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Autograph Book of Luis Gonzaga "Luigi" Gosano

This booklet was given to me by Luigi's good friend, Filomeno "Meno" Baptista, a priceless relic from Shamshuipo Prisoner-of-War Camp, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Some of the drawings – like this frontispiece – are unmistakeably the work of the talented artist, Company Sergeant-Major Marciano "Naneli" Baptista, Meno's uncle (see also the album of his works, created also in Shamshuipo Camp).

It would appear that most of the entries were made during the war but at least one ("With a Friend", a copy of a poem composed by a soldier killed in the Battle of Anzio in January 1944) must have been made either late in the war or after the surrender of Japan in September 1945.

HA d'Assumpção
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A sketch of Winston Churchill; artist unknown.

A Canadian Tribute

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It really is a pleasure
To sit here at my ease
And pen a little picture
Of the friendly Portuguese.
 
The task should be quite easy
They know not how to hate
Their ways are really friendly
Like their many traits.
 
They fought on field of battle
Some died but not in vain
For here their beloved brethren
Keep immortal their good name.
 
They're an asset to the island
And command all due respect
For in all their public projects
You'll find them there on deck.
 
And there behind the wires
They greet you with a smile
From them you get a lesson
How to face the weary miles.
 
You cannot help but like them
They have such chummy ways
That helps to ease your burden
And brighten all dull days.
 
You bet it is a pleasure
To sit here at my ease
For I'll guess we all remember
The friendly Portuguese.
 
By S/Sgt.
H.P. McNaughton
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Canada

Shamshuipo Sports Competition

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Tennis champs are keeping in trim by more methods this season.

N.B. The prizes formerly offered by the camp authorities for the greatest number of flies has now been withdrawn.

Recreio is favoured for the 1943 league championship judging by their showing on the ???? up to the present.

The Greens committee is tryingout a new surface this year which will speed up the game greatly.

TUNE IN TO STATION R.I.C.E. FOR THE SPORTS NEWS DAILY.

Owing to circumstances beyond their control, the Cross-country run has been postponed indefinitely by the authorities. one lone enthusiast, however, is keeping in training in strong hopes that the run may be held after all.

We have it from a reliable source that the V.R.C. Committee plans to hold the colony Championships soon. Training has already been started in the various nullahs and it is reported that Elysio Alves will be a strong contender for the Diving Championship!

Fancy diving headgear lately introduced in camp.

New model for egg and spoon contests.

THIS SEASON'S batting champ showing the new and improved cricket wear not adopted by the M.C.C.

["LUIGI" handwritten]

[Signed] Jaffer

On the Hills of Old Hongkong

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THEY LIE ASLEEP PROUD CANADA'S DEAD
ON FAR OFF EASTERN SHORE
FOR THEM THE DRUMS OF WAR ARE STILLED
THEIR FIGHTING DAYS ARE O'ER.
 
THE TEMPLE BELLS SHALL NOT WAKE THEM
NOR THE SOUND OF A MANDARIN'S SONG
OR THE CLATTER OF WOODEN SANDALS
ON THE STREETS OF OLD HONGKONG!
 
NO MORE THEY WILL SEE THE BECKONING LIGHTS
THAT SHINE THE LOFTY TOWERS
OF THE SHELTERING OLD PAGODAS
WHERE THE CHINESE PRAY FOR HOURS.
 
NO MORE FOR THEM THE GLORIOUS SIGHTS
OF CHINA'S SETTING SUN
CASTING ITS COLOURFUL SHADOWS
WHEN THE END OF THE DAY HAS COME.
 
FOR O'ER THE SEA IN HOMELAND
THE TEARS OF LOVED ONES FALL
WHO TEMPER GRIEF WITH JUSTLY PRIDE
IN THEM WHO GAVE THEIR ALL!
 
THE TRUMPETS OF HEAVEN CALLED THEM
TO ANSWER MUSTER ROLL
TO MEET THEIR CHIEF COMMANDER
FOR THEIR NAMES ARE ON HIS SCROLL.
 
THEY SHALL NOT MISS THE TEMPLE BELLS
NOR THE SOUND OF CHIMING SONG
OR PINE FOR THE SIGHT OF FURY LIGHTS
ON THE HILLS OF OLD HONGKONG!

