[His Comrades Will Never Forget] [poem, 1943]

[Editor: This poem was written in memory of Corporal E. W. Symons (known as “Sox”), of the 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion, who was killed by a guard in an Italian prisoner of war camp, 20 May 1943. The authorship is unknown.]

[His Comrades Will Never Forget]

Never a day that went past but we’d welcome
That smile on his cheerful face
As a breeze that freshens the desert
To this dreary and desolate place

And we’d welcome each mirth-treasured moment
For they helped us suffer our knocks
And most of us knew not his surname
He will live in our memory as Sox

When we’re back once again in our homeland
When we’re through with our struggle and strife
And receiving the welcoming embraces
Of a mother, a sweetheart, a wife

We will try and forget all past troubles
Of the desert, and Syria and the Pen
As we plan what we’d do as civilians
When we’re back in our civvies again

But amid all the cheering and tumult
As we march through the flag-strewn street
With the band blaring out a glad welcome
We will not be returning complete

For out in a far western cottage
Is a mother whose tears will burn
As she waits by the fireside
For her son who will never return

In the ranks there will be a place vacant
As a sign of respect and regret
And a memory will follow thro’ their lifetime
For his comrades will never forget.

Published in:
S. Trigellis-Smith, Britain to Borneo: A History of 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion, Sydney: 2/32 Australian Infantry Battalion Association, 1993, pages 153-154


  1. Toni Maxwell says:

    I love this. E W Symons was my Grandfather’s brother, my Great Uncle.

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