A Wartime Log by British Prisoners

by Tom Biggart


Tom Biggart was a member of the Royal Air Force Regiment and was captured on the Greek island of Kos in October 1943. He spent the remainder of the War in the following camps, Stalag Lufts IV and VI, and Stalag 357, during which time he kept a log book, containing a variety of items, including poetry written by members of the camps. These are included below.


Lest We Forget

by D. Sykes


When twilight falls, the Earth reflects beneath the heavens til dawn

And pays a silent tribute to the ones we find have gone,

Lost but still thro'out the years they are treasured by us all

God rest their souls for he alone knows why they had to fall.


Those eager faces full of life they loved their neighbours dear,

Intelligent, athletic, honest, faithful, and sincere

In foreign lands where'ere they went to prove that right is might

They gave themselves wholeheartedly for you - is might Britain's delight.


What might have been, for what is now, we often wish it so

Yet history repeats itself, our heroes come and go,

Just wishful thinking seems to be essence of the day

But England lives forever, will forever and a day.


Homeland, how fortunate once more you were in times of war breeding those lads so true

Who fought thro' toil and strife and tears so you could live anew

Immortality divine worshipped in a golden shrine a monuments to truce

Who gave their youth, their love, their live to fight their country's foes.



A Memory

by Danny Hill, 1944


In days to come, when I am free,

On looking back I'll sometimes see,

The "Instaberg" by Memel Quay,

That borders on the Baltic Sea.


I'll smell again the stifling hold,

Where near a thousand prisoner bold,

Were stowed as slaves in days of old,

In transport to another fold.


Three nights I spent there sick and sore,

Huddling round the dirty floor,

Wondering if I evermore,

Would again see Scotland's shores.


But such is life in many ways,

Tempt not the Fates it never pays,

"Roll on the boat" a common phrase,

I'll say no more in all my days.



Oh! Lord!

by a POW of Stalag Luft IV


I'm tired of bullets, guns, and war

I'm tired of plane's and engines roar.

Of seeing my friends who try to hide,

Their fear of going on that awful ride

I'm tired of seeing the unfilled bed

And knowing the last occupant is dead

I'm tired of all this war and all its strife

I'm tired of all the senseless waste of life

And when the toll is paid, and peace, is bought

Will it all again come to naught

Oh! Lord! Let tomorrow's peace endure

Let our sons and daughters feel secure.

Thy will be done, thou knowest best

But Oh! Lord! I'm tired please let me rest.



About a Year Ago


Here in Stalag when day is through

My thoughts oft wander to home and you

My eyes then close, dear vision do appear

Of all those things we held so dear.

About a year ago.


And in my mind the vision seem

One of hope and plans and dreams

No thoughts of war, and strife and such

No those things didn't bother us much.

About a year ago.


Still here I am my dreaming done

Till peace bells chime and the war is won

And I return to be with you

The home, the plans, the life we knew.

About a year ago.



The Kriegies Lament


Bloody times is bloody hard
Bloody wire for bloody guard
Bloody dogs in bloody yard
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Bloody tea is bloody vile
Bloody coffee makes you smile
Cocoa made in bloody style
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Bloody ice rink, bloody mud
Bloody skates no bloody good
Sat where once I bloody stood
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Bloody salmon's bloody queer
Looks at you with bloody leer
Is it good, no bloody fear
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Bloody bridge all bloody day
Learning how to bloody play
Bloody Blackwoods Bloody way
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Now and then, tho' bloody stale
Censor hands out bloody mail
Better draw the bloody veil
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Bloody sawdust in the bread
Must have come from bloody bed
Better all be bloody dead
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Bloody girlfriend drops me flat
Like a dog on bloody mat
Get's a Yank like bloody that!
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Don't it get your bloody goat
Was it Shaw who bloody wrote
Where the hells that bloody boat
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody


Now I've reached the bloody end
Nearly round the Bloody bend
That's the general bloody trend
Bloody, Bloody, Bloody





Her name was Grace, she was one of the best,

But then came the night, I gave her the test,

I looked at her with joy and delight,

For she was mine, for the whole of the night,

She looked so pretty, so sweet, so slim,

The night was dark, and the lights were dim,

I was so excited my heart missed a beat,

For I knew that night I was in for a treat,

I had seen her stripped I had seen her bare,

I had felt all round her I had felt everywhere,

But this was the night I liked her the best,

We started off, she screamed with joy,

For this was her first night out with a boy,

I got as high as quick as I could,

I handled her well, and the response was good,

I turned her over, then right on her side,

Then on her back, all ways I tried,

It was one great thrill, she the best in the land,

That four engined "Stirling" of Bomber Command.