With a friend!

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Look, God, I have never spoken to you
But now I want to say, "How do you do?"
You see, God, they told me you didn't exist,
And like a fool, I believed all this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw your sky
And figured they had told me a lie.
Had I taken time to see things you made
I'd have known they weren't calling a spade a spade!
I wonder, God, if you'd shake my hand,
Somehow I feel you will understand.
Funny I had come to this hellish place
Before I had time to see your face!
Well, I guess there isn't much more to say
But I'm glad, God, that I met you today.
I guess the zero hour will soon be here
But I'm not afraid since I know you're near.
There's the signal - I've got to go,
I like you lots, I want you to know
Look now, this will be a horrible fight
Who knows? I may come to Your House tonight
Though I wasn't friendly to you before.
I wonder, God, if you'd wait at Your door?
Look, I'm crying - me! Shedding tears!
I wish I'd known you these many years.
Well, I have to go now, God, Goodbye -
Strange, since I met you, I'm not afraid to die!
Pte. JJW
 

(FOUND ON THE BODY OF A SOLDIER KILLED IN THE ANZIO BEACHHEAD)

[The Battle of Anzio took place in January 1944]
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[Subject unknown; sketch signed] Basto [This could be either L/Cpl Arture José Yvanovich de Castro Basto #2883 or L/Cpl Carlos Pompeia de Azevedo de Castro Basto #2854. See also the first of the sketches under Signatures in Naneli Baptista's Camp Album.]

 
 

Red Cross Parcel

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The SHAMSHUIPO GREEN HORROR

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[Signed] Basto [This could be either L/Cpl Arture José Yvanovich de Castro Basto #2883 or L/Cpl Carlos Pompeia de Azevedo de Castro Basto #2854. See also the first of the sketches under Signatures in Naneli Baptista's Camp Album.]
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Alfonso Miranda [Not identified]
Camp "5"
1944

Xmas 1942

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Menu

Breakfast
Potato Rissoles
Bacon & Eggs
Biscuits – Candies – Cocoa
Tiffin
Fried Vegetable
M. & V. Stew
Dried Fruit Pie
Atta Bread
Biscuits – Candies
Cocoa
Dinner
Bully Stew & Rice
M. & V. Pastry
Apple Pudding
Cocoa

Xmas 1943

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Menu

Breakfast
Sweet Atta Porridge
Fried Fish
Bread – Tea
Tiffin
Pork & Vegetable Stew
Fried Pork
Rice – Tea
Dinner
Bully Beef & Tomato Soup
M. & V. Pie
Bully Pastry
Brown Sauce
Mixed Fruit Pie
Fruit Cake

Xmas 1944

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Menu

Breakfast
Sweet Bran & Bean Flour Gruel
Tea
Tiffin
Fried Salt Fish & Chips
Pak Choy & Tomatoes
Rice – Tea
Dinner
Pork & Vegetable Stew
Bean Cake
(123 ozs)
Rice – Tea

[US Attack on Kowloon Docks]

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[A sketch of what is evidently the attack by US 14th Air Force Liberators on Kowloon Docks]
2/9/43 [There appears to be a discrepancy in the date of this attack. The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper, Thu 18 Nov 1943, gives a report from Lt-Gen Stilwell's headquarters in Chungking of such an attack on Kowloon Docks on Monday Nov 15 1932. Another source, with a photo, states that the attack took place on Oct 16, 1944. Yet another report gives the date as 25 Aug 1943. Of course, there could have been more than one of these attacks.]
[Artist] Cicero [This would be Cicero Laertius do Rozário #16222. See also his account of his experiences at Shamshuipo Camp.]

