Camp Echo Magazine

MHudsdonJD755052-151029-02.pdf

Title

Camp Echo Magazine

Description

Two editions of Laghouat Internment camp weekly magazine with many articles covering a wide range of topics. On edition from 1941 the other from 1942. At the end of the first edition is a dedication 'In presenting this souvenir copy of the "Camp Echo" to the Rev and Mrs Dunbar of Tunis we remember and appreciate the many kindnesses performed on our behalf during our sojourn at Le Kef from Aug 1940 top April 1941'.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1942-01-14

Contributor

Tricia Marshall
David Bloomfield

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

35 double page and cover printed magazine

Language

Type

Identifier

MHudsdonJD755052-151029-02

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Camp Echo
VOL. 1. No 6 EVERY WEDNESDAY. FREE. GRATIS.
[drawing of countryside]
THERE’LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND.
[page break]
[drawing of a ship]
MON. JAN 19TH
LT. LAMB. D.S.C.
“Sidelights of the Merchant Navy”
7-15 pm
[drawing of an anchor] [drawing of a ship]
THUR. JAN. 15TH
SGT. LLOYD-SMITH
“Behind the Scenes”
[drawing of a theatre stage]
HAVE YOU ANY PHOTOGRAPHS OF TOPICAL OR HISTORICAL INTEREST?
Quite a number of people in this camp would like to add them to their collections.
SEE. SGT. L-SMITH. Room. 17.
“GREECE.”
[drawing of playing cards] [underlined] Twin In! to [/underlined]
[underlined] MC. TAVISH & CO. [/underlined]
[page break]
JAN 14. 1942 CAMP ECHO Page 3
OUR C.O’s Weekly Letter
A week ago the camp was suffering from the strange phenomenon of smoke without fire. Now we have fire without smoke. Cigarettes are expected tomorrow but to-day was tomorrow yesterday.
A couple of days ago a stork was seen flying over the camp. It is to be hoped that New Year’s Eve has not proved too much for Bertie Brain’s Young Ladies.
I have been informed that since the first of January the charges for all telegrams have been increased. I am endeavouring to find out what the rates are and if I can get a list it will be put up.
A telegram has been received from Mr. Warner of the Red Cross in London wishing us all a very happy Christmas and New Year.
From England comes something which was overheard one evening “It takes longer in the Blackout does it not Colonel.”
OUR RAMBLING REPORTER
“RECKLESS RUDY”
We are glad to welcome “Peter the P…” back on the staff – he at least keeps the officer class in order, although I fear he has a single track mind c’os [sic] when showing him my very torn and dirty sheets, and asking what he thought they represented, he replied, “I should say about 15 days”.
We hear reinforcements are coming for next search.
Jamaica Johnny the [underlined] Ex [/underlined] – Cigarette King was last heard doing good business on the Stock Exchange. His ‘phone number is 281 Banana.
RUDY’S RELIABILITY SERVICE.
[underlined] Do you miss your Radio? [/underlined]
Why run risks when we have a selection of discreet deposit places for “Chosen Defendus”?
All patrons and articles covered against “15 Daisies” and Loss, by our famous Parole D’honneur Policy.
KNIGHT SERVICE IS THE RIGHT SERVICE.
[page break]
Page 4 CAMP ECHO JAN.
VARSITY NEWS by THE PROFESSOR
In recent years comfortable fortunes have been made by a legion of correspondence schools all over the world, and when one sees some of the courses and instructional service one wonders how on earth the schools pay even expenses. The answer is that generally a completed course does not pay: the money is made out of the many students who start off with more enthusiasm than staying powers.
So far a correspondence school at Laghouat wouldn’t be making much, but the next two months are the critical ones. Let’s keep at it.
The practical and immediate value of study in our long idle days has been fully recognised by many.
In the great demobilisation after the last war both British and Dominions Governments made available to suitable students generous scholarships and liberal concessions for the commencement and completion of all types of professional courses. Such opportunities will undoubtably be provided after this war, in fact it seems clear from B.B.C. talks that arrangements are already being made. Ex-soldier students after the last war found, however, that after four years of blood, mud and routine, getting down to study was an uphill fight. Undoubtedly an interné who kept his mind polished would start off with a great advantage.
Secondly it is clear that though the British Empire is a long way from wanting Lebensraum and has in the last 20 years shirk[inserted]ed[/inserted] some of it’s responsibilities, the post war mess can only be cleared up by a large extension of British influence in Middle and Far East, if not actually in Europe. Such an extension will call for a large number of men with language and technical qualifications. Where there is demand, there also lies opportunity for those who can grasp it.
This week’s motto… Tempus Fugit – roughly… We have no time to waste.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN ________________
Enroll now!
[page break]
14th 1941 CAMP ECHO Page 5
[drawing] SCIENCE CORNER [drawing of a Bunsen Burner]
Since last week I have read another very interesting book, called “The Basis of Modern Science”, by J.W.L. Sullivan. Although written as long ago as 1928, this book has suffered little from the author’s ignorance of developments which have been brought out in later years.
Beginning with the works of the Old Philosophers, Sullivan has traced the evolution of scientific theory, dealing most interestingly with the rather laborious Space-Time-Mass calculations of Newton, and the highly imaginative ether and electro magnetic theories of Maxwell’s day. Modern atomic and electric theory is built up for the reader, rather than placed before him as an accepted fact and I was left wondering why such logical advances had not been made more rapidly.
Short chapters on Relativity, The Universe and certain of the problems facing modern physicists, tend to become rather vague and boring, but a little concentration brings out some extremely
[underlined] continued from previous column [/underlined]
interesting, if incredible, facts.
For the confirmed materialist, this book provides a wealth of data, while the Searchers After Knowledge will find the Table of Elements, and the explanations of the similarity of various metals of added interest.
STAMPS by PHILATELIST” [drawing of stamps]
Stamps being either recess printed, or photgravure, [sic] great care should be taken in removing them - Recess printed stamps lose their colour in contact with water either, cold or warm - unless a person is an expert in the various methods of stamp printing, water should be used with care. The best way to remove stamps without fear of damage is by damping two pieces of clean blotting paper and to lay the envelope in between for three minutes. The stamps will come away freely.
[page break]
Page 6 CAMP ECHO JAN.
Book Review
From the Athenaeum
Last week I discussed two works by H. G. Wells, “Joan & Peter” and “Mr. Britting sees it Through”. Both these books were comparatively early works, having been written during the 1914-1918 struggle, but nevertheless even in these one discovers the same underlying political message constantly peering out from between the lines, as has coloured the majority of Well’s more recent books written within the last ten years. I wonder how many readers of his have in all sincerity noticed and analysed the primary motive behind such as “Things to Come”, and endeavoured to separate this motive from the fantasies which so skilfully embellish it. There is a very strong one behind H. G. Wells, stronger, I believe, than behind any other present day author of fiction, and the message that inspires Wells is a message which all the world might do well to heed.
The other day I was glancing through some essays by Matthew Arnold and came across a passage dealing with the creative power in the production of great works of literature. I will not quote the passage itself but rather the essence of the passage as far as it bears reference to the subject of the motive in creative literature. Arnold emphasises in fact that when dealing in literature the elements with which the creative power works are ideas [underlined] current at the time. [/underlined] In other words, that the main work of a literary genius is not so much the discovery of new ideas, but rather, the synthesis and exposition of those ideas with which he finds himself surrounded at the time. The writer then must have an atmosphere: he must find himself amidst the order of ideas in order to work freely, and being happily inspired by these ideas he can present the fundamental truths that lie behind them in the most effective and attractive combination to suit his style. For the creation of a lasting works of literature then, two powers must concert, the power of the man, and the power of the moment.
[underlined] To be cont. [/underlined].
[page break]
14th 1942 CAMP ECHO Page 7
IS IT NECESSARY? By CASSANDRA
Possibly everybody here has missed something from his room at one time, or another. Let us suppose that one, Sgt. Shanks, decides to drink a cup of wine one afternoon but finds that his cup has gone. His first reaction, naturally, is to give vent to his emotions: which he does by indulging in a pretty savage Burnettian phrase. The ensuing search is quite fruitless – nobody has got his cup - nobody borrowed his cup - nobody has ever seen his cup. The days pass until one day we find him warming his hands over the stove in Room Eleventeen. [sic] His friends are brewing some tea, and, what is his surprise when he sees them using his long lost cup - as a “dipper”. Five minutes later his friends are just beginning to gather what Shanks has been talking about when one of them says: “Oh yes, that is your cup all right Shanker old boy. I borrowed it a few days ago. I meant to take it back but I forgot. I was going to tell you about it”.
There seems to be a certain amount of misunderstanding in this camp concerning the difference between stealing and borrowing. Stealing is - taking away articles etc. secretly for one’s own use without right or leave. Borrowing, on the other hand, is obtaining temporary use of articles etc. to be returned. I want you to pay particular attention to the definition of borrowing. It says obtaining .. “”and that means that one must both ask and receive permission to make temporary use of …. etc.
There is far too much, so called “borrowing” --- which is really stealing taking place amongst us. Sgt. Shank’s story is typical. Those of us who have been in the same position as Shanks know how annoying and inconveniencing it is to have had something “borrowed”. Would not this camp be a happier place to live in if we all showed more consideration for others. The most appropriate conclusion to this article would be to say that we should all do unto others as we would that they should do unto us.
[drawing Will you hold this a minute dear!]
[page break]
Page 8 CAMP ECHO JAN.
FISHIN’ [drawing of man in boat fishing]
E.S.C.
Nah yer gotter know two fings afore yer starts - where yer goin ter fish, an what yer goin to fish for. As a bit of a hangler [sic] meself as yer might say, yer might do wuss [sic] than take this ‘ere advice I’m goin to give yer. Firstly, yer’ll alwiz [sic] find fish somewhere near water - fresh, or salt, though they runs a bit bigger in size in the salt. The best fish ter fish for is flat fish course yer can fold ‘em up much easier like fer yer pockit. [sic]
Regarding yer howjerme - do’s yer fishin tackle I means, yer needs a nice rod, pole, or perch, a corkscrew and ‘ooks. Yer must ‘ave ooks. Big ‘uns fer the whoppers, medium fer the between ‘uns, and little uns fer the tiddlers as yer might say.
Nah, yer must ‘ave Nourishment when yere [sic] fishin, and I finks as ‘ow Whitbreads is best, or Guinness, tho’ Johnny Walker makes fishin’ much more interestin’ and the bottles float kinder different like.
If yer dont [sic] catch nuffink don’t be destituted, [sic] try more nourishment next time an bigger ‘ooks. Wm. Smith,
(Hon. Sec. Anglers Rest Fishin Club)
[drawing of a hand] I HEARD . .
Humour and adventure were the keynote of Captain Cooper’s lecture last Monday, and he combined the two to such effect that I class his as one of the best lectures we have heard. The interest in his subject was apparent from the unusually large audience - all keen to learn more about “The Toughest Mob in the World”. The extreme severity of the training and discipline, and the “Camaraderie” amongst the men of this, the most International of all armies, were described, as well as the magnificent fighting efficiency and spirit of the Legion.
Stories of campaigns, of Legion characters, of personal adventures and incidents, and of lead-swinging dodges practised by Legionnaires (greatly appreciated) held the audience throughout the whole lecture period, and made the enforced ending of the lecture regrettable.
