The Old Slouch Hat [poem by John Barr, 6 January 1945]

[Editor: A poem by John Barr, regarding the Japanese and the foreshadowed end of the Second World War. Published in The World’s News, 6 January 1945.]

The Old Slouch Hat

The AIF wants to see Australia represented in the military occupation of Japan. The soldiers want to be in the liberation of their comrades of the lost Eighth Division. The evidence of the slouch hat might be a grim and potent warning to the Japanese.
— “Queensland Digger.”

Australian soldiers spilled their blood
To hold the Japs in check,
They died to dam the yellow flood
And save our people’s wreck,
And thousands in captivity
Await in sad passivity
To see a rescue mounting the horizon.

The old slouch hat
Will not be kept from that;
It’s got to crown the peak of Fujiyama.
It’s time the Japs should know
We’re bound for Tokio,
For Nagasaki, Kobe, Yokohama.

The Nipponese have got to learn
Australians owe a debt,
And paying it is their concern,
No fraction they’ll forget.
The long bill of atrocity,
Each item of ferocity —
The settlement of these their faith relies on.

So the old slouch hat
Goes north to see to that.
It’s got to cap the dome of Fujiyama.
It’s set for Tokio,
And won’t be stayed, you know,
From Nagasaki, nor from Yokohama.

At home, we’ll sow and reap the grain
And can the jam and beans,
But keep this clearly in your mind
That’s not all Aussie means.
The AlF’s rigidity
Repudiates tepidity,
Or subterfuge that friend or foeman tries on.

The old slouch hat
Is certain where it’s at —
That is the road that spins to Fujiyama,
And whether fast or slow,
It’s bound for Tokio,
For Nagasaki, Hell, or Yokohama.
And the old slouch hat
Will not be on its pat;
It has a date with friends from Alabama,
From Massachusetts Bay,
From Maine and Santa Fe,
And all the gang will go to Fujiyama!


The World’s News (Sydney, NSW), 6 January 1945, p. 19

Editor’s notes:
AIF = Australian Imperial Force; the First Australian Imperial Force was created in 1914 to fight in World War One, the Second Australian Imperial Force was created in 1939 to fight in World War Two

Japs = Japanese

Nipponese = Japanese (Nippon, meaning “the sun’s origin”, is the Japanese name for Japan)

pat = “Pat Malone”, rhyming slang for “alone”

Tokio = an alternative spelling for Tokyo (capital city of Japan)

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