People - Lawrence Lambton

Private - A.I.F. 2/22 Battalion

Died: 1 July 1942

Son of Lawrence Wilson Lambton and Margaret Florence Lambton, of Caulfield, Victoria

Honor Weightman, nee Hartley writes about the family:-

My Mam's eldest sister, Mary Worsley Dale, decided to take the 'assisted passage deal' to Australia in the late 1920s. She stayed with us until it was time to sail and I found her to be a lovely person. Another sister, Maggie, her husband Laurie Lambton and their two sons Dick and Laurie decided to join Aunt Mary and again they stayed with us until it was time to go.

According to Mam, they starved for a while in Sydney. After being told there was plenty of work, they soon realized they'd been duped. Then Uncle Laurie went to Melbourne and managed to get a job with a fairly well-off family, as a chauffeur and gardener. The family then employed Auntie Mary as housekeeper and Auntie Maggie as cook, accommodated them and, in the course of time, helped them to buy their own house. They became firm friends.

All went well until the outbreak of war. The boys joined the Australian Infantry, hoping to be sent to England. However they eventually ended up on one of the Pacific Islands, where a Japanese air base threatened the line to Australia and barred an advance to Japan.

They were stationed on the Island in Papua New Guinea. Friends of the Melbourne family had a plantation on the island and for a while entertained Dick and Laurie. They sailed, hunted and explored the whole island and wrote such wonderful accounts of their experiences - they had an amazing time. 'Thank God'!

Back in Melbourne, Aunt Mary died very suddenly, of influenza. Three or four months later, Maggie's husband Laurie, who'd never ailed in his life, developed pneumonia and died. The Boys never knew. The island was captured by the Japanese and the story is that the troops who weren't slaughtered were put on a boat, heading for Japan, as slave labour. The Americans bombed the ship and all on board died.This all happened within six months, in 1942. Auntie Maggie's whole world collapsed.

I still have the boys' last letter, so full of hope and expectation. They were dead by the time I received the letters.

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© Lindsey Weightman 2009

Laurie Lambton

Laurie Lambton

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