However, Captain Cooper has kindly consented to write some articles for the “Echo”, so watch these pages.
We thank you Captain Cooper for a most enjoyable lecture.
Listener.
[page break]
14. 1942 CAMP ECHO Page 9
[drawing of a pencil] [underlined] BLUE PENCIL [/underlined]
The idea that the Camp Echo should be censored, by persons other than the editor, is a hot one. Apart from being manifestly impracticable the scheme is all wet and in direct contrast to those principles for which most of us have been fighting. Although thanks to the power wielded by influential advertisers, the term “Freedom of Press” has become largely a catchword (in England) it is, never-the-less, an ideal which should be lived up to as far as possible.
The “Echo” unlike many of it’s larger contemporaries, is open to all -- all that is, who can write English and have something to write about. Therefore, if an accusation is made against a person, or persons (and this would appear to be the base of the trouble) in it’s columns, space will always be available in the next issue for a refutation of that same accusation, if unjust. Indeed absence of refutation will probably be construed as admission of guilt. It is surely better that grievances - real, or imaginary - and suspicions - be they justified, or not, should be publicly aired, rather than muttered about in dark places. At least the accused, or suspected, [inserted] SHOULD [/inserted] know of what he is suspected, or accused, so that he may adequately defend himself against calumny.
While loath to suggest that this journal should become an enlarged amateur edition of “Walter Winchell’s Column”, it does seem to me that the itch to Blue-pencil personalities should be suppressed. After all “if the remark be apposite -- albeit not maliciously intended -- it’s pertinence shall be it’s justification: if not then let it’s impertinence be thoroughly and nimbly castigated. If the excising crayon must be used, then may it be wielded ruthlessly to efface “good-natured chaff” _ _ than which few things are more nauseating -- or for that matter, insincere. Against [deleted] [indecipherable word] [/deleted] sound abuse one can call up good reserves of obloquy, but in the face of well meaning ridicule one’s only course is to cover up and retire from the field. Therefore, we shall publish and be damned.
[page break]
Page 10 FOR HONOUR [drawing of a castle wall] [underlined] Capt. A. Cooper [/underlined]
During the summer of 1923 a squad from the Penal Battalion of the Foreign Legion were constructing the road from Djelfa to Laghouat. Légionnaire Dubar was sitting on a hill talking to his friend Roland when he saw five new arrivals approaching. Suddenly he gripped Roland’s arm and turned pale. One of the replacements detached himself and drawing a knife rushed at Dubar, who fled from his attacker.
For the following nine months Dubar and his would be assassin Delbray avoided each other while Roland and Delbray became firm Friends. Delbray would never divulge the reason for the existing enmity.
In May 1925, during the Riff campaign, Delbray, now a Sergeant Major, commanding the outpost of Taounat, now had as his second in command Roland. Delbray received orders to indent for ten reinforcements and was given permission to choose the men he required. To Roland’s surprise he included Dubar on the list. When the reinforcements arrived and were presented to Delbray, Dubar’s terror was obvious.
Some weeks later the outpost was surrounded by the Riff tribesmen. On the third day of the siege the decision was taken to abandon the fort. Delbray paraded and addressed his men in the following words “I am proud to say that as commander of this outpost I shall remain behind to destroy the ammunition and that Légionnaire Dubar has volunteered to stay with me.” The parade knowing of Dubar’s cowardice and the feud between the two did not believe that Dubar had volunteered.
At 8 p.m. a letter was handed to Roland by Delbray to be carried to the Commanding Officer at Headquarters. All the ammunition was piled up in the courtyard ready to be detonated. The gates were flung open and a sortie was made. Roland, who was the last to leave, looked back and saw
[page break]
JAN 14. 1942 CAMPECHO Page 11
Delbray sitting on the ammunition holding Dubar beside him. A few moments later there was a tremendous explosion and Roland knew that both Delbray and Dubar had perished.
On arriving at Headquarters, Delbray’s letter was read out to the Légionnaires - It said “I have the honour to state that Légionnaire Dubar volunteered to blow up the outpost with me and that he is my brother.” Both men were awarded posthumously the Legion of Honour.
Now here is the true story of Delbray and Dubar as told to Roland two hours before he evacuated the fort.
Delbray and Dubar were brothers, sons of a well known Parisien [sic] University professor. Dubar had forged a cheque in his father’s name and the blame had been attached to his brother who was sentenced to five year’s imprisonment at Fresne. During the time he was away Dubar seduced his brother’s fiancée, who afterwards committed suicide.
A short time before Delbray was due to be released Dubar, fearing his brother’s revenge, joined the Legion under this assumed name. Delbray learning of this also joined.
Learning that his brother Dubar was in the Penal Battalion Delbray did all in his power to get sent there, and after a great deal of difficulty managed to succeed. At first he wanted only revenge, but finding that his brother was not only a forger, but a coward as well, decided at the first opportunity to save the family’s name. His final act not only accomplished this, but enabled both the brothers to die as Heroes.
NEXT WEEK THE MOST FAMOUS LEGION COMMANDER
[page break]
Page 12
[drawings]
[page break]
Page 13
[drawings]
[page break]
Page 14 CAMP ECHO JAN.
IS IT Really Necessary?
By. AUDAX
Last week, Cassandra assumed unto himself the mantle of literary snob, and looked down with jaundiced eye onto the popular novelist. Such novelists were “hash-writers [sic] and as such were beneath contempt”. Now “hash-writers” I take to signify those who write not for art’s sake, but for monetary gain, and I must ask: “so what”? “Surely if one has a talent for amusing a certain section of the public one cannot be classed as beneath contempt because that talent is used to bring money where money was not”?
Was Shakespeare worried about ethics, when he discovered his writings to be such a success that he was no longer forced to be an ostler for his living? When Goldsmith, Dickens, Scott (to mention but three classical authors) were in debt, did they no shoo the wolf from the door by visiting their respective publishers and asking for advance monies on their next work?
No, no, my Cassandra, if a man has a certain gift he is not beneath contempt if he attempts to better himself by exploiting that gift!
HEALTH NOTES by Scrubbing Brush.
Some of the sanitary arrangements of these camps would undoubtedly turn a British M. O. grey overnight, and if one of our official visitors at Aumale “found no sign of malnutrition, or illhealth” amongst us, it was probably due to an initial reserve of resistance. When one first arrives he is naturally careful of the more obvious dirt dangers, but after a while familiarity tends to breed contempt.
Here are a few points:
[underlined] Bath House: [/underlined] The annual clean out having been interrupted by the war and being ideal winter and summer resorts for microbes, it is well to avoid bare feet on any area but that washed by the showers. Each foot should be put directly into shoe after having been washed. Soap should be kept away from dirt.
[underlined] Beds. [/underlined] Frequent airing of sheets blankets and mattresses will keep beds both fresh and warm.
[underlined] Water: [/underlined] Don’t use water which has been standing about in the dust, draw fresh supplies.
[underlined] Underclothing: [/underlined] The wearing of the same underclothing day and night is unhealthy and conducive to chills.
[page break]
14. 1942 CAMP ECHO Page 15
[drawing] WHAT WE THINK [drawing]
AND CAMP LIFE
If a certain section of our readers have the right to dictate what we must publish, then the policy upon which this journal has been founded would cease to exist.
A better understanding and closer cooperation among all our community is the goal at which we aim. If there be muttered grievances which [deleted] to [/deleted] tend to foil this purpose, then we shall shed a light upon them, even unto the extent of incurring wrath in high places.
That high-falutin phrase “The Freedom of the Press” must be as jealously preserved here, in our small way, as it is supposed to be in our own country. All must have the right to say what they think and providing that it is kept within the bounds of decency and is not malicious we shall publish it.
Freedom of expression is a good and sane outlet for repressed emotions, and if one feels the prick of another’s pen then he too can retaliate with the same weapon.
Let us make it clear, however, that this journal is not intended as a medium for scandal, but for open and just criticisms.
[underlined] ABDULLAS. [/underlined]
The editor deeply regrets the misunderstanding which occurred with regard to the above, and in apologising he trusts that the matter has been cleared satisfactorily for all concerned.
[underlined] TALENT. [/underlined]
It is very gratifying to note the talent that is now coming to light as is evidenced by this issue, but we still think there is more hiding under the “bushel”. We need your whole-hearted co-operation to ensure that subsequent numbers will be an improvement. Therefore, will all those who have original ideas give us their help. We shall more than appreciate it.
[page break]
Page 16 CAMP ECHO JAN
[drawing of a face with a camera] Press Photography
SGT. BORROW R.AF.
The rapid advance made in the development of Press Photography may best be gauged by the fact that when King George V was crowned newspapers were unable to publish pictures of the event, yet, when he died they devoted twelve more pages each to photographs illustrative of his life and reign.
The first newspaper illustrations consisted in the main of line drawings depicting the fashions of the day: together, with these were occasionally published drawings of well know personalities. The half tone block, to which photographic illustrations as apart from drawings - owe their existence, was first introduced in about 1912.
During the war vast strides were made in the development of pictorial journalism, chief among them being the devotion of the entire back page of daily newspapers to pictures. This considering news in those days was plentiful, and the paper consisted of only four sheets, testified that pictures had arrived. With the coming of peace Fleet Street recognising the true importance of photography to journalism set out to improve production, and to find something new in pictures. The introduction of night aerial photography in 1931 when the first aerial pictures were taken of an oil refinery fire at Southampton, was an epoch in Press Photography.
The difficulties confronting picture editors was, that while the story of an event could be ‘phoned, or cabled, from most parts of the world, and be published within a few hours, pictures sometimes took days, and even weeks before they could present a pictorial record.
The discovery of photo-telegraphy by Marconi in 1930 made it possible to transmit pictures at the same speed as the stories were being cabled. The first picture to be published was that of the Tunney-Dempsey fight transmitted from America to England.
[page break]
14th 1942 CAMP ECHO Page 17
The Compleat [sic] Wangler
By Robert Johnson
The Compleat [sic] Wangler was written, as everyone knows, by a famous jobbing-gardener called Isaac Walton, or Newton, or Pitman, or somebody. What everyone does not know, however, is the story behind the somewhat obscure title of this work.
It all started back in the reign of Charles Two, sometimes known as Bonny King Charlie - but not to be confused with Charles the Great, who is’nt [sic] dead yet - when Newton was doing a little gardening job in his little jobbing garden, wondering why gardening was such a job. Suddenly, he felt the urge to chop down apple trees, and when Walton chopped down apple trees he did so in no uncertain matter. On this occasion he tackled the job with so much energy that a large apple fell on his head, conclusively proving the Gravity of Chopping Down Apple-trees.
At this moment his father, seeing him apparently practising party-games with an apple, decided than now was the time for all true men to come to the aid of said party, and promptly split the Apple in two pieces, and half a jiffy with an Arrow (no connection with Arrow on the Ill) Whereupon Pitman, realising that he had discovered something important, exclaimed, “Eureka, I cannot tell a lie”, and they called him William Tell.
This started quite a craze for balancing apples on heads, but all most people discovered was that they either had Square-heads, or Round-heads, which caused quite a lot of rivalry amongst the Fat-heads. The result was that the Round-heads declared war on the Square-heads, the Fat-heads joined up with the Thick-heads and the King only got away by a Short-head – which only goes to show that you can’t put a Round-head in a Square-deal.
