Soldier stories

HAMMY LAMB POEM. Submitted by Tony Lamb OAM (son of VX22347 G. H. Lamb).

Background : This poem was written by Lieutenant G. H. Lamb in Leles, Java after the surrender of Allied forces in Java by the Dutch command. It concisely illustrates the frustration and anger of the troops who were now P.O.W.s.

After Hamilton Lamb died, the poem was rescued by Cyril Scriven who kept it with his P.O.W. souvenirs until, alerted by an article in a newspaper, he forwarded it to Lamb’s son Antony in August 1991. He explained that the scribble was due to a lot of doodling they did those days in captivity and the piece cut out, which had no typing on it, was used to make a cigarette with native tobacco.

Notes : The spelling has been retained from the original. N.E.I. was the abbreviation for Netherland East Indies. The Dutch Queen’s name was usually spelled ‘Wilhelmina’. Queen Wilhelmina headed the government in exile in Canada when her country was over-run by the Germans and did everything in her power to encourage resistance. [Extract from Dictionary of World Biography Jones B. O. (Information Australia Melb. 1994) p781].