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The 36th Battalion: a record of service of the 36th Battalion with the Third Division in the Pacific

Chapter Eighteen — Roll of Honour

page 110

Chapter Eighteen
Roll of Honour

Killed in Action


  • Major J. J. G. Britland.
  • Second-Lieutenant E. G. Williams.
  • Sergeant W. R. Baird.
  • Sergeant H. Gregory.
  • Corporal D. W. Forsyth.
  • Corporal E. N. Noonan.
  • Corporal B. B. Quinn.
  • Private E. S. Cripps.
  • Private D. C. Hanson.
  • Private P. G. McLennan.
  • Private I. A. McMeekan.
  • Private J. L. Nohelty.
  • Private M. Weaver.
  • Private S. G. Wilkins.

New Georgia

page 111

Italy (ex 36th Battalion)

Died on Active Service


  • Lieutenant G. McL. Blyth.
  • Corporal W. G. Biggar.
  • Private R. B. Parsons.

Norfolk Island

  • Corporal P. E. Swarbrick.
  • Lance-Corporal C. F. Hodder.
  • Private J. Nash.

New Caledonia

  • Private J. D. Taylor.


  • Major O'Brien, N.Z.M.C.
  • Private J. L. Peebles.
page 112

For the Fallen

Now singing days are over; scattered, song
And singer lie
Silent, as silent as the crosses are
At Falamai.

Pohutukawa sprinkles blood to some
North Auckland beach,
Too distant now for these our homeless dead
Ever to reach.

No little thing is life, and brave the breath
That parts the lips.
Can more be given to the scales before
The balance tips?

Weigh this; the greater loss and death of all,
Should Queen Street see
The Bloody Sun displayed, and horror fall
On Lambton Quay.

Our stream of battle joins the sea of war.
Each silent lad
Is kin to those who held El Alamein
And Stalingrad.

The stranger palms shall shed no tenderness,
Nor softer sky
Be theirs; the more must we stand guard for those
At Falamai.

Gordon Watson.

page 113

Paradise of the Pacific

Islands of tropical magic, whisper of wind through the palms,
Moonlight on silvery waters, freedom from care and alarms,
Music of soft island voices charm of the Southern seas,
Islands of dreams and of romance; tourists will tell you of these.

Thunder of deafening barrage, crashing of answering fire,
Flashing of guns in the jungle, seeking the planes soaring higher,
Rattle of rifle and bren gun, silence of hidden disease.
Islands of mud ever-dinging Third Div. can tell you of these.

Visions of wonderful beauty, garlands of beautiful flowers,
Madness of long clinging kisses whiling away stolen hours,
Lilting of soft girlish laughter, humming of birds and of bees.
Butterflies bright and gay insects—tourists will tell you of these.

Darkness and fear in the fox-hole, tenseness of nerves under strain,
Sweating of tired mud-Stained bodies hauling out trucks after rain,
Half-stifled groans of the wounded, taint of decay in the breeze,
Valour of deep-buried comrades—Third Div. can tell you of these.

Tight enclosed track in the jungle, limitless roll of the sand.
Snipers that lurk in the darkness, panzers that roar o'er the land,
Army and Navy and Air Force, roaming the Seven Seas,
All in the cause of New Zealand—History will tell you of these.

G. N. Utting.

page 114

Silent Night

Now the glow of the sunset has faded, the shadows of night softly creep
On a world that is tired from its labours and surely is ready to sleep.
So we welcome the hush of the evening and relax in the rest truly earned
With never a care for the morrow—that's one of the lessons we've learned.
But the peace of the night is soon shattered by the croak of unmusical toads
And the whining of gears on the roadway, heavy trucks groaning under their loads
And the rumble of stuttering motors, only source of electrical power
And the whistle of home-coming fighters—so we put off our sleep for an hour
There are night-flying birds in the jungle, harsh cry of the gay parakeet,
And a rattle and hiss in the coral, and the scrape of the crab's armoured feet.
So we toss and we turn on our bedcots, half-awake, half-asleep as we roll
Till we're roused by the roar of the bombers warming up for the early patrol.
We look back on advice of our training, and the lessons when first combat-bound
'Whatever you do in the jungle, keep silent and don't make a sound'!


