Regimental records appeal to readers of three kinds: to the veteran, who delights in refreshing his memories of past events; to the patriot, whose pride of race is justified by the faithful narrative of undying glory; to the student of mankind and warfare, who realises that his studies are valueless without intimate knowledge of character, method and nature of men. Such records are, documents of the first importance, and there are few that do not deserve an honoured place in our homes.
To those who witnessed the early days of the 21st Battalion and the sure development of their regimental spirit, the record of the Black and Red Diamond is just another example of effect following cause. There were the men to lead, and the men who were eager to follow in body, mind, and spirit: failure was unthinkable, and success was certain. Yet to describe these men adequately, to do justice to their merits and methods, is the most difficult task in the world.
The 21st, with "B" Company of the 23rd, have a special claim to the regard of all who served in the 2nd Division, since they proved by their conduct on the torpedoed "Southland", that their discipline and soldierly spirit was equal to the severest test. They gained the higher honour of claiming that the standard of their recruit days was well maintained to the end. Even in those dark days of 1918, when the sheer necessity of numbers forced the disbandment of so many glorious battalions of the A.I.F., the 21st adhered to their self-imposed standards in a manner that bough tears of sympathy and bitter regret to every soldiers heart.
There was throughout the 21st a spirit of willing co-operation that merits special record. Eager to help to the utmost of their ability, to disregard all motives except those that forward the common cause, to do their job properly and completely for their own satisfaction: these were the regimental qualities which warrant the proud claim today: "I, too, was found worthy to serve alongside the 21st.