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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

When Peace Comes

When Peace Comes.

One day, for all things must end, there will go up a glad cry from our lads on all the Fronts—"Peace is declared", and then what a homecoming there will be. What a day when the boys turn their back on the defeated Hun and Turk, and trek homeward. That phrase, "Peace is declared" is the '"Open Sesame" to Australasia and all that Australasia holds. It is our loadstar, our guide, when we mechanically ride or foot it over the endless, sun-blistered, withered desert; the lurking hope at the back of our brain when we grow sick at the monotony of a diet of "bully" biscuits, and water, and realise with Mulvaney that "glory's no compensation for a belly-ache"; our happy solace in the restful evenings in camp when the stars stand out in luminous relief on the veivet dome above, and the earth sighs happily as the breezes cross the stunted desert bushes. From the beginning of our active service it has been the one consolation, remote perhaps but sure, which simultaneously mingles with and stifles the curse in our throat as the Sergeant of the outpost gives a tug at our feet— dispelling soft dreams of the bush and the winding creeks, and says in a hoarse, grating whisper: "Look slippery—next relief. Put on your bandolier man, and creep across to that bush and relieve number one." Yes, we shake out our cramped limbs as we creep over the ground, and thank God that some day—surely soon—we will hear that whisper from the Orderly Room, and see the O. C's face as he reports the good news, "Peace is declared." That will be compensation enough, and if a bullet comes first— well, Kismet!