page break
Lieutenant L. T. G. Booth, MC

Lieutenant L. T. G. Booth, MC

Warrant-Officer R. A. Arkless

Warrant-Officer R. A. Arkless

page break
Major J. J. G. Britland Killed in action

Major J. J. G. Britland Killed in action

Second-Lieutenant E. G. Williams Killed in action

Second-Lieutenant E. G. Williams Killed in action

Sergeant W. R. Baird Killed in action

Sergeant W. R. Baird Killed in action

Sergeant H. Gregory Killed in action

Sergeant H. Gregory Killed in action

page 115

Operation Order

Secret H2 36 BN


To OC—Coy

You've joined the army to fight, my lads, to fight for your country dear.
In case you may never see a Jap, we'll make the story clear.
There's holes to be dug in the coral sand; we'll have to have a well,
And in between you can stack, those bombs, and there's all those trees to fell.
We have to send a few to Brigade to help them pitch their tents;
There's not much beer at the ration dump, but they say they want a fence.
Another ship's just in at the dock, unloading day and night;
You'll need a guard on the canteen trucks, and the petrol dumps are light;
You can send the rest of the company out to the ammunition barge,
And send a patrol to Laifa Point—I hear there's a Jap at large.
And if there's still a few of them left, they'd better drain the lake.
You've joined the Army to work, my lads, so work for your country's sake.




page 116

Coconut Grove

Would you like to go to the movies in the cool of the evening air?
There's a jolly good show at the CB camp, but I'm sorry you can't go there.
You can catch the barge to Falamai—it's a show you've seen before;
You're sure to arrive too late for a seat, but there's always room on the floor.
Or take a walk to the Bomber Group, as long as the strip is clear,
And in between the roar of planes there'll be a bit you'll hear.
As sure as you go too far from home we'll get 'condition red'.
So don't forget you old tin hat, lest shrapnel strike your head;
And if perchance your luck is out and you're caught in pouring rain
By the time you've sweated the long trek home, you're nearly dry again.
There's hardly a thing to do in camp, no matter how hard you try,
So take a chance at a movie show, out under the starry sky.


Isa Lei
(Song of Fiji)

Isa Isa, vulagi lasa dina,
Nomu lako au sana rarawa kina,
Ava beka koya mai cakava,
Nomo lako au na sega ni lasa.

Isa lei—Nanoqu rarawa,
Miko sana vodo e na mataka,
Bau nonuma, na nodatau lasa,
Mai Suva, nonuma tikonga.

(Note.—In Fijian G is pronounced as NG, D as ND, B as MB and C as TH in 'the'.)

page 117

The English Words
Isa. Isa. You are my only treasure,
Must you leave me so lonely and forsaken?
As the roses will miss the sun at dawning,
Every moment my heart for you is yearning.

Isa Lei. The purple shadows fall,
Sad the morrow will dawn upon my sorrow.
Ah, forget not when you are far away
Precious moments beside dear Suva Bay.

Isa. Isa. My heart was filled with pleasure
From the moment I heard your tender greeting.
Mid the sunshine we spent the hours together
Now so swiftly those happy hours are fleeting.

O'er the ocean your island home is calling,
Happy country where roses bloom in splendour.
Oh if I could but journey there with you,
Then forever my heart will sing in rapture.

page 118


These were our authors:
The broken night and the dawn patrol,
The fellowship of the tent,
The limping feet and the pounding heart,
Fever and punishment,
Mud-slobbered trucks and green-painted men,
Jesting and salty speech,
Letters from home and the grinding barge
And the dead on the beach.

These were our artists:
The electric storm splitting the skies,
The bomber's too lovely moon,
Niaouli flat and mangrove swamp
And quiet, unrippled lagoon.
Phosphorous wake on the black sea,
The flitting spark of the firefly,
The searchlight's slim fingers, the pattern
The tracers tear in the sky.

May you be our publishers:
All the brave people of the happier years,
Children of the after-time,
In the untroubled homes of the new land,
Where the steady hills climb,
Living amidst the lights, and calm,
And looking with level eyes
On clean, straight cities and rich fields
And kind New Zealand skies.

Certainly, you will publish us.

Gordon Watson.