Historical information

An appreciation by an instructor (Sgt J.F. Larkins). Presented to Signalwoman Ruth Franklin after training in Melbourne 1942. After training, Ruth served on Rottnest Island as a communicator in the Plotting Room, Oliver Hill

“Join the Corps of Signals”, the clarion call went forth,
“Volunteer for the A.W.A.S. and let another man go north.”
So you came into the Signals, in Australia’s hour of need,
And let a thousand men go up the line, to meet the yellow breed.

Where the lazy Yarra flows, through the green Victorian glade,
They formed a school of Signals, to teach you in our trade,
And the Old Ones, they were cynical, their tones were full of Jeers,
“Women in the Signals! What rot!” But their moans have turned to cheers.

You were tossed into the melting pot, that is an Australian Army camp.
There weren’t many comforts, there were no electric lamps,
There weren’t many blankets, it was cold in those tin huts,
But the A.W.A.S. came up smiling; you had good Australian GUTS.

The hours were long and wearisome, you were given lots of work,
But we didn’t find a loafer, we knew not one to shirk.
We made the pace a hard one, sometimes there were tears,
But you lasses learned as much in months, as we men absorbed in years.

You’re in the ARMY now; you all wear the Rising Sun,
Sometimes you’ll be unhappy, but stick till the job is done.
Time there will be, when the nerves are frayed, and all you do is bungle,
Just feel the badge on your tunic, and remember your mates in the jungle.

We wish you luck, and God-speed you on your way,
And wherever war may scatter us, we’ll look forward to the day,
When the final battle’s over and you’ve sent your last G.B.,
And the DIGGERS and the A.W.A.S. march in the parade of VICTORY.

GB (Golf Bravo) is the sign off God Bless

Physical description

Transcription of poem by Signals instructor Sgt JF Larkins presented to Signal Woman Ruth Franklin during Training in 1943. Read during 75th anniversary commemoration of proofing of Oliver Hill Battery, Rottnest Island. Computer printed on A4 bond paper.