Gordon Jamieson's story
Gordon Jamieson was just 19 years old when he enlisted in July 1940. He served with the 2/26th Australian Infantry Battalion in Malaya and Singapore.
The 2/26th was noted for its high morale when fighting successful rear guard actions as Japanese forces approached Singapore.
Gordon was taken prisoner on 15 February 1942, when the British commander on Singapore surrendered. He was held at Changi until April 1943, when he was transferred to Songkuri in Thailand, near the border with Burma. He was then returned to Singapore in December 1943, where he remained until liberated in September 1945.
Of his time working on the Burma-Thailand railway, Gordon remembered the kindness and generosity of spirit of his fellow prisoners. He recalled that if a man lost his mate, another ‘would adopt you'. If he was sent to work in a group of men not from his battalion, Gordon always found that they welcomed him. He says this mateship lasted throughout the post-war years.
Gordon also recalled that in spite of the suffering endured during his time as a prisoner, there were instances of dark humour. These moments of laughter helped him get through particularly difficult times.
Discharged in January 1946, Gordon returned to his pre-war position with the federal Public Service, working in the War Service Homes Commission. In June 1948, he married a girl from a Quaker village with whom he shared an interest in pacifism. Gordon has been an active member of the ex-service community, working for a time as Secretary of the Ex-POW Reparations Committee.