PRIVATE SIDNEY ROLAND JENKINS
22ND SEPTEMBER 1917 AGE 26
BURIED: LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY, BELGIUM
Mark Twain used a similar inscription to this on his daughter's headstone, which led people to assume that he had written it. He hadn't, but he had adapted it from 'Annette', a poem by Robert Richardson. Richardson's 'Annette' concludes:
Warm summer sun, shine friendly here.
Warm western wind, blow kindly here;
Green sod above, rest light, rest light,
The inscription on Twains daughter's headstone reads:
Warm summer sun, shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind blow softly here,
Green sod above lie light, lie light -
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.
Private Jenkins' father adapted it differently and referred to the wind rather than to the sun:
Green sod above
Blow light, blow light
Good night dear, good night
Jenkins, in civilian life a railway porter from Gulargambone, N.S.W., enlisted on 16 October 1915 and embarked from Sydney on 5 June 1916 with the 13th reinforcements for the 18th Battalion Australian Infantry. Wounded on 15 April 1917, he was back in action by 28 August. He then died of wounds at No. 10 Casualty Clearing Station on 22 September 1917.
The Battalion War Dairy records that on the 20 September it attacked at Bellewaarde Ridge with 200 casualties among the soldiers. After heavy shelling on the 21st, it was relieved the next day; the Diary commentating: "Casualties during the relief were slight. Casualties Lieut W.S. Moors (wounded) O. Ranks estimated around 60".
A report in the Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau Files states baldly: "Private Jenkins died 22.9.17 from G.S.W. (gun shot wound) compound fracture R.Leg and Wd R. Hand. He was buried at Lijssenthoek Cemetery Plot 22. No. H 14B."