# 41833

GRATION, W. (William) (1856-1934)

A new poem entitled “Australia” / composed by W. Gration, blindman, Collingwood.

$250.00 AUD

  • Ask a question

Price: Two pence. Please note. This Piece may be easily Adapted to Music. Collingwood, Vic. : E. Wyatt, Australian Printing Works, [1919]. Small octavo bifolium (175 x 110 mm), title set within decorative border, centre pages with poem “Australia”, last side with printer’s imprint; contemporary pencilled annotation along inner fold reads ‘recd. 8.12.19’; front a little dusty, some light creasing at lower corners, otherwise a good example.

A rare Collingwood imprint published in the aftermath of the Great War.

Trove locates only two copies in Australian collections (NLA; Deakin University Library). However, the publication date and the poem’s significance as an anti-war statement appear not to have been previously noted.

Writing very soon after the war, Collingwood man William Gration sings the praises of the Australian soldiers who fought bravely in France, Egypt and Palestine; the navy that protects Australia’s shores; and the nurses who tended the sick and wounded, and ‘cheered up the deaf and the blind’. His poem concludes with the lines: ‘May Princes and Rulers and Statesmen agree / That warfare forever shall cease, / and give in its stead to the whole human race / a just and a world-lasting peace.’

Born in Collingwood in 1856, William was one of 11 children of Salvationists John Gration and Emma Gration (Proctor). He was most likely blind either from birth or childhood. Relatively late in life he married Annie Haywood (Lewis), on 1 February 1909 in Fitzroy. William was something of a self-styled ‘blind bard’, who during the First World War published another patriotic poem A tribute to the late Lord Kitchener and his brave comrades (Collingwood: E. Jones, 1916?). He died in Hampton, Melbourne, in 1934.

See Also