The only person who realised the Gravity of the Situation was Pitman, who tried to make everyone friends by Inventing the Force of Gravity and opening a school of wangling for Round-heads, Square-pegs, High-hats, Low-brows, Long-horns, Short-hands, etc, and writind [sic] a text book on wangling.
Hence the somewhat obscure title of his masterpiece.
[page break]
Page 18 CAMP ECHO JAN.
[drawing of a man’s shoe] SHOE DESIGN [drawing of a woman’s shoe]
By SGT. Cook R.A.F
The creation of the shoe design is the first stage in shoe manufacture, this is best analysed under two headings:-
(1) [underlined] Mens. [/underlined] A shoe must be primarily so designed as to facilitate the ingress and exit of the foot and have a secure means of fastening of fairly simple device, being strong enough to withstand the normal stresses likely to be imposed upon it. Care must also be taken in the design to permit the foot it’s normal and necessary movement with as little restraint as possible.
(2) [underlined] Ladies. [/underlined] Besides all the rules governing the design of men’s shoes, fashion, including style and colour, has also to be taken into consideration. The design is also greatly affected by the height of heel.
When designing a shoe for bulk manufacture the sale price has to be taken into consideration to ensure that the processes entailed will not prove too costly.
The efficient shoe designer should possess a fair knowledge of the articulation of the 26 bones in the foot and the changes in their movement which take place during walking. He should be acquainted also with the various processes in shoe manufacture, as they are nearly all affected by the design.
Pattern cutting follows immediately after designing and is commenced by reproducing the surface of a last, or model, upon a flat surface. A selected design is then drawn upon this outline forming what is known as a standard and from this the various sections are cut.
The last, or model, is the foundation upon which the shoe is made. It consists of a shape in wood made as similar to a normal foot as is practicable for shoe manufacture, attention being given to effect and smart appearance. A pattern intended for bulk manufacture is cut to a size 7, or 8, last for mens, and a 4, or 5, last for ladies. This pattern is then reproduced in zinc, or iron, and from the sections a complete set, mens 5 to 11, and ladies 3 to 8, is graded on a machine in fibre board. The edges of the patterns are bound with brass wire to make them more durable.
Next week:- The Cutting of Uppers.
[page break]
14th 1942 CAMP ECHO PAGE 19
[symbols]
[underlined] NAT THE NATURALIST writes [/underlined] :-
Calling in for a chat this week with my old friend Farmer Wines P/O (A) I was noticeably struck by the agility of his partner. I afterwards could not help saying “Only God can make a tree”.
I later visited the estate of Mrs. Clayton and Miss Wilkins and could not avoid noticing how bare the old “patch” looks after the removal of the fungus. A few months of lying fallow should produce excellent results and perhaps even be in time for New Year’s Eve 1942.
I trust readers will excuse the remainder of my column this week as I have been occupied composing the following ode, for which I gained inspiration on Appel the other day.
Mrs. Thompson’s thatching is progressing quite rapidly these days, and already hangs well over the roof. This Old English Style appears to be all the fashion for the Spring.
[drawing of a camel and palm trees]
[underlined] DITTY NO. 2 [/underlined]
We have a little prairie flower
A new arrival to the bower:
Everyone eyes it, me as well
I know a secret, I won’t tell.
. . . . .
People questioned all around
Coming out, or homeward bound?
Others brushed up smart as H. . .
I know a secret, I won’t tell.
. . . . .
Oh when will be the fateful hour
And who will pluck our prairie flower?
Nobody yet has rung the bell
B U T . . .
I know a secret, I won’t tell
[page break]
Page 20 CAMP ECHO JAN.
[drawing of a goal post] ICE HOCKEY [drawing of a goal post]
SGT. LEWERY. R.A.F.
Before the war Switzerland possessed a very good ice hockey league, the standard of hockey of the best teams comparing very favourably with that of the London National league.
The teams were actually run by the hotels for the entertainment of the visitors, and such resorts as Davos, Grindelwald, Wengen, Murren, Chateau d’Eaux, Arosa, St. Moritz and Interlaken were well represented.
The players were a rather cosmopolitan crowd. Those players who did not run hotels, or own businesses of some description, were provided with all necessary expenses by the Committee.
All teams played two games a week, one at home and one away, and had a short practice most days. The rinks were always open and the ice natural, thus making a very fast game. The pure mountain air often appeared to stimulate players to greater effort and fights were often predominant.
The unfortunate part to playing on natural ice is that the season is rather short, so December to March is the normal Swiss ice hockey season. It is a great pity there are not a few more places like the Jungfrau where there is a rink built inside a glacier, thus providing skating the whole year round.
Few British teams journey to Switzerland, but Oxford and Cambridge Universities send over a team every year. Unfortunately for them they are invariably beaten, but as they have no home ice to practice on, that is only to be expected. Another British team to make the trek is the Princes Ice Hockey team of the London Provincial League. They always put up a good show, but the results of their matches vary considerably.
At the end of the Swiss ice hockey season Davos generally produce the best players of Switzerland to send over to England. They generally play exhibition games with the London Leagues=
[page break]
14th 1942 CAMP ECHO Page 21
GOLF [drawing of a golf green]
Last week I said the necessary amount of clubs was seven, and to prove that seven is a maximum I quote the abnormal success of “Five-Club Competitions”: in which average players have excelled themselves by returning scores which give the lie direct to their handicaps. This again brings us to the one point I am always trying to hammer home – better a small selection of clubs than a large one. The aim of such tournaments is to teach players which are the necessary clubs, and from this [inserted] is [/inserted] built up confidence and a speedy summing up of what may seem an awkward situation. There is not the same deadly seriousness around “Five Club Competitions” that there is around the “Monthly Medal Tournament”, but nevertheless I incline to the opinion that because of this “we’ll-try-any-shot” – attitude, the average player improves his game each time he enters. (Did Shakespeare once mention “Vicious Circle” If so, I make no excuses if I also wander around in a like manner).
Sgt. Mackie.
LAMBS LIMELIGHT ON SPORT
Here am I, an innocent man with no stain of ink at all on my character, endeavouring to prop up the column in Larry’s absence. I can assure all readers that this “propping” is very temporary: for one thing, Larry is finding his feet slowly, and for another – well, why the heck should I be chosen to deputise? I mean to say, boxing gloves and skipping ropes actually give me an acute attack of the “jitters” whenever I have been asked to use them. The Editor has not yet noticed that, so here am I.
Still, in my capacity as limelight operator I did manage to focus a beam on Cpt= A. Cooper’s “Unarmed Combat”, and I came away from the class convinced that this was for the more vigorous.
I’ve been asked to broadcast an S.O.S. for one soccer ball, which was last seen a few days before Christmas. Anyone who has information on the subject should communicate with Room 23. After all there is a darned good sports ground on the other side of the wall.
-LEONIS-
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Page 22. CAMP ECHO JAN. 14. 1942
[symbols] MUSICAL RAMBLINGS [symbols]
By “MIKE”
Many are the phases of Jazz which have been condemned by self-styled highbrows, but surely none has received so [inserted] MANY [/inserted] brick-bats as our old friend “scat-singing”.
This child of song, incidentally, is not so modern as many people believe.
Many years ago (no doubt Bookworm could tell us the exact number) our greatest lyric writer sat himself down and wrote:
“It was a lover and his lass
With a hey and a ho
And a hey-nonni-no”.
Whether Dr. Arne composed the music for the lyric, or Shakespeare took the tune and put words to it, I don’t know, but the words I have quoted seem to me to be nothing more than an example of “scat”.
There have been many arguments as to whether the music or the lyric is the more important ingredient of a number, but it is significant that in most of the bard’s writing for music, he leaves many lines to be sung without actual words, trusting the singer to improvise with just sounds.
He was [underlined] one [/underlined] man, certainly not a despised lowbrow, who did not dub the forefathers of Cab Calloway as “rowdy madmen”
I am not suggesting that all “scat” is good. Harry Roy to me is a pain in the neck, as are many others like him, but I [underlined] do [/underlined] say that this type of vocalising, when practised by musicians like the Mill’s Brothers, requires more than an elementary knowledge of music by it’s exponents, and it annoys me when people condemn “scat” generally without attempting to examine it’s musical properties.
(By the way, while I am annoyed, why cannot some of you swing fans appreciate that a man named Chopin wrote some of the best swing music for the piano ever put to paper: take the trouble to listen to some next time you have the opportunity, and when I say listen, I don’t mean music like this to be used as a background for conversation in the kitchen).
[underlined] Answers to last week’s Quiz [/underlined]
1. Nat & Bruts Gonella play in the New Georgians.
2. La-Rocca wrote “Tiger-Rag”.
3. Vet, Mortho & Connie Boswell.
4. The Mill’s Brothers combination consists of three brothers, their father and a cousin.
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PAGE 23.
BERTIE BRAINS’, BARNSTORMERS. [drawing of masks]
[underlined] “Forthcoming Production.” [/underlined]
TALENT WANTED
[underlined] Apply – F/O BRAIN D.F.C. [/underlined]
DOCTORS RECOMMEND:-
RANDALLS
Sold at all Chemists.
-NEW FLAVOURS-
VANILLA, COCOA, LEMON
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PAGE 24
LOWESTOFT for SUNSHINE
DEAL is so BRACING.
Weston-super Mare for Golden Sands.
COME AND HAVE A “SWELL” TIME.
“SATISFYING” HOLIDAY FOR GIRLS.
[underlined] consult:- [/underlined] CRASHS’ HOLIDAY BUREAU
(also suppliers of “JAY TEA”)
[drawing of R.A.F. uniform] WHY WALK ABOUT LIKE A TRAMP.?
YOU TOO! CAN HAVE A R.A.F. UNIFORM FOR CHURCH NEXT SUNDAY
[underlined] Apply SHAGS’, SECOND HAND SUIT STORE [/underlined]
ALL TYPES IN STOCK (PILOT. OBSERVER. AIR-GUNNER)
Medals attached to order
Room 17
PRINTED & PUBLISHED FOR THE LAGHOUAT ECHO NEWSPAPERS LTD
BY MESSRS HUDSON SHIPLEY & WILKINS OF LAGHOUAT EO. OFFICES
ROOM 23 VIS UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS. EO. O.W. RANDALL PH. LAG.402
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[underlined] “CAMP ECHO” SOUVENIER [sic] NUMBER. [/underlined]
COMPILED AND PRODUCED
BY
THE EDITOR
(SGT. D.W. RANDALL R.A.F.V.R.)
[underlined] ART WORK [/underlined]
LIEUT. C.C. THORNTON R.N. (A)
SGT. ERIC SHIPLEY R.A.F.V.R.
SGT. W.A.C. TURNER R.A.O.C.
[underlined] ILLUSTRATIONS [/underlined]
SERGEANT K.F. WRIGHT R.A.F.V.R.
SUB. LIEUT. D. GRANT R.N. (A)
[underlined] HEADINGS [/underlined]
SERGEANT J.Y. BURKE R.A.F.V.R.
LDG/AIRMAN W. THOMPSON R.N.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY MC. TAVISH PRODUCTS LIMITED
(MANAGER – P/O R.W. FERGUSON R.A.F.)
