it. Difficulties there have certainly been, but the appearance of this first issue shows that none of them were insuperable, and the response forthcoming to our appeal for contributions was overwhelming that we have not even space for an editorial! All we shall do, therefore, is to thank all our contributors and collaborators, and to express the hope that, if this effort doesn't damn us for all times in the eyes of our readers, the "Gremloid" - dedicated/by way of appeasement? to the Squadron's numerous Gremlin population - will make yet more and better appearances.
I have been asked to contribute a few words of greeting to this new venture in the life of the Squadron, and I do so with pleasure, because I feel that it is a welcome addition to our recreational activities. I should like to express my personal appreciation of the efforts of all who have worked so hard to bring the "Gremloid" into being, and to wish the magazine the success which I consider it deserves.
by L.A.C Besier.
There was hope within the squadron
For rumour made it clear
That in the NAAFI stores at last
Was a hoard of precious beer
The unit transport sailed forth
Sped on with many a cheer
For everyone can raise a thirst
At the thought of luscious beer
At the close of day they have in sight
And as the trucks drew near
With quivering nostrils strained at pitch
They could smell that glorious beer
Then came the time when the lids were off
To the boys the sight was dear
For in slick brown bottles. row on row
Stood that longed-for beautiful beer
Followed the dawn with an eerie light
But no one dared to jeer
As with trembling lips and moistened brow
They cursed that horrible beer
Despite their vows of "Never again"
Twill come to nought we fear
For in a week they will cry again
For that frothing amber beer.
"YOU'RE ROUND THE BEND MY SON" IF
by Don Baird.
IF If you can find your tent when all around you are howling winds and stinging flying dust, If you can eat your bully beef and biscuits and show no sign of your heart-felt disgust, If you can bear to hear those mournful statements - "Beers rationed" or worst still "No beers" and say "Maleesh, lime juice and waters" and drink it down with every show of cheer.
IF If you can dare to give the wogs your dhobi and get it back again each week - complete, and never lose a handkerchief of towel, if you can cheerfully climb aboard a gharry, and bounce and bump across the landing ground and never mutter curses on the driver, or if you do - don't mutter them too loud.
IF If you can sit still at night and Olay at poker and gamble with your next fortnight's feloose, and tho, you're losing keep on betting madly and pay your debts all round with IOU'S, if you can take your share in drinking sessions and find your own way back to bed at nights and rise again next morning bright and early and shaved and washed to report at 9 to flights.
IF If you don't mind the smell that comes from butter, if you're maleesh about woggy bread, if you can reach the mess in time for breakfast and never-never want to stay in bed, if you can really hope to reach Australia before this war is well and truly done, you're just a bloody marvel brother!
and - what is more - you're round the bend my son!
HOME THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD
by Chuck Collins.
I sit in my tent and look out across the sodden sand, through the steady rain to dismal-looking tents and one aircraft looking so forlorn that I can almost imagine its wings to be drooping. I shiver and think back into the past. I remember rain in the West Yorkshire Moors, almost continuous from first thing in the morning when we set out for a day's tramp to the last lap, down off the "tops" onto a tree-lined road ankle deep in the recently fallen leaves. Tired and wet as I was, I felt happy in my heart as I thought of the steaming hot bath waiting for me.
Or in Scotland - at Crieff in beautiful Perthshire for the World Rover Moot - when everything was fine and hot, and rain was not thought of, and of rambles round Lochs Earn and Tay and the pleasant little Scottish villages, of climbs to the tops of Ben More, Lidi and Stobinion, and finally on a very hot day to the top of Ben Nevis, where even in July there was snow on the Lee and we were able to see the best part of Scotland and even part of Ireland across the dull sea.
From the North to the South - cycling through the quiet chalky lanes of Kent surrounded by cherry blossoms and hop oasts. Then up onto the Downs, where all around, fresh green woods, orchards, park lands and the path work of cultivated plains stretch away into the hazy distance.
Once again into the Cotswold - the land of singing happy days and pleasant surprises, where everyone is a friend. Towards the end of the day, coming to a picturesque village, we find an old thatched pub, where the landlord says he can give us a bed for the night and we sit and drink our mug of beer and eat new bread, cheese and pickled onions and listen to the villagers who talk and smell of the land. I think too of the country pubs in Somerset, where, if it is quite of an evening, the landlord will ask you into the kitchen with the family where there is an old-fashioned stove and the walls are hung with old prints, harness, whips, guns, pistols and other odds and ends of the land and the chase. As you drink the sparkling cider that you watched him draw from a keg, he will tell you about the days that were.
My mind swings to London. What a contrast here! The traffic packed into the streets, the slow-moving buses crawling along, the taxis threading their way through with the skill of experience, and the steady hum of it all as against the shriek of the tube train as it rushes into a dark cave. A snack at a milk bar, or tea at Quality Inn, dinner at the Berkeley, or supper at Lyons Brassiere and a final cup of tea and cake at a coffee stall, a box at a dirat night at His Majesty's or the balcony at Sadler's Wells. London Bridge to Kensington Gardens Hyde Park or the Docks - just London! Then, just a "bob" on the bus, to the historic Forest of Epping, where, only a step off the main road, the modern world of progress is lost and we are back in the woods of good old England as they have always been.
I think of it all - the Lake district and the Tors of Devon, the Highlands of Scotland and the Pennines, from Strathearn to Surrey. Where is my Home? Why Britain! Put me anywhere in Britain and I'll find it good.
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