Skip to content

February 14, 1942

After work at the hospital was over, nurses and patients made Valentines for their favorite doctors, patients, and attendants.

The most amusing and original one was made for our natty-looking Englishman who cleaned the toilets and bedpans. Despite his menial work, he managed to remain as immaculate as a floor-walker at Wanamaker’s. From morning until night he remained at his post, always courteous and always smiling.

Laura, who was the poetess from my room and also at present a patient at the hospital, had written the following poem, which we ceremoniously presented to the Englishman in a spotlessly clean cellophane-wrapped bedpan.

The Only One

‘Twas a quaint little room with quans on the wall
A wash bowl or two and a faucet not new.

In this quaint little room where we answered the call
Was a natty young man most polite to us all.

With a swab in his hand and a flourish gallant
He never did say, “Well, what do you want?”

But always was cheery and would say with a smile,
“Won’t you sit on this box for a while?”

“There’s a gentleman ahead of you, but he shouldn’t take long.”
So down you sit, tho you know ‘twas all wrong.

To sit there and wait for a gent to emerge
From where we all go when we have the urge.

But oh, the tearing of paper, I’m sure he’s most through,
But he’s only preparing, and the joke is on you.

So you wait and you wait till the damn thing flushes,
Then finally out the occupant rushes,

Stumbling over your feet as he goes,
But where is your urge? Ah, nobody knows.

At last, up you get, and start for the can,
But into the door goes the gallant young man.

And finally when you sit down on the seat,
You feel that at least the darn thing is neat.

Forgotten the urge, and the impatient waiting,
Such gallantry lingers without deflating.

The three Australians who tried to escape were shot at the North Cemetery today; several of our leading fellow internees were asked to be present at the execution by the Japanese, and our men reported that the three men met their death bravely.

An air of uneasiness and gloom had settled over the camp. Passes and other privileges were canceled for the time being. There was no news about the escaped American.