Our Dad, Donald Murdoch Cameron was a volunteer in the TA and joined the 4th Seaforth Highlanders- Pte 2821440 when he was eighteen. He was captured at St Valery. Sailed from Southampton to Le Havre in winter of 1939. Stationed in Roubaix before moving to Metz in a night convoy within the Siegfried Line. He was captured at St Valery 12th June 1940. Stalag V111B/344 Lamsdorf POW number:17323. Liberated near Stuttgart 1945.
He was a quiet and peaceful man who didn’t talk much of his experiences as a POW. He would relay some thoughts and stories which he felt we could know. We were very fortunate to call him our Dad as he taught us compassion, kindness and integrity. He passed away in 1985 and I later composed this poem about him as a young man caught up in a time of extreme turmoil.
A Poem for Donald
Take this broom and brush it out
In your time – don’t ever doubt.
Step on this vessel in choppy seas
We still sense you in the breeze.
Your papers came…Your mother sighed
You marched away…You all were shied.
You dropped a sheaf and there it lay,
You left them standing in cut hay.
Take heart young man when surging forth,
Don’t turn your eyes back to the North.
Your family now are on this barge,
You know that you may have to charge.
And in retreat – compaginate and appetance,
You had no choice…. but back against….
Evan searched with that bit bread,
Until he knew that you were fed.
Another barge, a different place,
A coal mine in a darker space.
Let’s learn to dance on that Long March,
And dream of buds on Birch and Larch.
Milking a cow in a far-off barn,
‘Get some for me Jock’…a humorous yarn!
It’s easy when you know how to,
‘Just get it from that side o’ the coo.’
Remember that we loved you well,
You always kept us from that Hell.
But in the now, just keep in mind,
Our bonds don’t need to be affirmed.