PEACE had only been declared recently...

                                  By David Pamment                                                         (Edited by Wilf Aldridge)

I was a 21 year old Captain in the British Army Royal Engineers, attached to the Indian Army, when I arrived in Japan, as an early member of the British/Indian Occupation Force, in mid-September 1945. Almost immediately, I was seconded to the Australian Army at Eta-Jima, where they had their headquarters in the former Imperial Japanese Naval Academy. Unfortunately the surrounding area at that time was in a very bad state of repair; all the roads being silted up to a depth of about 12 – 15 feet by soil from the nearby hills. Although the  Australians had engineering            21 year old David Pamment     capacity and some expertise, neither was of the type needed

to carry out the necessary remedial work. This then, was the reason for my new posting!


My first job was to construct a workable drainage system, then repair all the roads and, finally, to construct an airfield - mainly for use by visiting `top brass` officers and other dignitaries flying in from nearby Iwakuni. This task took some three years to complete. During this time I believe I was the only serving British man among several hundred Australian troops -plus a few of their female nurses working at the Australian 130 General Hospital, one of whom, Barbara Webb, I met and married in the Eta-jima Garrison Church!


After our marriage, my new wife and I moved into a traditional Japanese house, where we employed two out-living house-girls whom we named `Baby-san` and `Harmonie-san`. Aged about 17-18, they were supposed to come every day to clean our house and help with the cooking etc. This lasted for about a week, after which they decided to move into our spare bedroom to live (my wife did not seem to have much say in the matter!). The two girls probably thought it to be more fun than living in their family homes – so much so that Harmonie-san soon became pregnant by an Australian soldier; and my wife, being a nurse, quickly became Harmonie`s personal medic! But sadly, I do not know what eventually happened to the young mother and child. Maybe the soldier married the girl and took her and the baby back to Australia. Or perhaps the child,who would now be about 66 years old, is still living in the EtaJima area. (photo) Barbara and David on their wedding day at Garrison Church in Etajima


Relations with the local Japanese people could not have been better. During the first few weeks after my arrival and not knowing what to expect from them, we acted like proper soldiers. But we quickly discontinued with formal guards when we realized that the local villagers were friendly and not at all hostile to us. However, they were extremely short of food and other essentials. So, before long, most of the cleaning and laundry in the barrack area under my command was being carried out by locals who were then fed, as payment, in my cookhouse! But I turned a blind eye to this, especially as all my work was being carried out on schedule!

In the middle of the area where I constructed the airfield was a small hill which was used by the villagers as their burialground. So I consulted the Mayor, with whom I had struck up a good relationship, and we agreed to move all the ancestors to another nearby hill. In the event, the whole transfer was carried out with good humour on both sides.

                                                                                                                           Construction work

My time in the army came to a close

towards the end of 1948. So, accompanied with Barbara, I opted to be discharged in Melbourne, Australia, thus ending one of the most eventful periods of my now long life!


#146 Parkway Vol.28 No.4 October - December 2013


             デイビッド・パメント  (ウィルフ・オルドリッジ編集)







結婚後、私達夫婦は伝統的な日本家屋に移りました。そこで通いの家政婦二人を雇い、「ベビーさん」と「ハーモニーさん」と私たちは呼んでいました。年齢は17〜18歳ぐらいで、家の掃除や料理などを手伝うために毎日やってきました。1週間ぐらい経って、二人は予備の寝室に住み込んでしまいました。(これには妻は何も言えなかったようです!)。 おそらく二人は自分たちの家よりは楽しいと思ったのでしょう - それで、ハーモニーさんは間もなくオーストラリア兵との子を身ごもりました。妻は看護師なので、すぐにハーモニーの担当看護兵になりましたが、残念なことに、最終的にこの若い母子がどうなったかは知りせん。兵士はハーモニーと結婚し、彼女と赤ちゃんをオーストラリアに連れて帰ったかもしれません。あるいは、その子供は現在66歳ぐらいになっているでしょうが、まだ江田島周辺に住んでいるかもしれません。








(写真) バーバラとデイビッド、江田島ギャリソン教会での結婚式


 * 枕崎台風 1945年9月17日