Digger Smith by C. J. Dennis | Project Gutenberg

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A study in poetry of the effects of the conflict on those who fought and returned home. Written in dialect by Clarence James Dennis, the ‘Australian Robert Burns’. Dennis (b. 1876) did not see service, but wrote a series of poems relating to war experiences (beginning with ‘The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke’, 1915) that became instant bestsellers.

CONTENTS
I. BEFORE THE WAR
“Before the war,” she sighs. “Before the war”…
II. DUMMY BRIDGE
“If I’d ‘a’ played me Jack on that there Ten…”
III. DAD
“I’ve knowed ole Flood this last five year or more…”
IV. DIGGER SMITH
“‘E calls me Digger; that’s ‘ow ‘e begins …”
V. WEST
“I’ve seen so much uv dirt an’ grime ….”
VI. OVER THE FENCE
“‘Taint my idea uv argument to call a man a fool …”
VII. A DIGGER’S TALE
“My oath!” the Duchess sez. “You’d not ixpect …”
VIII. JIM’S GIRL
“‘Oo is that girl,” sez Digger Smith . . .
IX. THE BOYS OUT THERE
“Why do they do it? I dunno…”
X. HALF A MAN
“I wash me ‘ands uv ‘im,” I tells ’em, straight …
XI. SAWIN’ WOOD
I wondered wot was doin’. First I seen …
XII. JIM
“Now, be the Hokey Fly!” sez Peter Begg …
XIII. A SQUARE DEAL
“Dreamin’?” I sez to Digger Smith . . .
G. GLOSSARY

Sydney: Angus & Robertson Ltd., 1919

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About Richard Marshall

Richard Marshall is studying for a doctorate in the literature of ancient Rome at Wadham College, Oxford, and is a tutor for Ancient History at St Benet’s Hall. In addition to Classics, he has a long-standing interest in the tactics and material culture of the British Army, especially of the period spanned by the Cardwell Reforms and First World War. He has a large collection of original uniform and equipment items used for teaching and research purposes, and is currently exploring the evolution of British military clothing and accoutrements in response to changes in fashion and warfare for eventual publication. He previously worked as a cataloguer for the Oxford University Great War Archive.

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