“Aussie” advances [editorial, 8 March 1918]

[Editor: An editorial published in Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 3, 8 March 1918.]

“Aussie” advances.

Aussie comes on parade again and hopes that when the inspection is completed the report on his turn out will be satisfactory.

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He has made a small advance since he last lined up. This has been made possible by the fortunate circumstance of discovering a printing machine in an abandoned imprimerie of a shell-shocked town. The energy and enthusiasm of a workshop staff belonging to our versatile Benzine Boys soon put it into good working order, and this has had the effect of increasing both his size and his circulation. And as a good circulation is always beneficial to the system, improvement in his general appearance has followed.

His new flash jacket is the result of the discovery of a quantity of good material beneath the plonker-pounded ruins of another imprimerie in a certain town known only too well to Aussies. Through the good services of the French Mission attached to our Corps, this material was purchased from the owner. It’s hard to say who was the more pleased over the deal — Aussie at being able to get hold of material that would enable him to parade in a more presentable jacket, or the owner of the imprimerie at realising on paper that he thought had long since been devoured by that clamorous and voracious animal, the Hun Plonker.

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Aussie’s best thanks are hereby distributed to the many contributors to his language rations. Without these he could not subsist. His appetite for words has increased with his growth, and he now does the Oliver Twist and comes up for more. He likes best those laughable trench incidents of which all battalion messes have a good stock. Many a good story that would make excellent word-food for him, remains the favourite battalion joke for a while and is then superseded by another and disappears into old dad Time’s scrapheap. Don’t let them be lost. There’s a salvage dump handy.

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Aussie wants to be a kind of swapping agent between Units for their favourite stories. It is not necessary to be an experienced manufacturer of literary food to do this. Just send along the ingredients to him and he will do his best to make them into a palatable dish for general consumption.

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Aussie also wishes to thank his many cobbers who have written him encouraging and friendly letters. It is, unfortunately, not possible for him to write and thank all these correspondents individually, although he would very much like to be able to do so, but he asks them all to accept this expression of appreciation and gratitude for their good-will in writing to him.

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And now a word or two in the ears of a few people who have been trying to pull Aussie’s leg. Some contributions have been received that are not original, although the senders infer that they are their own work. That isn’t playing the game. Aussie is a product of the battlefield, and he wants every item in him to be the work of his cobbers in the field and those in the field only. Should matter that is not original sneak in, it decreases the value of the work of those who go to the trouble to supply the dinkum goods. Therefore, he asks those to whom this is addressed to do the fair thing and send in their own work or none at all.



Source:
Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 3, 8 March 1918, page 1

Editor’s notes:
Oliver Twist = Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy’s Progress is a novel written by Charles Dickens (of England, 1812-1870); in the story there is a well-known scene in a workhouse in which Oliver Twist asks for more gruel at meal time, saying the line “Please, sir, I want some more”

plonker = artillery shell; an explosive shell that would “plonk” (land) on the ground (or on buildings, etc.) after being fired

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