Shamshuipo Bed Companions

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[Artist] Fonseca [This would be L/Cpl João Carlos da Fonseca #12106]

Cricket

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When this long nightmare ends and one's foes decide to yield
W're sure to meet again on some peaceful battlefield
Where with bat & ball in our Happy hours of leisure
Under God's good sun we will share our days of pleasure
But let's remember that through our friends who gave their lives
Our game of cricket manly and noble still survives.
T.A. Pearce
18/6/44
 
 
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When twilight draws the curtain
And pins it with a star
Remember you have one good friend
No matter where you are.
Turibio José Cruz [He was later moved to Sendai POW Camp in Japan.]
H.K. P.O.W. Camp 24/3/44

Avelina Maria Gosano

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[Avelina #24314 was the younger sister of Luigi, whose Autograph this was. Artist not identified]

Rations

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[Artist] RJ Barnes [This is Dr Robert Joseph Barnes #9447]

Consolidated PBY-4 Patrol-Bomber

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[Artist] ABC [This is perhaps Pte António Braz de Carvalho #35737]

To the Prison Camp Pellagrin

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[Pellagrin: A person afflicted with Pellagra, a disease caused by lack of Vitamin B3, evidently prevalent in the POW Camp.]
When your tongue is bald and reddish
And with pain you try to eat
When your toes are very tender
And lyou cannot bear the sheet
When you get electric shootings
And an aching in your feet —
 
When your eyes are running over
And you cannot face the light+
When you have too many blind spots
And you slowly lose your sight
When your lips are sore and cracking
And you dribble in the night —
 
When your muscles are atonic
And your body wastes away
When you have a touch of the squitters
And your stools are foul and gray
When your spirits are despondent
And you feel you've had your day —
 
Then's the time you need your courage
And your pride in race and creed
Then you'll have to show the training
Of a race of stubborn breed
and remember all and save it
Till by victory you are freed.

Years

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What did 1942
Mean to the like of me and you?
Robbed us of our homes, our wealth,
Robbed us of our freedom, health,
Robbed us of our food, our breath,
Many found their rest in death.
Broke the faith of some in vain,
Others courage stood the stgrain,
That's what 1942
Did for the like of me and you.
 
What did 1943
Mean to the like of me and you?
Hardhip 'dured have ceased to pain,
Broken spirits healed again,
Death has ceased to take its toll,
Men have learnt — this is not all,
Thoughts of home, the bravery there,
Make our cross seem light to bear.
That's what 1943
Means to the like of me and you.
[To make this rhyme, it should be "you and me".]
 
What did 1944
Bring to yhou and me and more?
Thanks to God for battles won,
Thanks to men for good work done,
Lives to mould and lives to mend,
Homes to build and sick to tend,
Block-level content
Minds to exercise anew,
Work for eager ones to do.
Better times for all in store,
Haste ye, 1944.
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What is the secret of success? To inspire confidence.
What is confidence? It cannot be acquired by book-knowledge, nor by the bedside of patients. It is a magic gift granted by birth-right to one man and denied to another. The doctor who possesses this gift can almost raise the dead.
"Miracles of Military Medicine"
Albert Q Maisel.

Random Recollection of a Prisoners-of-War Camp

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Stanley — North Point — Shamshuipo
The long hike in, the heavy packs,
To North Point Barracks — filthy shacks.
Buzzing with flies — remember too
The hub-cap plates and bully stew.
the midnight trips to the bleak sea wall
Praying to heaven we did not fall
Then over the harbour to Shamshuipo.
To Maltby, Jeffers, Boon and Co.
Do you remember our disgust
At nothing to eat but plain rice bust
The Saturday nights with "Dodger" Green
The candle light — the soya bean.
The wild war rumours that came our way
The first bread issue on Easter Day.
The beri-beri — pellagra too
And nice soft times as S.I.Q.
 
The so-called six ounce ration of meat
The officers going to Argyle Street.
Shifting to Jubilee one Sunday noon
Being b...d about by Major Boon
Escapes — reprisals — no more meat
that terrible scourge, "electric feet."
The working parties at Kai Tak
Witn skidding trucks on a crazy track.
The "dip" epidemic (we were in a way).
With funerals averaging four a day.
Then "Red Cross" stores — lots of teas.
Some bullybeef and M & V.
A Happy Xmas if somewhat dry
With M & V and mixed fruit pie
And all the lads we laid to rest
'Neath the shadow of hte C.B.S.
 
Inoculations by Ashton Rose
New felt hats — repairs to clothes
One poud of sugar once per month
Tooth powder, towels and sheets of bum'ph
Lice and bugs, weevils and rats,
As big as omeside tabby cats.
Queue's for bathing, rice and tea,
Queue's for bully, bread and ghee.
Eternal rumours of being moved
How camp conditions somewhat improved
And infernal longing to be free
Before the end of '43.