. . . . LAGHOUAT. . . .
. . . . . ALGERIE. . . .
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Let’s couple the future of our internment with the past of our internment: the hardships and trials which are over, and the sorrows which are over too:- Let’s drink to our brother Officers and N.C.O.’s who went to cells and to our hearts that went with them:- Let’s drink to the battles and oppositions, to our Captors, they made a strange heaven out of unbelievable hell, and let’s hope that this internment which we hate so much will quickly end, and again find our old allies once more at our side.
In presenting this souvenir copy of the “Camp Echo” to the Rev. & Mrs. Dunbar of Tunis, we remember and appreciate the many kindnesses performed on our behalf during our sojourn at Le Kef from Aug. 1940 to April 1941
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AN ENGLISHMAN IN N. AFRICA [drawing of a man laid under a palm tree]
My first connection with the French nation was through hearing from my grandmother the graphic story of her governess’ life in Paris during the siege of that city in the war of 1870 – 71. The governess hated the Germans with an intensity that she had no difficulty in communicating to my grandmother. In my most impressionable years, this distaste for Germans was grafted into me. A hatred of Germans implied a sympathy and liking for the French. The war of 1914 – 18 increased these predilections, since my father returned from France with a low estimate of the inherent kindliness of Germans.
Hitler’s war of 1939 has done nothing to change my inherited opinions. I did not have the good fortune to be sent to France before the defeat of the French and British armies in 1940: but my unpremeditated arrival in North Africa while cuting [sic] short my brief R.A.F. career, has only showed me what I missed by not receiving my calling-up papers until after the evacuation of Dunkirk.
The hospitality of the French is proverbial. So soon as they realised that I had arrived in North Africa, they took good care that I should not be left alone for one moment. To them, I knew, solitude was unutterable boredom. Their interest even extended to the almost embarrassing point of insisting upon escorting me to the cabinet, and remaining there with me so long as I felt it incumbent upon me to seek this salutary and, hitherto, accustomed loneliness.
I can never fully express my gratitude for their sense of responsibility. The French must have guessed intuitively, (cherchez la femme) that in civilian life, my “money sense” was little if not negligible. Appreciating this failing, they very kindly undertook to look after the few hundred francs which the American Consul, I am told, sends me each month. Not only that, but they have undertaken to
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see that I do not overspend my allowance. I can never thank them enough for ensuring that when I order some article in the town, I shall invariably fail to receive it. This I realise fulfils the bourgeois creed that money spent is money lost (c.f. the French determination to spend no money on their Air Force before the present war).
La cuisine francaise was only a name and, indeed, legend, to me before this war. But never again can I not say that we in England know how to cook. The food in N. Arfrica is truly remarkable and while, presumably, representing French taste, it is doubtful whether its pleasant idiosyncrasies could be enjoyed elsewhere. I need only mention the oiled lentils, and the “carrots au Laghouat” to bring memories to the minds of my readers which will never be eradicated.
The European battle in France is a comparatively recent innovation – it has not yet reached North Africa – I believe. When it does, we may expect that our hosts will make use of it with the same puerile enthusiasm that they now show for the fasces and the swastika.
Nevertheless, in my very sober moments I occasionally wonder what my grandmother’s governess who say Frenchmen defend the city of Paris to the end would think of all I have seen.
I think the German censor would not allow the French papers to publish her opinion.
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1942 CAMP ECHO PAGE
GOT THE KIT BY FOO
The mellow golden sunlight slanted across the grass and there was a late afternoon quiet over everything disturbed only by the gentle rustling of the leaves on the old oak at the edge of the lake. But hark! What is this muffled throaty throb that can be heard increasing in crescendo? It is an aircraft winging its way home.
The pilot bold, confident and alert checks his course and competently scans the various instruments in duplicate and triplicate and with deft, precise movements moves a switch here, and alters a dial there. Then with a relieved air he cuts out “George the aumatic [sic] pilot”: (automatic-pilot): takes the controls (folding and stowing his maps, charts, pencils and instruments away) adjusts his seat and flying controls. Leisurely with an accurate sweep of his arm and delicate finger touch he fades out Henry Hall and resets and retunes the transmitter on his right, switches on and calls “He…llo Python: Suppa Yellow Six calling: Winding in to land: Over.” He next places in the off or neutral position the switches and dials for battery charging, cockpit heating, pressure head and de-icers, cameras and gun sights, Death-Ray and Location: reels in aerial and checks fuel contents and cocks, engine revs and magnetos, cages gyros and places a blob of well chewed gum on the knob of the super-sensitive altimeter. After checking brake and compressed air pressure and disconnecting oxygen supply lines he throttles back the two 2000 H.P. radial engines and adjusts the trimming controls meanwhile keeping a sharp lookout and pushing the hydraulic lever “on”, winding out cooling gills, trimming aircraft, lowering undercart, altering airscrew pitch, throttling back, turning into wind, approaching to land, testing undercarriage safety switches, adjusting controls, putting flaps down, testing flaps, checking up on controls, instruments, obstacles, wind, flying speed, altimeters…. but suddenly the engine throttles are rammed fully open and with a roar the aircraft crosses the field at 200 m.p.h. and disappears over the horizon, the pilot pushing, switching, adjusting, checking, trimming, winding, sweating, cursing . . . . . . . . . It is the wrong bloody aerodrome!
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PAGE CAMP ECHO 1942
[drawing of a teacher] VARSITY NEWS by ‘PROFESSOR’
In recent years comfortable fortunes have been made by a legion of correspondence schools all over the world, and when one sees some of the courses and instructional service one wonders how on earth the schools pay even expenses. The answer is that generally a completed course does not pay: the money is made out of the many students who start off with more enthusiasm than staying powers.
So far a correspondence school at Laghouat wouldn’t be making much, but the next two months are the critical ones. Let’s keep at it.
The practical and immediate value of study in our long idle days has been fully recognised by many.
In the great demobilisation after the last war both British and Dominion Governments made available to suitable students generous scholarships and liberal concession for the commencement and completion of all types of professional courses. Such opportunities will undoubtedly be provided after this war, in fact it seems clear from B.B.C talks that arrangements are already being made. Ex-soldier students after the last war found, however, that after four years of blood, mud, and routine, getting down to study was an uphill fight. Undoubtedly an interné who kept his mind polished would start off with a great advantage.
Secondly it is clear that though the British Empire is a long way from wanting Lebenaraum and has in the last 20 years shirked some of it’s responsibilities, the post war mess can only be cleared up by a large extension of British influence in Middle and Far East, if not actually in Europe. Such an extension will call for a large number of men with language and technical qualifications. Where there is demand, there also lies opportunity for those who can grasp it.
This week’s motto… Tempus Fugit—roughly We have no time to waste.
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SCIENCE CORNER
It is always most exasperating to be cut off from news of the latest developements [sic] in any sphere of interest, and those of you whose interests are centred in the scientific world must be, by now, wondering how far modern theory and invention have advanced since the beginning of the war. In war-time, unfortunately, the greater part of our researches must be directed towards the invention and improvement of scientific weapons…. mines, bombs and wireless must be developed, and more satisfactory methods of counteracting them perfected. Consequently, we can expect very few startling achievements in the way of new principles: rather, an enormous advance in those we saw already in their infancy. We have in the Library, however, a few comparatively recently published science books, some of which give us at least an idea of the trend of modern developements [sic]. The best of these seems to be “Science Front 1939”, a brief but quite comprehensive review of the latest advances made in Chemistry, Medicine, Physics and Electrics up till the end of 1939. Commercial processes and products, as well as Lab. Research, are described with an extremely interesting clearness, which leaves no doubt as to the successes we can expect in the near future.
STAMPS
Penny Blacks all have watermarks, the first series having a small Imperial Crown and the last a Garter.
In 1852 the 2d. Blues made their appearance. They were exactly the same design as the 1d. Black but a few months later two white lines were incorporated in the stamp, one line above and one below the Queen’s head.
Like the 1d. Black the 2d. Blues also had letters on each corner, starting A – L above and L – A below, right through the alphabet. The reason being to stop the habit then prevailing of cutting in half one stamp and incorporating it on another. The 2d. Blues like all other British stamps were issued on sheets of 124. They also had no perforation, every stamp having to be cut with scissors. The dye, however, was very strong and deep blue and, although of the same design, it was a much nicer looking stamp than the 1d. Black.
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[drawing of PoWs entering Laghouat]
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[drawing of a horse] RACING
By SGT. D. WILLIAMS R.A.F.
Having read with some interest the articles on motor cycling as the most interesting sport in the world may I, as a horse-lover, say a little in favour of the most faithful of all animals.
Who is there that can dispute the fact that horse-racing is known the world over as the “Sport of Kings” also, who in G.B. at some time or another, has never had his or her fancy for some such race as the G. N., Lincolnshire, Derby or S.L.. These are only four races which only occur once a year, where-as racing is full of interest all the year round, flat racing from March to November, steeple chasing from August Bank-Holiday to Whit-Week of the following year.
To my mind the best time to see steeple-chasing is during the period that flat and jumping clash. These meetings are held usually at some not so very well known towns such as Newton Abbot, Totnes, Ludlow etc..
I will now try to convey to you the thrill in watching a race in which a horse named “Thanos” was so far ahead when jumping the last fence that he made a bad mistake which resulted in his suffering a broken leg. His jockey, W. Parvin, tried to pull him up but the horse seemed to know that that was not the place where races were won, he kept fighting for his head and struggled on to win by half a length.
The most interesting I ever witnessed was the Cheltenham Gold Cup in ’35, when Golden Miller and Thomond [underlined] 11 [/underlined] ran two miles of their three and a quarter mile journey in heavy going, each carring [sic] twelve stone, in record time an average speed of 31. something m.p.h. Golden Miller won by one and a half lengths and almost broke his heart which was the cause of his losing the G.N. the same year. He was never much good afterwards which is nothing to his discredit. Having told you of the pluck and courage of two different horses, I shall leave it to you to judge for yourselves if that is not sport at its best.
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TRIPE WRITING FOR BEGINNERS or What the Editor needs [drawing of a quill and ink stand]
As a result of numerous requests, the almost unceasing appeals of the Editor, and a quite unceasing pain somewhere in the region of lasts [sic] night’s supper (probably due to not enough supper and too much Editor) the camp has not till now been privileged with any sample of my literary genius. And yet, astounding though it may seem to my many admirers, editors, readers, creditors, and the people who steal my wine ration, even my friends too, our “Camp Echo” still enjoys a quite unqualified success!
However you can’t keep a good man down, as the Bishop said to the Actress, so I propose, the Editor willing, weather permitting, all things being equal and everything in the garden lovely, to give a few words of advice to the budding journalist.
The first essential when starting out to write an article, or even only a particle of an article, is to find a subject – or the article becomes farcical, the Editor becomes wrathful, the reader becomes speechless, and the author stays penniless. Having found your subject then, and probably lost your temper, you must have an object, because if there is no object in writing about your subject, we might as well all pack up and get repatriated.
Now, if you haven’t already forgotten what it was you were going to write about before you remembered you’d forgotten to borrow that leaky fountain pen with the leaky holder, try to decide whether you know more about your subject than your reader, because if you do they won’t believe you, and if you don’t, what the hell are you writing for anyway?
