Phillip C Thompson - Tribute To A Great Australian
Poetry by Lachlan Irvine


(National President, Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, 1981-1986)


The Late Phill Thompson

When your country sent its young men out to face
A fearsome test of courage and of nerve,
A true professional, you never shirked
You volunteered, not once, but twice to serve.

The enemy you faced in Vietnam
Fought long and hard against you, but you knew
This was an enemy you could respect
Soldiers doing their duty, just like you.

Back home you found a different enemy
Dark pinstriped suits the uniform they wore;
You fought them in the corridors of power
You fought them in a new and dirty war.

They were the bureaucrats and politicians
And lawyers representing corporate bosses
Who smile while gloating over paper profits
Never caring to count human losses.

You took them on, although the odds were great,
Always believing right was on your side;
For you were only seeking out the truth
Uncovering what they tried so hard to hide.

Your body wracked with pain from battle wounds,
Cruel cancer weakening your will to live;
The spirit of the Anzacs drove you on
To fight - until you had no more to give.

For an N.C.O. must take care of his men
That message had become your lifelong creed;
The Anzac spirit - look after your mates
No matter who the foe, or what the need.

In life you found no comfort from the pain
And so you sought to find your own release;
But no-one could have fought a better fight
The war is over mate, now rest in peace.

Lachlan Irvine

For more Vietnam War poems, return to the Vietnam War Poetry Page.

Vietnam War Poetry