POEM IN PROSE
Written by the Late Alfred J. Elsliger
Jacquet River, New Brunswick
In the battle of Hong Kong there naturally arose innumerable acts of individual heroism to which reference might be made. We know what troops had a part in that fight and how many were killed fighting gallantly to the last.
Among the survivors who arrived home in the autumn of 1945 were Thomas Thompson and Alfred J. Elsliger.
As both boys were on board that first "Japanese Hell Ship" sunk by the Americans, their stories provided a wealth of human interest.
The ship was struck while carrying a batch of prisoners from Hong Kong to Japan. When that torpedo hit the explosion was terrific. Most of the prisoners were in the hold with the hatches on and they had no chance of survival. The water was filled with the dead and dying but the survivors finally reached Japan.
While in prison A.J. Elsliger wrote a descriptive poem of real merit. It was penciled in a black note-book and from this book is a copy of that poem. Nearing the close he writes:
"I am fairly optimistic and someday hope to be back in a land of freedom at home as I used to be."
But fate decided otherwise. One month later after his arrival home he was killed in a car accident on October 25, 1945.
The following is an unversified copy of the poem: "SIEGE OF HONG KONG"