The world and its imports and exports

Name: Wilfred Ramsden
Date: 1916-1918
Unit: Australian Field Artillery
Location: Middle East, France

Corporal Wilfred Ramsden went to war to fight the enemy. To achieve his aim he often broke the rules. He went AWL in Egypt to board a ship bound for Europe so he could join a fighting unit, spent time under arrest, finally went in to battle and was awarded two medals, but died just two days before the end of the war.

Although not a particularly well educated man, he wrote about his experiences with a nice sense of the ridiculous, and his observations of his fellow man were often quite hilarious. His description of the various countries (some of which he had visited) and the people he met might be seen as bigoted or racial today but summed up the mood of the time. [No changes have been made to the spelling or grammar of the original item.]

A little instruction with amusement.

We will first take Africa if they let us - Africa is a large continent extending from Johanesburg to Parklane, first in importance is South-Africa, the principle imports are - whisky and Chinamen - exports diamonds and malaria. Central Africa has not been discovered. Livingstone had a try and then he had to be discovered. Further north we have Morroco the land of bookbinders also Egypt, famous for its Pyramids and other billiard games, no one is allowed to climb the Pyramids under the penalty of being snookered, the principle exports are Turkish cigaretes and Mummy's, Mummies two thousand years old are being manufactured every day. The chief amusements are - swimming the Nile and thus feeding the Alligators.

Now we come to America - America was discovered by Columbus, it's a damned good job for Harry Lauder. Columbus is now sorry he ever discovered, America is in three districts - North, Central and South, the North being the most important suburb, it is divided into states, each state is governed by every one in it, the ambition of every American is to speak English, every three years they appoint a president, and then everyone votes for himself.

Now we come to England. England is a small country in the North-West of Europe inhabited at various periods by Mr Hughes and other people of other nationalities, its capital is London, which is a suberb of the town of Brighton. London contains several notable buildings, including Westminster Abbey and the Bull and Bush, near Westminster Abbey, the House of Parliment which is famous for its fireworks. England is composed of counties - towns - mountains and football clubs, and is governed by the Daily Mail, the principle imports are cheap cigaretes and aliens - exports - language and weather, London poseses a county council which is kept up for the purpose of inventing new rates, the chief river is the Thames which is noted for its barque's down the river and its Lark's up the river, its population is a floating one and everyone call England a free country, except the taxpayer of course no one notices him, England keeps an open door and consequently most people feel a draught.

Now we come to Ireland - Ireland is an island by permission of the British Government, it is surrounded by water and redtape, the principle exports are Irish wisky and Irish MPs and both are responsible for a lot of talk, its capital has been Dublin for years, in fact it ought to be Treblin now, Dublin is on the Irish sea, thats the only sea the Irish see from Dublin, the most beautiful spot is Killarney which is known after the well known song, years ago Irelands favourite industry was the potato orchard, even today they grow the potato still, Also the whisky still. Ireland is seperated from England by St Georges Channel and the Gulf of Misunderstanding.

Now we have Scotland. Scotland is a large district north of England, its capital in Edinburgh is Edinburgh in Glasgow it is Glasgow - Glasgow is noted for cheap clothes and early closing - Edinburgh for early closing. Scotland is composed of mountains - Lochs and golf-links, and is divided into two parts, the Highlands and the Lowlands, of course the Lowlands is higher of the two. Scotland is very proud of the bridge which crosses the Forth, of course thats nothing really in comparision with the one which crosses the Firth, the Scotch people strictly observe Sunday, they won't allow thunder on the Sabbath in case it breaks it 9/10ths of Scotland is surrounded by water, the other 10th being whisky.

And last but not least we have Australia. Australia is an island, the inhabittants dig deeep below land, its principle imports are Governors, opium, financial-grants and immigrants. Exports, gold, wool, troops and High Commisioners. It has exported much steel, which was strongly objected to and brought many yells from the Dardenelles. Australia is also noted for its cloth and fashion, Melbourne was the capital stitch, but the Sydney got hemed in (Emden) Australia is called the Land of the Rising Sun, but the flappers catch the worm. Prices are very high nevertheless Turkey at one time rivaled it, but they found the Australians knew how to charge. And the price of this book is one penny.

The material for this article was supplied by Bevan Ramsden of Western Australia.


Last updated: 3 June 2019

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DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2019), The world and its imports and exports, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 14 August 2020, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/stories-service/australians-war-stories/world-and-its-imports-and-exports
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