The best way to decide this is, of course, by means of the “Haggis McFergus I.Q. Swindle.” (You’d be surprised what I.Q. stands for: any reasonable guesses may be submitted, accompanied by a hundred francs in cash and a stamped un-addressed envelope).
All the preliminaries having been gone thro’, run thro’, pulled thro’, scratched thro’, and forgotten, you can get on with writing the confounded article, chronical, canticle, or whatever it was.
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LAMBS LIMELIGHT ON SPORT
It is sad to think that we have a football pitch and no football. Mr. Fisher of Barclay’s Bank, Casablanca has been asked to supply us with one, and until we can take advantage of his generosity we must go without. The padre says that there is no such thing in Algerie.
We can borrow the Spahis ball if anyone wishes to play basket-ball, providing the pitch is not required by them. Basket or baseball can be arranged any day of the week if we ask at the morning appel. Let me know in good time, and I will make the necessary arrangements.
Newcomers please note that boxing training, and P.T. for non-pugilists, has begun again. For the benefit of tentative beginners, I will repeat that throughout training I make absolutely sure that no one is hurt. This is your opportunity to learn painlessly. You will never get another. Why not take the chance?
I would like to see a bigger attendance at 1400 hrs. every afternoon. This suggestion includes officers.
WE MUST GET FIT.
ARE WE MEN OR MICE?
[drawing of a scout hat] ROVERING [drawing of a stick]
Rovering is really Scouting inits [sic] most practical form. Our badge, now borrowed by the International Red Cross Society for their war-time organisation, contains the motto “Service”: and doing useful jobs of service is the basis of Rovering.
Here, of course, successful Rovering will be difficulty because advertising ourselves to undertake any job of service to this community would make us immediately “Everybody’s Stooge”, and we should probably be presented with a large variety of unnecessary tasks to test our sincerity.
We do intend, however, to take on any job which will be really of genuine Service, and we hope that by so doing we shall be able to bring the true aspect of Scouting more forcibly to your notice, and provide a certain amount of peaceful propaganda for the Movement.
The Crew already has seven members, but the support of any Old Scouts or Rovers will be greatly welcomed. So far, however we have only succeeded in gaining the interest of one outside the Movement, but we are hoping to arouse greater interest before the Crew is much older.
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Last week I commenced a review of “Exile” by Warwick Deeping, but found myself cut off in the column owing to lack of space. However, “Exile” is a book I recommend to those who have grown weary of Edgar Wallace “Thrillers” and other “Penny-Dreadfuls”, and wish for something more deep and moving than the average everyday novel.
The action of the book takes place in the popular tourist resort of Tindaro in Southern Italy, where a small but completely derelict crowd of British exiles find themselves picking up the threads of a scandalous life in the fly blown cafés of this lethargic place. The Britisher abroad in this novel presents no pretty picture.
We have in Tindaro itself what we have in every British gathering throughout the world – The English Library and Club, the Hall Mark of British decency and respectability. At the other end of the scale we have the Café Ceres and its coterie of English “down and outs”. Regularly at mid-day these human dregs gather round the Café’s marble table tops and drink the sun down. These are the exiles proper, men who are tied to Tindaro because of the murkiness of their pasts, and the utter hopelessness of their futures. Unfortunates who have lost the thread of normal existance [sic] and smashed the perspective of healthy decorum and conventionality. A community which sets no standard, holds no illusions as to social prestige and has Long ceased to keep up any appearance of being anything but what it is. The main characters in “Exile” are well portrayed, Julia Lord, the backbone of decent Tindaro, a mixture of Victoria rigidity and deep hidden sentimentality. Firm of flesh, white of hair, upright in carriage. Julia Lord sweeps away the smut and dirt that tends to besmirch the morality of more decent Tindaro, and strides proudly forward – the true Britannia in exile.
Oscar Slade, the moral pervert, who surrounds himself and his degenerate exiles with an atmosphere of incipient vice and immoral intrigue. Heavy scented, supercilious, irreverent, almost oily in his movements, he forms a deadly and poisonous menace to the British code of respectability that exists in the Tindaro of Julia Lord.
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Presented by Hitler to all German soldiers in the Russian campaign to assist them to find their way. The last line would appear to be inaccurate.
[underlined] THE ROAD TO MOSCOW. [/underlined]
The road to Moscow goes thru’ Umsk,
Thru’ Dumpsk and Umpskidumpski,
And all the way from Omsk to Plomsk
You’re walking on your tumski.
From Omsk to Minsk a thousand miles,
From Plonsk to Plinsk is further,
From Plinsk to Plonsk you can’t go wronsk
Tho’ all the way is muder.
They have no tramsk from Tomsk to Omsk,
No taxis up to Plopski,
The trains are bad to Leningrad
And petrol not a dropski.
So Heil to Omsk and Tomsk and Plonsk,
And Heil to Plinsk and Plunski,
And Heil to Tanksk that do, not Knoksk,
So now we shan’t be longski.
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PAGE CAMP ECHO 1942
Our Cassandra’s attitude[deleted]d[/deleted] towards what he calls trash in literature (vide “Camp Echo” 7.1:42) exists, perhaps in a greater degree, in the realm of music, for one finds that seventy five per cent of people who have been raised on the classics, enjoy looking down on the lover of swing as a person not possessing the intelligence with which they themselves have been endowed.
An almost similar atmosphere is noticed when your swing fan talks about the highbrow, for he reckons the man who appreciates his Wagner as something of a freak, because the latter listens to music which the jazz-fiend has never taken the trouble to try to understand.
Apparently, it is “not done” for he who visits the Proms. to admit a liking for Benny Goodman, and the chap who raves about the band of the Hot Club de France is afraid to own to a sneaking regard for a Beethoven work he has heard, for fear of being ridiculed as a “poseur”.
Thus, a barrier has appeared between the two schools of listeners, a barrier of intolarance [sic] which, to my mind, should not exist at all, as it is possible to enjoy equally well both Ellington and Mozart, and often an appreciation of one promotes an understanding of the other. I would ask you highbrows, therefore, to make up your minds to attempt to pick the melody out of the arabesques which are being woven, the next time you hear a Louis Armstrong or a Coleman Hawkins playing. Remember that Brahms composed many variations on tunes to Haydn, and notice that the musician to whom you are listening is doing exactly the same, except that in all probability he has not put the notes to paper before he picked up his instrument. Forget that you are listening to despised swing, and because of your tolerance you will find, I am sure, something which will strike a chord in your musical minds.
In the same way, I am certain that if swing fans will take only the trouble to listen to something classical once in a while, they will discover that such music holds more than just a little which is enjoyable, and we will be a mite nearer breaking down that barrier which I mentioned earlier on
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1942 CAMP ECHO PAGE
Letters TO THE Editor
Dear Editor,
I take exception to the illustration appended to that excellent article written on Libya by Sgt. Latter. The depiction of the Army retreating in such a manner shows not only complete ignorance of the method of retreating under rearguard action but shows poor taste.
One doesn’t depict the sinking of the Repulse of the Prince of Wales, or the failure to sink the Scharnhorst and Gneisnau as being funny.
The talk of “running away” is all too common amongst a minority who apparently got an issue of bravery (Mk. 2) with their Blue Uniforms, and it is the cause of hard feeling from those who, like myself, shared in one of our glorious failures.
Your aim should be to promote good-feeling Mr. Editor, not to attempt to destroy it.
E.S. Clayton. (Royal Corps of Signals)
P.S. Other Army men have expressed similar sentiments.
Villa Labladji,
Rue Lucien Raynaud,
ALGER.
15-2-42.
Dear Sir,
Your paper has given me so much pleasure that I cannot refrain from writing to express my appreciation of it. I consider that it is far superior to any other weekly periodical in circulation in this district.
I must tell you how the English Colony look forward to receiving further copies of the “Echo”.
Although we receive news from you at Laghouat through various channels, your paper brings your daily doings nearer to us. Here’s to a brilliant success for your paper, but not a long one I hope.
Very best wishes,
Evelyn M. Butcher
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PAGE CAMP ECHO 1942
[drawing of man with gun] Shootin’ By Sub. Lt. HOPKINS R.N.
There has been artikles [sic] written in this paper about fishin’ and huntin’ and so I says to meself: “Begorra, ‘tis toime and article was writ about shootin’ and then the “Echo” would be really upstage and county”.
Now there is a lot of things can be said about this foine sport an’ I don’t want ye t’think that havin’ a bang at a rabbit that’s sittin’ still is the best fun ye can get out of it. The imminent gintleman who does be wroitin’ about fishin’ seems t’think that danglin’ a worm on th’ end of a bit a sthring [sic] into a stream is the best sport in the world. A course ye must have a little bell for te wake ye up every toime ye do get a bite. Masha, if that’s what ye call fishin’ t’was wastin’ me toime I was, and I with the best case of flies in two counties.
Well now, there’s some people thats apt to look upon shootin’ entirely as a sport an’ they don’t mind what they’re shootin’ at. They’re just as likely to have a bang at a sparrow as a pidgin, an’ twice as likely to hit the sparrow. There’s others that goes out lookin’ for somethin’ t’put in the pot and enjoys the fun at the same toime, and then again there’s more farmin’ people mostly that carries a gun t’keep rabbits an’ pidgins an’ such like from eatin’ the crops.
The most common implements of destruction now-a-days are the .22 bore rifle and the 12 bore shorgun -- not countin’ the weapons that’s used in war toime to kill men. If I had the space here I would tell ye about the different types and the respective merits of these firearms and how ye should go about buyin’ yerself a gun, but I’ll have to leave that till a later date, I’ll also be able to tell ye the best way to go about shootin’ all kinds of water fowl and also game birds includin’ grouse on the Irish moors, and I’ll even give ye some tips about deer stalkin’ so that instead of stalkin’ after the deer ye get the deer to stalk after yerself.
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Some of the sanitary arrangements of these camps would undoubtedly turn a British M.O. grey overnight, and if one of our official visitors at Aumale “found no sign of malnutrition, or ill-health” amongst us, it was probably due to an initial reserve of resistance. When one first arrives he is naturally careful of the more obvious dirt dangers, but after a while familiarity tends to breed contempt.
Here are a few points:
[underlined] Bath House [/underlined]: The annual clean out having been iterrupted [sic] by the war and being ideal winter and summer resorts for microbes it is well to avoid bare feet on any area but that directly washed by the showers. Each foot should be put directly into shoe after having been washed. Soap should be kept away from dirt.
[underlined] Beds: [/underlined] Frequent airing of sheets, blankets and mattresses will keep beds both fresh and warm.
[underlined] Water: [/underlined] Don’t use water which has been standing about in the dust, draw fresh supplies.
[underlined] Underclothing [/underlined]: The wearing of the same underclothing day and night is unhealthy and conducive to chills.
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Upon picking up a newspaper and seeing the picture of an event, known to have taken place many miles from Fleet Street but an hour ago, do we give any thought as to how its publication became possible? Probably not, but were we to do so we should be made aware of the truly prodigious developement [sic] made in the field of photo-telegraphy since its inauguration a mere fifteen years ago.