Draft Dodger


I'm writing this short letter

And every word is true,

Don't look away Draft Dodger

For this is meant for you.

You feel at ease, and in no danger

Back in the old home town.

You cooked up some pitiful story

So the Draft Board would turn you down.

You never think of real men

Who leave their homes each day

You think only of their girl friends
That you take while they're away

You sit at home and read the papers,

You jump and yell "we'll win",

Just where do you get that "we" stuff,

This war will be won by men.

What do you think Draft Dodger

That this free nation would do,

If all her men were like you.

I guess that's all Mr Slacker

I suppose your face is red

Britain is no place for your kind

I mean every word I've said.

So I'm closing now Draft Dodger

Just remember what I've said,

Stay away from my girl friend, slacker

For I'm far from being dead.



Out in the Blue

by a Prisoner of War, 1944


The city throbs with the pulse of life,

With commerce and industry ever at strife,

With hustle and bustle and traffic roar

Far from the distant sounds of war.

The parks all dressed in their floral gowns,

And peace prevails in the old home towns,

The bombers roar, and sirens moan

And things thank God that are unknown.


When you're back home where peace prevails,

And bagged by all for thrilling tales

Tales of folks you've seen and met

And incidents you'll never forget.

Tales of things the fliers do

And the prices they pay in winning through

Refer them to, out in the blue.


Way out there in the distant blue

There's a living hell that men go through

As day by day and night by night

They savagely locked in the world's worst fight

courageously striving, they stagger and reel

To ward off the menacing enemy heel

To spare all loved one's they left behind

The toil and bondage the foe have in mind.


Yet down in the city seek and you'll find

Men who have chosen to stay home behind,

Men who enjoy all the comforts of home

While their fellow men endure all the hardships known

Each night they sleep in warm cosy beds

While their fellow men crash down to earth, some dead.


Out on an Op, with a target in mind

The enemy meets you he loses no time

Reaping the harvest so awful and grim,

Which his leaders long ago promised him

The harvest of youth on the threshold of life

All trapped in the grid of titanic strife

Your sweethearts, your husband, your brothers, your sons,

Gallantly fight and manning the guns.


Yet down in the city seek and you'll find

Men who have chosen to stay home behind

Where there's sport each week and lovely fine clothes

And a movie show, or maybe a dance

At which, holding you close in un-uniformed arms

They whisper nice things and tell you your charms

They speak of their loving loyalty to you

As long as it keeps them out of the blue


While riding our kites in an altitude glide

Death goes around us with arrogant stride

We whisper the name of someone we love

As fighters scream down from the sky above

To shower with murderous aim

Our men who they've been sent to kill and maim

Leaving them falling in flame and smoke

To bleed and cry out, to die and to choke.


Still in the city seek and you'll find

Men who have chosen to stay home behind

Stout hearted fellows with hearts of pure gold

Gold that is yellow which we well know

Eager to share in the peace victory brings

Claiming their rights to life's precious things.

Proud of the fact they had nothing to lose

Theirs was the choice and thus did they choose.


When the battle is over victory is won

When the hell and the misery and gunfire is done

When home they march those fortunate few

To pick up the threads of the life they once knew

How well will they know as they march down the street

Which echo's to the tramp of the passing feet

That the value they placed on their homeland and you

Was settled and paid for out in the blue.


Settled and proved far beyond doubt

By them and their comrades who proudly set out

Who suffered the agonies the fears the pains

Of war in the sky and bombed scarred plains

Of prop wash and coldness each man at his gun

Who grimly and doggedly stuck and won

To prove to the world and God high above

That it's you above all on this Earth that they love

Still down in the city seek and you'll find

Men who have chosen to stay home behind.





One day in November,

I can well remember,

I walked around with alcoholic pride,

Without a murmur or a mutter,

I sat down in the gutter,

And a little pig he sat down by my side,

Just then a lady passed that way,

And I chanced to hear her say,

You can tell a man who boozes,

By the company he chooses,

And the little pig got up and walked away.



Prisoner of War


We prisoners count the desolate, dreary days

Within a year or with tomorrow's dawn

Escape may come, as with monotonous ways

We do fatigues, argue, and sleep, and yawn.


It would be something just to be alone

And oh, what joy to hear a certain voice!

Sometimes you almost catch it in the tune of distant music.

But we have no choice.