The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80804   Message #1479868
Posted By: Muttley
07-May-05 - 02:27 AM
Thread Name: Songs about the Great War (WWI)
Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
Actually I DON'T know for certain - however, going by an interview with eric Bogle I viewed here in Australia; he specifically mentioned the age as accurate and stated that the date of death was "VERY early 1916 - around January / February". I thought I had forgotten this little snippet (even an eidetic memory slips occasionally - and especially so since my short-term memory was scrambled in the same accident that scrambled the rest of my body).

So, when I was researching the chords for "Green Fields of France" [No Man's Land] a couple of years ago and came across the Steve Suffet offering of Willie McBride's Reply, I decided to research Willie McBride as well as the "lost memory" surfaced and tickled the conscious levels and I wondered whether the memory was false or whether Bogle was just 'playing up his song for all it was worth' and simply "spinning a yarn" as we say over here or was he "fair dinkum".

I came across both W. McBrides in the War Graves Register ( and I do recall the stoker, now that you mention him again). Going by Bogle's words in the Television interview (done for our ABC network on folk singers) and the info from the WGC site - I narrowed it down to the Willie McBride I quoted.

However, you raise a valuable point - I apologise for being 'pedantic': I fell into the same trap I despise the writers of Dinosaur books and documentaries etc for - that is, they take a "POSSIBILITY" or theory and then state it as Gospel Fact without using the better determinative of "It was PROBABLY....." or "It was most likely....."

So, it was most probably that 21406; Pvte McBride was THE Willie McBride sung about.

Thanks for the pull up Walrus - you're not a Vietnam Vet are you?

I'll try to be more careful in future