Actually, the picture in this particular instance owes its appearance to photo-telegraphy’s latest and greatest improvement, the portable apparatus, which is used in the following manner. An operator accompanies the photographer on his assignment taking with him the portable photo-telegraphy apparatus and a tent, which may be used as a dark room when no studio is available. Immediately the photographer has exposed his negative he hands it to this operator, who, having developed it, makes a print which he wires to his office. The value of the apparatus is shown by the fact that it may be used from any point in telephonic communication with Fleet Street, in other words from most parts of the British Isles.
Although, of course, numerous experiments had been made previously, photo-telegraphy may, broadly speaking, be said to have been introduced into England about 1929. In those days all pictures were wired to and from one central office, but to-day there can be no newspaper, or newspaper group, that does not possess its own photo-telegraphy installation, which, apart from outside use, serves to create a picture liaison between London and Manchester, where most newspapers are published simultaneously.
When the results of some of the earlier transmissions were handed to the artists they had difficulty in discerning the details of the pictures they were called upon to touch up. Consequently, technicians set out to improve the clarity of these transmissions, and, at the same time, to increase the distance over which they could be sent. In the former project they have succeeded to such an extent that during the present war pictures have been wired from Berlin to New York, and re-transmitted from there to London, their details being well preserved.
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[underlined] Pukka Gen, old boy. [/underlined] !
In the early days of this war, one of the more important cogs in the British propaganda machine was that whose duty it was to suppress idle rumours and unjustified statements. The great harm that may be caused to a people at war by the declamation of opinions and ideas as fact is manifest, while the inconvenience and annoyance which may be brought about in any community, by the same means, is equally obvious.
In this happy band of men of which we are members, formerly negligible items of news assume an importance out of all proportion to their ultimate significance. Thus – the intimation of the arrival of a further batch of “Colis de Ravitaillement” at Djelfa is of more immediate consequence than the news of Japan’s entry into the war, while many a good man’s evening has been spoiled by incorrect information as to the menu of his evening meal. Happily sanguine of a pleasing dish of “cous-cous” porridge and having anticipated its arrival by preparing a plentiful supply of “Domo” milk, borrowing the large saucepan and overcoming his more prudent self in voting a further inroad on his sugar supply, who cannot but sympathise with his agony of horror when a plateful of macaroni discovers the baseness and knavery of his informant. Whose susceptibilities, too, have not been injured by the generous minded but misguided individuals who award non-existant [sic] letters – or even, in an ecstasy of magnanimity, parcels – to all and sundry?
Such canards, be they well meant or no, must be eradicated from our midst: should the yen for spreading false report prove insuppressible, then let its addicts confine themselves religiously to matters of more far reaching import and be content to tell us that New Zealand has invaded Australia rather than circulate an optimistic lie concerning the date of arrival of our cigarettes.
Should this insidious practice of rumour-spreading not be extirpated I can forsee a life of contimual packing and unpacking for all of us, and a final unpreparedness, through disbelief, when the great day of repatriation finally arrives.
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ICE HOCKEY
[drawing of an ice hockey player]
Ice Hockey in England is a comparatively new game, the first organised ice hockey club having been formed in 1931 at the Westminster Ice Rink by the London Queen’s Ice Hockey Team. At about the same time another team was formed at Hove Ice Rink and challenge games were arranged between the two. The standard of play was rather poor due to the lack of experienced players and the very few practice facilities, so that when the Hove Ice Rink closed in 1932, ice hockey in England was just about at a standstill.
Nevertheless ice rinks began to spring up here and there, and foresighted ice ring [sic] managers saw possibilities in ice hockey with the result that in the autumn of 1935 a few teams were brought over from Canada, and the London National League was founded. There were seven teams in all, namely the Wembley Lions, Wembley Monarchs, Brighton Tigers, Richmond Hawks, Streatham, Earl’s Court Rangers and Southampton Imperials.
That first season of Canadian hockey was really appreciated, expensive seats were always booked up weeks ahead, and enthusiastic English lads clamoured for a chance to learn the game. In the majority of rinks practice became available, but the cost of buying ice hockey kit, together with subscriptions to the clubs, made it prohibitive to all but a few.
During the season 1936 – 7 the Canadians brought over better teams, the people began to take a keener interest in the sport, and London Provincial League was formed. It must be admitted that the mainstay of these teams was the Canadians, resident in England.
The war, of course, finished ice hockey in England, most of the London teams, moved to Scotland where many new rinks had been built: there they stayed for the first winter of the war but at the end of the season all players returned to Canada.
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[caricature drawing of two ladies and some sailors]
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Why is it that the majority of people in the world to-day persist in reading what can only be described as trash? It is not proposed in this article to make an attack on the unfortunate imbeciles who labour under various ill-conceived pseudonyms and call themselves authors. They know that if they write ten thousand words a day they will earn the wherewithal to keep body and soul together. They are hack-writers, and as such are beneath contempt. It is the object of this article to point out the utter futility of reading the greater part of the books available in the world to-day.
For every good book which is published, there are hundreds of inferior books placed before one in attractive covers.
About twelve years ago a school-master found me reading a penny-dreadful, probably “the Adventure” or “The Wizard”. He said “why do you waste your time reading such trash when there is more good English literature in the world than one could possibly read in a lifetime.” He was right --- Our Library here is not extensive, but there is a certain amount of first-class literature available.
When you return “The Blood-Stained Gun” or “Bayswater Bessie” or whatever you are reading now, why not choose something more serious for a change. Read something which will make you think about God, or Religion, or love, or somebody else’s philosophy of life. You will be educating yourself, broadening your intellect, influencing personality and forming character. You will not be wasting your time here+
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1942 CAMP ECHO PAGE
[drawing] TYPHOONS By Lt. Cdr. HARE D.S.C., R.N.
I was asked the other day whether I thought it possible for the Almighty to send a typhoon to scupper the Armadas of the Japanese as surely [inserted] as [/inserted] the Spanish Armada was scuppered. Speaking as a met-man the answer is “No, not yet”, but then (as everyone is so keen to tell them) met-men are always liable to be wrong.
Typhoons are nothing more nor less than very intense depressions and their cause has never been properly decided upon, but they occur north and south of the Equator.
They are funny things, (not so funny if you happen to meet them) they obey quite a lot of rules for quite a long time in their career, unlike most meteorological phenomena.
For instance, although they usually come to life near the islands of Yap and Guam (N. Hemisphere) they have got to have at least 5o of latitude before they get going, the Equator is always free. Then they all religiously go W.N.W. like homing pigeons towards the Philippines. Having arrived there they might do one of three things, they might recurve to N. and N.E. (met language for alter course) deciding to give Formoss and Japan the benefit of their attention. They might carry straight on N.W. and tickle Southern China and Indo-China, or they might even start going West or W.S.W. across the South China Sea. The met-man usually uses his triple sided dice to decide which – one of the most useful of his gadgets.
Like hurricanes you can apply the tag June too soon, July stand-by, August go-as-you-must, September remember, October all over. Actually they happen all the year round but less frequently in other months and they usually fade away or recurve before reaching the Philippines.
In the typhoon season you may have as many as three on one chart each up to their tricks, but their radius of intense disturbance is seldom more than a hundred miles from the centre. Think of a 60 knot gale and imagine one of a 160 knots that struck Hong Kong in September 1938 casting on the beach 23 ships of tonnage varying from 1,000 to 22,000 tons. The Almighty might play a joke on the yellow-bellies, but I reckon He is the kind of guy who plays to the rules.
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PAGE CAMP ECHO 1942
You’re next By P/O FERGUSON. R.A.F.
The best attitude to adopt is to stand aloof: feet together and with an intelligent expression of refined “resignation”. Do not appear on the scene grinning from ear to ear and wearing confidence like a halo. You must expect the very worst. The Gestapo will acknowledge your presence by a lift of the left eyebrow and you reply fluently with a used up smile “Yes, all that belongs to me”. You should have no further part in the conversation because it will avail you nought. The Gestapo is as versatile as a safety pin and soon your letters, pencils, books, and blankets are strewn around the floor: shaving gear, pants, shirts, ties and socks are left unmolested because in all probability you have none.
You must be prepared to see the undermentioned articles pounced on with an expression of gluttonous possessiveness and to receive a glance best described as withering as each one is brought to light – Picture Post-Cards (of Brighton, Southend, and Chipping Norton in particular) fur-lined gloves, Gold Flake Cigarettes and tin, bottles of Eau de Vie, old shoes, old boots, hats, caps, scarves, and drawing pins, Tinkabell Peas, Sardines, Boracic Powder and last week’s paper, your private personal address book and spare toothbrush, empty Klim Milk tins old tea leaves, envelopes with used stamps of any nationality – especially Australian, your bread ration and silver paper, toothglass and drinking water bottle, egg-beater and other mechanical contraptions.
“The richest intercourse between two human beings proceeds from the response by one to the other’s enthusiasm”. The Gestapo gets more and more excited and enthusiastic as these articles are whipped off and the remaining unmauled furniture is inspected and piled in a heap and the virgin wall closely scrutinised for code messages.
The performance ends with an impromptu strip-tease and you are left naked amongst the debris – and alone – the distance swallows the sounds of their retreating footsteps.
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1. Why the French General took the trouble to inspect a recent meal served to internees?
(Since we could have told him all about it at firsthand)
2. Why all “achats” were recently prohibited?
(Since it is beyond the power of the French to purchase what is not there).
3. Who appropriated the two bottles of wind from the Officers’ Mess at a recent gala night?
(Since contrary to optimistic misdirection, it was not an Arab).
4. Why we never see the American Consul?
(Since it was stated in the House of Commons that British Internees in Algeria received frequent visits from this legendary individual).
5. The identity of the kleptomaniac who purloined young Hadji’s saucer and sleeping blanket from outside his master’s room?
(Since it was not a hopeful of the army of North Africa).
6. Why the recent excavations indulged in by the French, instead of clarifying the Sanitary problem, only provided a bad local smell?
(Since any internee could have told them that four latrines, French Mk. 1, were insufficient for nearly a hundred prisoners).
7. Why the “slug” should value us dead at Frs. 2,000 and alive at Frs. 1,000?
(Since a corpse is always worth less to the Boches than an internee).
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[underlined] Continued from previous page. [/underlined]
8. Why Lieutenant Montgomery should suffer from a perpetual cold?
(Since the climate of North Africa is anything but inclement).
9. Why the R.C’s were not allowed to assist at Mass after the bombardment of the Renault Tank Works at Paris?
(Since they had not taken part in the raid).
10. Why the French prefer to use the word “demain” to the word “jamais”?
(Since, to them, the words are synonymous).
11. Why the local bootmaker should take all laces from boots sent to him for repair?
(Since, if he had told us he was destitute, we would joyfully have subscribed towards the purchase of a new pair of boot laces for him).
12. Why the French should imagine we appreciate the privilege of going naked, unashamed, and with no seats to our trousers?
(Since, if Darlan spoke to Goring, we could have plenty of battle dresses and R.A.F. uniforms – left behind in France).
13. Why the subtraction of parole cards coincided with an epidemic of typhus in the locality?
(Since no one broke his parole).
14. Why some should have supposed that the sudden demise of Lulu would have automatically ensured a clean football (?) ground?
(Since evidence of human excreta still persist).
15. Why the British are detained at all in North Africa?
(Since many of us went to France to help the French).
