Before he died in the early 1980s, Australian patriot George Lee Sye Snr wrote a poem about the last Anzac. He knew that one day this would inevitably come to pass and the status of this person would become legend.

Lest we forget!

Alec Campbell – 26 February 1899 to 16 May 2002

Alexander William (Alec) Campbell  was the last surviving Australian participant of the First World War’s Gallipoli campaign. With his passing in 2002, that last living link between Australia and the Gallipoli story was broken.

Here is our tribute to this man.


Written by George William Lee Sye (Snr) – 1935 to 1982

See him stand in the sun, with his hat in his hand.

He came to honour the dead, who gave us this land.

As he shuffles his feet, he coughs deep in his chest.

It’s hard to believe, he was once one of our best.


With his eyes on the ground and his thoughts far away,

He thinks of his mates and the place where they lay.

Of the price that they paid, those comrades so bold,

Cut down in their prime, they can never grow old.


It’s hard to remember, all the times and the places.

But he’ll never forget their names or their faces.

For mate-ship like that, has gone far out of style,

And to hold back a tear, he forces a smile.


The wreaths have been laid and they’ve played the last post,

The speeches are read and he goes pale as a ghost.

Is it real, can he hear the roar of a gun,

Or is he just an old man, been too long in the sun.


He looks at the young ones, who stand all around.

They don’t realise the price that was paid for this ground.

They’ve never seen their mates killed as their feet hit the beach,

Nor seen their life’s blood, drain away within reach.


Do they care for this land, as men used to then,

Would they take up arms, to fight for it again.

Or will it slip through their fingers, this country of ours,

And sell it piecemeal, to those great foreign powers.


Is a fair dinkum Aussie, a thing of the past,

Didn’t we build a nation, that surely would last.

The old man lifts his head and there’s blood in his eye,

This is my country and will be till I die.


The parade moves away and a woman walks to his side,

She takes hold of his hand and looks at him with pride.

This is her man, for whom she has great need,

And soon he’ll be gone, the last of his breed.

Copyright by the Lee Sye Family

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