Patrick Joseph Allison
Being transported to Japan on Lisbon Maru
1st/2nd October 1942
Lost when the Lisbon Maru sunk
Loving son of Charles John and Teresa Allison, of Dumfries, Scotland
SAI WAN MEMORIAL
Martyrs of the East
L/C James Gow
The Royal Scots
Dazed, bewildered and battered,
Throughout Asia we've been scattered.
Oh what trials and struggles we went through.
Oh well-remembered Hellship, Lisbon Maru.
For to Nippon we tried to sail.
But this unlucky ship was doomed to fail,
Disasters came from the waters green,
Ironical Fate, A Yankee Submarine.
It was amidships we were struck.
This occasion would need all our pluck.
Panic reigned but soon died down.
Like rats in trap, were we to drown.
In every thought was the trend.
Was this the beginning of the end?
For they closed the hatches and battened us down.
Many a face glum on many a frown.
For twenty long hours spent in suspense,
No food, no water, all grim and tense.
A trying time to our patience.
In the next hold, dying of suffocation.
It will be over by twelve, the Japs had said,
But the cowardly deed was rightly read.
For by noon, it would have been too late.
And Neptune's locker destined our fate.
For Col Stuart gave out a shout.
"The hatches" he cried "Knock them out"
The Japs fired but us they couldn't stop.
They didn't last long when the boys reached the top.
The ship gave a sudden lurch we were caught unawares,
Instantly a mad rush was made for the stairs.
A horrible sight, making the blood run cold.
Those bodies hurtling down, smashing to the bottom hold.
Panic stricken, some had lost their head.
Lost freedom, found death instead.
Then the ship righted again.
Would we get out this time, out of this rotten den?
They sorted out in more orderly fashion,
Slow and steady, no pushing, no dashing.
This time no one slipped, no one fell.
Back to that hold, that hold of hell.
Words can't describe that hold below.
Where the hours were days, they dragged that slow.
'Twas a nightmare never to be forgotten
Tho' a lucky fate saved us from the bottom.
What a sight met us on deck.
Flotsam and jetsam all around the wreck.
Some were overboard & started swimming.
From the bridge "8 bells, alls well" came ringing.
She was partly submerged with decks awash,
Everything floatable, went into the sea with a splash.
Tugs were chugging not far from the scene,
Further on, some isles were spotted with a hopeful gleam.
Everywhere, everyone was searching and scouting.
At times it was like an old coy outing.
For a while, the boys were completely enraptured.
They hadn't smoked so much since being captured.
The sick were sitting about, tired and worn,
Wood strapped to their backs, in hope forlorn?
But Doc Jackson was there, doing his best,
He wasn't running around in circles, like the rest.
Then the Lisbon shuddered and we dived our various ways
Some lost forever, some for years some only for days.
We struck out from the wreck with much threshing and blowing.
Then she finally settled, her three masts still showing.
There'll be a day when we'll be set free.
And in that land we love, across the sea.
Is there, a corner, a pint, a smoke at least.
For these Orphans of the Storm, the Martyrs of the East.