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Lights out at 9.30 p.m. provides its own problem. Six hours sleep for a man, eight hours for a child, ten hours for a fool, ten and a half for an internee. Certainly, but how is an internee to ensure that these ten and a half hours are spent, not in profitless recrimination, but in beneficial sleep. This problem may have perplexed others besides myself. If my experience is of material assistance to my readers, my time in writing this will not be wasted.
Faced with a long period of hopeless darkness, I tried evoking the picture of sheep jumping a gate and myself as shepherd counting them. There was no result. I thought of women, with even less result as far as sleep was concerned. I played a round of golf with Cotton, stroke by stroke, over a course we both know. At the fifteenth, I was four up and three to play – and as wide awake as ever in my life. The time was 1.30 a.m. What to do now. “Qu’est ce que nous pouvons faire.” I thought of London. Then the brain wave of my internment came to me. I would go on a solitary pub-crawl…
It was 7.30 in the evening – a summer’s evening in London. I was opposite the Law Courts in the Strand and my next appointment was in the “King Lud” underneath the railway bridge over Ludgate Hill at 10 o-clock. How on earth should I fill in the time?
“Well, at least there is the “George” – right opposite the Law Courts – and a half pint would not come amiss. I went in and the beer was pre Hitler’s war. When I came out I had spent [missing number]/3. – bitter (Saloon Bar) at 5d. a pint.
“Walking eastwards, I passed Twinings, the tea merchants – and spat in the gutter. Then “The Cock”. Ten minutes past eight. I went into the Long Bar. The barmaid I knew. Not well, but quite well. Another pint: and I passed through into the dining room. As often in the past, I ordered: Roast Sirloin of Beef, Roast Potatoes, Cauliflower. Despising puddings – I finished with Stilton butter and celery. [underlined] And [/underlined] a pint of bitter.
“Fortified, I emerged and proceeded eastwards along Fleet Street. 9 p.m. Past the Bodega. Past the small wine shop facing Chancery Lane – where, while most people see only dusty bottles in the window, it is not generally appreciated that excellent wine can be purchased by the glass – as samples.
(Continued over)
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“Past Hoare’s Bank – the only Bank in London where depositors can withdraw money without signing a cheque and incurring a twopenny excise tax. So to “the Falstaff” – about to close. Still feeling hungry, I had a dozen oysters and two bottles of Guiness. The barman was glad to see me go. 9.45 p.m.
“Still having time to spare, I turned aside into “The Bell” and had another pint. Good beer but the pub was empty. 9.50 p.m.
“Only one more pub before I reached Ludgate Circus – “the Punch”, there I was welcomed – the barmaids sleep in. Another pint. 9.55 p.m.
[deleted I [/deleted] Elated I crossed Ludgate Circus, I should reach my rendezvous at the “King Lud” right on time. I pushed the swing doors open, on the counter the customary Welsh Rarebit was simmering, “A pint please Miss”, it tasted good, “How much does it cost now Miss”? I asked. “It’s free, Sir, glad to see you back”.
[underlined] I KNEW I WAS ASLEEP AT LAST. [/underlined]
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Sgt. Latter’s remarks in our last issue have prompted me to take up my pen on behalf of that much maligned person - John Citizen – the typical average Englishman.
Although much has been written about him by people from other lands, his natural reserve has made him chary of courting publicity, rarely, therefore, do we find him refuting the statements of his critics.
In the big cities up and down the country you will find him engaged in a variety of professions. From Monday to Saturday he travels to and from his business in the public conveyances, an inoffensive sort of man who cloaks his inherited “reserve” behind a daily newspaper. Seldom will he commit himself to his fellow passengers, apart perhaps, from a gruntled comment regarding the weather to those of his more intimate acquaintances. If he is one of the 4 1/2 million black-coated workers, his life is humdrum, but although he may at times grumble at this lot he takes it in a philosophical manner. His thoughts alternate between his garden behind his little suburban villa and the possible chances of acquiring a fortune through the medium of the football pools.
His evenings are spent either around the fireside or in his favourite “pub”, where over a pint of beer and a pipe he relaxes from the day’s toil. The steady hum of conversation emanating from the bar parlour testifies that he has found congenial company to whom he can expound his knowledge of world affairs. Recriminations against the Government are a source of absorbing interest from which spring many witty and humorous remarks that have made John Citizen a universal character.
Sunday that day of rest – finds him pottering amongst the flower beds of his garden – lost to the cares of a dreary business world in the seclusion of his family circle, illustrating to the full the old axiom that “an Englishman’s home is his castle”.
To-day his desk has been vacated to his female counter part: John Citizen has answered the call to arms and donned a uniform, grimly resolved to defend his country against aggression.
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The Editor writes of the Thirties. Fresh from England he asks me to tell you what the same 4 1/2 million are doing in the Forties. Having done nothing since my arrival in Laghouat, I can think of no excuse for refusing bluntly and ungraciously – and so – within the last eight weeks, this is what some of the 4 1/2 million were doing.
John, aged 48, in 1939 running a department in a large office, with his own staff of twelve, now runs the same department with one girl, a young boy and a resuscitated pensioner of sixty-seven. This occupies ten hours a day. In the evening he returns to Reigate, and four nights out of six, spends four hours at the observer post on Reigate Hill watching for German ‘planes that no longer come.
William, served in the last war, joined the Home Guard. We travelled in the same carriage three or four times each week coming up from Waterloo. I have not seen him for some time. He was killed by the bomb that hit the Treasury Building in Whitehall in 1940.
The office boy who worked in the insurance office with me in 1939, was lost in Crete. Pte. Ballard would perhaps have known him, if Dunkirk had not intervened. They belonged to the same regiment.
So on, and so on. The auxiliary fireman, jeered at in 1939, when nobody did anything, but accepted, welcomed, praised in 1940. The A.R.P. – about whom the jesting Services sang derogatory songs. The ambulance drivers, rescue squads all recruited largely from the same source. The special constables, fat, fifty and unworried.
The women also. In 1940, my wife saw more active service than myself. On less food and more income tax, the John Citizen of 1940 – 1 saw more of the Nazi pleasantries than he ever expected possible.
In the meantime, I sit in Laghouat idle, dopey, indolent and critical. But thank God for a free press.
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MOTOR CYCLING
“VELOMAN” for Tourists “TORRENS for Sportsmen
[drawing of a track]
To my mind other outdoor activities simply fade into the background when compared with the fun and exhilaration of motor cycling. The thrill of “battling” along a fast road astride a good machine, the wind whistling past your ears, the exhaust note a mere burble, and a goodly stack of m.p.h’s on the clock, is the very wine of life to an enthusiast.
The camaraderie existing amongst riders is exceptionally good, and many are the good times to be had amongst clubmen and lone riders at wayside houses. A rider with a broken down bike is never alone for long. [underlined] Always, [/underlined] other motor-cyclists will stop and give every assistance.
Before one can savour to the full, the many pleasures open to a motor-cyclist, there is a “growing-pains” period, and it is to assist budding riders past this period – which is, nevertheless, good fun – that I am writing this series.
Next week my subject will be the learner buying his first machine.
Ulster! Donnington Park! Isle of Man! These are only place names to many people, but to the ardent motor-cyclist they conjure up visions of the finest sport in the world.
To those who would like to venture into this field of sport (at a later date) I hope these articles will prove to be very enlightening. You may ride a motorcycle during your week-ends, or holidays, perhaps you have had the pleasure to witness some Club Trials, or Track Racing. Finding these events very exciting you may have wished to enter yourself, but for the mere fact of not knowing how to go about it you have been denied this pleasurable, perhaps profitable, sport.
In the following series I shall tell you how to join a Club and endeavour to point out the snags you are likely to encounter in trials, Road Racing, Track Racing, and the most suitable types of machines to use for these events.
The authors realise that they will have a certain amount of criticism from their readers on the types of ‘bikes that will be mentioned.
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During the summer of 1923 a squad from the Penal Battalion of the Foreign Legion were constructing the road from Djelfa to Laghouat. Légionnaire Dubar was sitting on a hill talking to his friend Roland when he saw five new arrivals approaching. Suddenly he gripped Roland’s arm and turned pale. One of the replacements detached himself and drawing a knife rushed at Dubar, who fled from his attacker.
For the following nine months Dubar and his would be assassin Delbray avoided each other while Roland and Delbray became firm friends. Delbray would never divulge the reason for the existing enmity.
In May 1925, during the Riff campaign, Delbray, now a [deleted] [indecipherable letter] [/deleted] Sergeant Major, commanding the outpost of Taounat, now had as his second in command Roland. Delbray received orders to indent for ten reinforcements and was given permission to choose the men he required. To Roland’s surprise he included Dubar on the list. When the reinforcements arrived and were presented to Delbray, Dubar’s terror was obvious.
Some weeks later the outpost was surrounded by the Riff tribesmen. On the third day of the siege the decision was taken to abandon the fort. Delbray paraded and addressed his men in the following words: “I am proud to say that as Commander of this outpost, I shall remain behind to destroy the ammunition and the Légionnaire Dubar has volunteered to stay with me”: the parade knowing of Dubar’s cowardice and the feud between the two did not believe that Dubar had volunteered.
At 8 p.m. a letter was handed to Roland by Delbray to be carried to the Commanding Officer at Headquarters. All the ammunition was piled up in the courtyard ready to be detonated The gates were flung open and a sortie was made. Roland who was the last to leave, looked back and saw Delbray sitting on the ammunition holding Dubar beside him. A few moments later there was a tremondous [sic] explosion and Roland knew (Continued)
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that both Delbray and Dubar had perished.
On arriving at headquarters, Delbray’s letter was read out to the Légionnaires – It said: “I have the honour to state that Légionnaire Dubar volunteered to blow up the outpost with me and that he is my brother.” Both men were awarded posthumously the Legion of Honour.
Now here is the true story of Delbray and Dubar as told to Roland two hours before he evacuated the fort.
Delbray and Dubar were brothers, sons of a well known Parisien [sic] University Professor. Dubar had forged a check in his father’s name and the blame had been attached to his brother who was sentenced to five years imprisonment at Fres During the time he was away Dubar seduced his brother’s fiancée, who afterwards committed suicide.
A short time before Delbray was due to be released Dubar, fearing his brother’s revenge, joined the Legion under this assumed name. Delbray learning of this also joined.
Learning that his brother Dubar was in the Penal Battalion Delbray did the best in his power to get sent there, and after a great deal of difficulty managed to succeed. At first he wanted only revenge, but finding that his brother was not only a forger, but a coward as well, decided at the first opportunity to save the family’s name. His final act not only accomplished this, but enabled both the brothers to die as heroes.
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In early times a great variety of commodities – or perhaps things would be a better word – were used for the purposes of money. It seems natural enough that at the outset things in general demand were used as a common denominator of value, and it is said that oxen were often used for the purpose. The ox is not however, easily divisible – at any rate not when living and is subject to a great fall in value at an[deleted]t[/deleted]ny time from the fact that a dead ox does not usually possess the same worth as a live one. Hence the disadvantages which attach to this form of currency are obvious. In the case of warlike tribes even weapons and slaves were used as money.
It can thus be seen that some of these earlier forms of money would be restricted to certain areas: that is to say, they would be local in character, and as intercourse developed with more distant tribes, or peoples having different customs and requirements, the means of exchange, or payment acceptable over a wider area would make itself felt.
