The ANZAC Book (1916): Part IV - Another Attempt at an ANZAC Alphabet  (Ubique)



The Anzac Book. Written and Illustrated in Gallipoli by The Men of Anzac. For the benefit of Patriotic Funds connected with the A.& N.Z.A.C. (London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne, 1916). Introduction by Sir W.R. Birdwood, pp. ix-x (ANZAC December 19, 1915). "Editor's Note" by The ANZAC Book Staff (Aegean Sea, December 29, 1915).

"An ANZAC Alphabet" by Henderson is one of the best loved illustrations in the ANZAC Book (pp. 115-18). It is a 4 page rhyming poem based upon the letters of the alphabet with rather crude illustrations of each letter of the alphabet along with a two line poem which illustrates various aspects of the soldiers' life at Gallipoli. This was not the only ANZAC alphabet which appeared in the ANZAC Book A second one "Another Attempt at an ANZAC Alphabet" (by "Ubique" [Latin for "everywhere"])  appeared a few pages later (pp. 146-47) but it was not illustrated and is less well known. It takes a roughly chronological approach to relating his experiences at Gallipoli and focuses more on the everyday hardships and fear faced by the soldiers.

I will display the Alphabets in three separate posts: a general overview of both; and a separate one for each of the Alphabets. The Henderson Alphabet will contain many images - of each page in the ANZAC Book and then the individual letters of the alphabet.



Another Attempt at an ANZAC Alphabet (by "Ubique," 21st Indian Mtn. Battery) [pp. 146-47].

A was the Anguish that spread o'er my face
When I saw the remarkable look of the place.

B's "Beachy Bill," who fired at my ship -
Punctured the funnel and gave me the "pip."

C was the"Crump" that went by with a screech
As I jumped from a lighter and fell on the beach.

D was the Daring I failed to display
When fragments of shrapnel came whizzing my way.

E was the Earth which I found in my hair
As I woke in the morning and crawled from my lair.

F were the Fleas, and also the Flies,
Who feed on a fellow wherever he lies.

G were the gripes that gripped me within -
The result of commodities packed in a tin.

H was the Hole that a howitzer made;
It would take me an hour to fill in with a spade.

I was the Idiot who stuck up my head
Before I was taught to take cover instead.

J was the Jam with our rations and rum -
We found it was almost invariably "Plum."

K was the Knowledge I quickly acquired
Of hiding whenever the enemy fired.

L was the Louse that lurked in my vest,
Reconnoitred my peson and tickled my chest.

M was the Monitor, firing at night,
Which kept me awake when “above” didn’t bite.

N was the “Night stunt,” with trembling heart,
Expecting each moment the Maxims would start.

O’s the 0.0. (Ordnance Officer); let’s give him a cheer—
It isn’t his fault that nothing comes here.

P are the Piers—see them shiver and shake
Whenever a launch makes a wash with her wake.

Q stands for “Quick,” to the tunnel we dash
When a horrible missile explodes with a crash.

R are the Rumours we hear every day
That the Turkish moral has quite faded away.

S is the gilded Staff Officer—who
Censors my letters and tears them in two.

T is the Taube that drones in the sky
(Thank goodness, I haven’t been ordered to fly!)

U is the Underground sap we expand—
There’s a twopenny tube to the Narrows in hand.

V is for Victory. How we shall sing
Rule, O Britannia, and God Save the King!

W the Wire we put round our works-
We generally find that it’s pinched by the Turks.

X the “X-periments” made with a bomb—
A neat little cross on a nice little tomb.

Y in the world have I ever been placed
In a trench of cold water right up to my waist?

Z is the mule corps recruited from Zion,
Bearers of water and rations of iron.

"Ubique," 21st Indian Mtn. Battery.

Posted: Sunday - July 01, 2012 at 07:50 AM