Let Us Give Thanks

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We fought for simple liberty
Which brethren elsewhere still preserve
For homes, traditions, decency
For that faira peace our hearts deserve —
Let us give thanks for what we serve.
 
the lost mataerial freedom, yet
Our smug complacency was tossed
Into oblivion, so let
Us never overrate the cost —
Let us give thanks for what we lost.
 
We have our lives, our sight, our health
Though thousands found eternal sleep
And rarer than forgotten wealth
We have the right to laugh, to weep
Let us give thanks for what we keep.
 
Though captives in the flesh, no doors
Can makae our flights of fancy cease
No bars the dreams we sail to shores
Which know no other state than peace.
Let us give thanks for their release.
 
We find new beauty in the skies
New shades to colour joy and pain
Our eyes shall paint a paradise
On canvas lately drab and plain
Let us give thanks for what we gain.
Though brutal greed and cruelty
The tale of countless nations war
Strong in the light of chivalry
Our island empire's brightest star
Let us give thanks for what we are.

Rice

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We hear of great victories won in the West
And dream of release and those we love best.
We swallow with joy most incredible tales
And it's hardly a wonder we go off the rails
All illusions are shattered in less than a trice
When somebody mentions that bloody word — "Rice".
 
We scrounge in the muck heaps for brushes and pails
Our life is an ill-fated scramble for nails
Our senior officers wrangle in vain
With the Nips who have nothing to show but disdain.
But no matter how heavily loaded the dice
The fruit of defeat is undoubtedly — "Rice".
 
We seize what we can evry day through the wire,
And the troops get the best from the "Ladies for hire".
It's a rare sight indeed to see live brigadiers
Grabbing buns through the bars like Regents Park bears,
But such gluttony cannot be labelled a vice
When we know what the only alternative's — "Rice".
 
Some colonels and majors and subalterns too
Reverse the procedure we've seen at the zoo.
And some live on memories prior to the blitz
Of epicurean repasts held in the Ritz.
But whether our manners are nasty or nice,
It's a quid to a farthing, the answer is "Rice".
 
We've no blankets, nor clothes and we sleep on the floor
We have scarcely a window to close and no door
And a problem most weighty for someone to solve
Is how to maintain some hygienic resolve
But who gives a hoot for the menace of lice
As long as those ———— keep giving us "Rice".
 
 
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When you feel that you've given
The best that you can give,
Give just a little bit more.
When you're full of disgust
With the ways of the world,
Smile, though you're sick to the core.
When the pal that you trusted
Becomes just a heel
Don't blot out your senses with hate.
The best way I guess
To get out of this mess
Is to pray just a little — and wait.

Strawberry Ball

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Come to my strawberry ball,
It's an occasion for all
Shamshuipo Rhythm boys will be there,
Bring your mess tins for a damn good fare
Bully beef, veg. soup and rice,
M & V once in a while
I'm itching to welcome you all
To my Strawberry Ball.

HER 4 SONS – 8th DEC 1941

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[Artist] ATUTO 13/8/44 ["Atuto" is the nickname of Augusto Mário Olderico dos Remédios #10550]
[This is no doubt in commemoration of the death of the four Reed brothers who perished in the defence of Hong Kong.]

WASH HOUSE - RATION STORE - JUBILEE (BEHIND)

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14/8/44 ATUTO ["Atuto" is the nickname of Augusto Mário Olderico dos Remédios #10550]
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Luigi, my friend, I have sat here for ages,
Thinking of what I can say in these pages!
{Cartoon of man seated at able pondering.}
I've thought of your hair - that didn't help much!
{Cartoon of players of Monopoly, one saying "£950 please, Curly" and another: "Son of a gun!"}
I've thought of the bakeshop, rice-grinding and such.
{Cartoon of what appears to be a heavy roller with the caption "[doing a 'silent roll' with Dick ("Tubby" Alves)]. This would be referring to José Luís "Dick" Alves, #2678 }
Let's forget these three years -
{Cartoon showing 1942, 1943, 1944}
and here's to a heaven,
Where I'll meet you each day in bus (Number Seven)!!
{Cartoon of bus}
15.6.44     J.S.B. Eddison
Lieut. R.A.
 
J.S.B. Eddison
Lennox Lea,
Currie,
Midlothian
Scotland