Friends of Palace Barracks Memorial Garden

Salute to "The Gallant Few" and "The Glorious 15th Scottish Division"  reproduced by kind permission of Elsa J.Beattie daughter of the late L/Cpl. Alexander Barr, 193 Field Ambulance Div, R. A. S. C. Arnhem Veteran.

If you would like to read more poem's by Lance Corporal Alexander Barr  then please e-mail Elsa


Heroes of Arnhem, 'Gallant Few',  You showed what British grit can do; Through each succeeding day and night,  You battled on without respite.

Outnumbered by a desperate foe, You dealt them many a mortal blow The Second Army, in your rear, Tried hard, but couldn't reach your sphere.

At last, Montgomery's order came, But your withdrawal meant no shame. Yours was an epic, gallant deed, Victory your sacrifice will speed.

Undaunted still, you came away, You mean to fight another day. You'll have revenge for those who fell, In Arnhem's blazing patch of Hell.

Throughout the world you've earned fame, Each country hails your gallant name. We of the Second Army, too, Proudly salute - 'THE GALLANT FEW'


In the first World War you earned your name By valiant deeds, men won you fame The Kaiser's hordes, I've oft heard tell Could ne'er hold back "The ladies from Hell"

And now the sons of those fighting men Are putting paid to the Hun again Where'er they've fought, they've broken through And the Nazis have learned to fear anew.

On Normandy's plains they made their start And many a man played a hero's part They faced the cream of the of the Nazi race And the panzer troops couldn't stand the pace.

In France, in Belgium, in Holland too They've forged ahead, one end in view They've always conquered, always will Until the Hun has had his fill.

And when at last the fighting's done And final victory has been won The Glorious Div's immortal name Will gain fresh lustre from their name

by Lance Corporal Alexander Barr.  193 Field Ambulance. Division, R. A. S. C. 24th July 1941 - 6 January 1946 © Elsa J. Beattie 2002

Ernest Hamlett       (Jean's Dad)

In 1939, Ernest Hamlett was called up and posted to the Durham Light Infantry. He was based at Palace Barracks in Belfast for six months training and later, in 1940, transferred to the Border Regiment, which was to form part of the 1st Airborne Division.

I WAS ONCE A PRINCESS  by Jean James  I was once a princess, the daughter of a king. He taught me how to laugh, and he taught me how to sing. He was just a little fellow, barely five foot five in all, He kissed me when I cried, and he held me lest I fall. I was once a princess, the daughter of a king. He told me I must value life and everything it brings. He wasn’t very famous, known only to a few, And he always showed kindness to everyone he knew. I was once a princess, the daughter of a king. He taught me not to criticize - not for anything. Said people might have problems that we could never know, And we should just accept them wherever we may go. I was once a princess, the daughter of a king. He took me to the circus; he pushed me on a swing. He told me I was wonderful, a fairy princess true, But said I must be humble in everything I do. I was once a princess, the daughter of a king. By his own example, he gave me everything. Often I have failed him, though he said to do my best, And now the day is here where he is laid to rest.

He was just a common soldier, a father and a king. And to this man of honour I still wish to cling, I thank him for his love and faith, his guidance and his trust. And, though I’ll miss him dearly, part with him I must. Somewhere in this world, there’ll be a princess with no king. And I know he has to go to her to fix up everything. Behind the scenes, unknown to all, he’ll guard her as an angel, And I know he has a job to do, as he is so very able. So, just as he has taught me, I will share with her my king, And I know he’d never leave me – not for anything. Just an ordinary father, a husband and a friend, He’ll never really leave us. His work will never end. He’ll still be guarding over us, as is a soldier’s way, He’ll be doing volunteering and working every day. He’ll be teaching little children that peace must be our quest; Teaching little children that peacetime is the best. He’ll teach them, by example, some values to stop war, So please salute my father as he passes through the door. And when I pass that way myself, I hope that when we meet, I can look him in the eye, and not down at my feet. Like every other princess and the children of a king,  Our fathers were just common men who gave us everything. Copyright © 1995-2005 Jean James. All rights reserved.