In course of time it was found that metals served this purpose much more successfully than products of the soil, or cattle. Although gold and silver were used by the early Egyptians as a means of exchange, tin and iron were used by the Greeks, and later the Romans employed copper and bronze coins. Gradually, however, the base metals, with the exception of bronze still used for subsidiary coinage, came to be less and less employed, and gold and silver, omitting for the moment paper money, became the principal means of money throughout, what we are pleased to term the civilised world. The reason for this is not at first sight perfectly clear. Gold and silver are not particularly useful: their colours are, however, pleasing to the eye of most, and they have, therefore, from the earliest times been used for decorative purposes. This combined with their comparative scarcity and other qualities such as durability, malleability, divisibility etc., which will be described later, has made them denominators of value and the means of exchange of the greater part of the world.
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The word England conjures up memories – almost forgotten amongst the kerosene carrots and sand of Laghouat. What does one think of first [inserted] on [/inserted] hearing the word – England? Not, so far as I am concerned, white cliffs. Not Stratford-on-Avon. Not a Jubilee procession. My first mental impression is rain: adrizzle [sic] that we might have called miserable. Wet pavements in London. Street lamps – no obligatory blackout. A pawn shop at the corner of the High Street. Costers’ barrows down the side streets: kippers (prime) 4d. a pair. A cinema on the right – most expensive seat 1/3d., including tax – bright lights, a queue for the sevenpennies. A pleasant smell of hot fat – fried fish rock salmon. Better still, shrimps. By the first – eaten with butter and alittle [sic] bread – nothing better in the world: the drizzle continues. Who cares? I wish I could get my feet wet now.
Away from towns. England – an autumn evening in the Cotswolds. Leaving London on a Friday afternoon – through Oxford. Perhaps a pint in the “Clarendon”. Then Witney – where England begins and blankets are made. Rolling hills. No bloody rock and sand. Names to make one homesick. Moreton-in-the-Marsh. Bowton-on-the-Water. Temple Guiting. Guiting Power. The last a village of eighty nine inhabitants. The constable visits it every third Saturday evening – on a bicycle. The the [sic] “Half-Way House” closes punctually. To-night is Friday – custom is brisk and ceaseless. There are nine drinking in the inn. No nonsense about a bar parlour. There isn’t one. Everyone uses the room of the cottage set aside for guests. The atmosphere can be cut with a knife. No scent in the world like it. Beer, wet clothes, wood smoke, tobacco and man. Ned, 28/6d. a week and happy, the same as afortnight [sic] ago – except that to-night he has a pheasant in his pocket. George, fresh from ploughing, has an increase in his family. The others, well recognised acquaintances have red faces and beery breaths. Thank God there is no wireless. A penny in the automatic produces two minutes of tinny music – the nearest we reach to modern civilisation, nobody really likes it – but the presence of the machine suggests progress. A pint of bitter costs 4d. Nobody cares about Hitler – perhaps unfortunately.
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It is not a question of knowing what to wear that confronts the British Military Internee at Laghouat, but rather of knowing how to wear it. In spite of this I think readers will agree that we should take off our hats (if issued with same) to Mr. Robert, that much harassed gentleman who continues to exercise every endeavour to try to keep his “tailor’s shop” equipped with suitings to suit all. This is no mean task and some of his shelves are beginning to look very bare already, doubtless owing to the difficulties of local “ravitaillment” coupled with the inevitable “blocus”.
On account of general financial distress (outsiders have cornered the money market) Mr. Robert has been compelled to do business at terrifically cut prices entailing unusually long terms of credit. “Suits for ridiculous figures” has been the moan of this martyr and a very justifiable moan as all will agree, who, of late, have witnessed the bulging extremities of certain habitués whose clothing has long since ceased to serve its original purpose of sheltering the entire human form.
Have we not in our midst an unprecedented example of the tailor who has discovered that it does not pay to advertise and who would really welcome strong competition?
This tailoring establishment is not to be confused with Shag’s Secondhand Suit Store which is run on entirely different lines where those desirous may hire garments, generally for a small (?) consideration decided by Shag himself. Here the “habits” to be obtained are military style and smart, much smarter than the habits practised by the wearers in general – Shag’s boast. The uniforms of R.A.F. pilots are mostly sought after and comand [sic] the best prices due to the exalted effect of wearing them, when cares and worries of internment take wings on flight of imagination. These uniforms certainly appear to bring out the sterner stuff from their temporary possessors. “Shag’s Products Produce Personality” will be his advertising phrase in future.
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[underlined] Continued from previous page. [/underlined]
To return to our other Good Samaritan bear in mind that it is on him we must rely when the laundry fail to return our small clothes and the authorities confiscate our greatcoats, wind-breakers and one time well fitting slacks purchased in Algiers. Already he is attempting to fulfil the requirements of the black-coated in our midst, as witness the new pair of striped trousers to be seen at “Appel.” But where is the bowler hat Mr. Outfitter? And the umbrella? Recalling how our late Prime Minister went accoutred to Munich, and remembering that fire-arms are forbidden to B.M.Is., we must have something with which to present arms when our day to take the Salute arrives.
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The outstanding event to mark this week’s alcoholic activity was the old Keffian’s Reunion – held appropriately enough, in the Canteen. There was no doubt in the minds of those present as to the new C.O’s having the right stuff in him.
A new dish – Lamb and spring onions gained great popularity in prominent circles. The Lamb should be well stewed in its own liquor before a hot fire and then garnished with the onions. A raw turnip, or two may be added to taste. (Mrs. Claude Belcher’s recipe).
S/L Brickell – one of our less steady attendants, was an unofficial camp policeman the night the wine achats arrived. Having ascertained by the approved conversation test that an inanimate body leaning against the quarters was quite incapable of speech he carried out his Duty and ordered its removal to bed. [underlined] Did [/underlined] anyone find a tree-trunk between the sheets.
Our member from Wales is very well house-trained and can now be trusted off the leash Indeed, he is better off it than on owing to his penchant for [underlined] other [/underlined] people’s doorsteps.
Tanks are a fascinating subject to most people, and I think that everyone of us who gathered together last Monday to listen to Cpl. Williams (R.H.A.) was keen to hear the latest “gen” on the Army’s “battle wagons”.
He started explaining the mechanism of caterpillar tracks and the difficulties of their maintenance, using as an example the simplest of armoured vehicles, the ‘Dragon” and its brother the “Bren Carrier”.
Interest livened when Cpl. Williams carried his lecture to the point of explaining the armament, its disposition and the work of the crews of tanks. I was impressed by tank fire-power, particularly of the bigger types, and by the speeds attainable by these mobile fortresses.
I thought it very funny when the lecturer, never at a loss – unable to define the tenth member of a Cruiser Crew, said, “Oh well, he must be a fifth columnist, or something”.
Most types of tanks came within the scope of this talk including several experimental types that Cpl. Williams had had experience of.
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They were having a swell time in their jerry built shack down by the river, husband, wife and kid: Frank, Lucy and Peter, all very much in love. Lucy wore the pants, Frank the armchair out and the kid what he was told to wear.
One day the old man’s cousin (Anna, a swell dish) parks her carcase on the doorstep and says, “Here I am, and here I stay for my vacation.” She’s had an illegitimate, and Lucy don’t go nothin’ on her. Being jealous, she even suspects “Hubby” of having something to do with it, and gives him the works. Naturally he gets sore, and seeing that Anna is such an eyefull, [sic] there’s dirty work on the towpath. Lucy gets to know this and gets in a flat spin. While in this daze she rams a launch into the old man’s row-boat, and there’s hell to pay. Papa dies, mama cries, Anna goes home and Pete don’t give a damn.
The dame takes over Hubby’s old job, sends the brat to school, and everything’s “hunky dory” for some years until the kid leaves school. Lucy get the bullet from her job, and instead of letting the young man work and keep her, she chars and starves for five years to let him go through Medical University. She must have been a mug. The old woman’s smart, though. She thinks that Pete will keep her in luxury, when he’s a fully fledged sawbones, and she sure gets a shock when the new quack packs his trunk and pushes off with a skirt named Rose. The old dame think’s this is a dirty trick. I think the old girl’s screwy, and Pete thinks Rose is swell. Say, I’d have left my winger for Rose, let alone Mama.
Lucy looks a bit of a hag now and a bit more screwy than she has been all along. However, she sees the light, and it’s a bit dim, so she enters a convent to see it clearer. After a month she gets cheesed, after six months tells “La Bonne Mere” what she thinks of her, and instead of catching the 11.58 home she catches pleurisy. Bravely fighting her illness she struggles home, and just manages to peg out before seeing her son. Bad luck on the old girl, her three loves (Frank, Pete and Religion) all turning out phoney, but being such a mug all her life she couldn’t expect much else.
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In July of last year the ship I was then in had just completed a refit which was occasioned by being mined in January and close missed several times in the Liverpool blitz of March We had done various gunnery exercises, but the gun crews were still far from efficient and on doing a full power trial certain engine defects had become apparent which necessitated our available speed being reduced to 15 knots. We were on the point of returning to a dockyard when we received orders to proceed to a certain port.
Having arrived there we worked day and night loading our mine decks with various forms of high explosive: in all about 400 tons, which all had to be shored and wedged to prevent any movement while we were at sea. The port for which we were bound was kept a close secret and it was not until we had left our next port, which was in Iceland, that we knew we were bound for Archangel.
At this time the Germans had a free hand in the North of Norway and an unknown strength of ships and aircraft based in the harbours of Petsamo and Kirknaes and were known to be running convoys north from Marvik and several Met. flights to the North of Nord Kap. Our chances of getting to Archangel were anything but rosy, as being lightly armed, reduced in speed, unescorted and full of explosives we were a fairy good target. The one bright spot being that the harbours of Petsamo and Kirknaes were to be attacked aerially by a force to the southward of us.
Despite our misgivings the trip was uneventful and we were duly met at the entrance to the White Sea by a Russian destroyer and escorted into the Port Economica, about twelve miles down the river from Archangel. The only incident was when an aircraft was seen to be shadowing us and was thought to be unfriendly but it was later identified as a Catalina and all was peace once more.
We berthed quite close to the Russian destroyer, which I may remark was quite the cleanest ship I have ever seen, and during our four days stay we saw a lot of her officers, their Vodka and their Caviar. Our first job was to get shot of our unpleasant cargo and then to enjoy ourselves.
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The Russians gave us a wonderful time and some truly historic “heads”.
One day some of us went up the river to Archangel and on the way saw what I feel must be the largest timber yards in the world. For twelve miles as far as one could see on either side of the river was pile upon pile of cut timber. Archangel was much like any far northern town and was mostly built of wood in one longish main street. Some of the bigger buildings were made of lath and plaster but were finished to look like concret [sic] Most of the people were poorly dressed though there seemed to b [sic] very little real poverty, and the people appeared to be as happy as can be expected in a country full of secret police. Our guide was a woman, a member of O.G.P.U. and was not giving away much, nor were we allowed to see anything we were not meant to. She spoke very fair English though she had met very few English people: the officers on the other hand only spoke very little, but the language difficulty was got over in a mixture of French and German.
The next day there was an official reception on board my ship followed by a football match which the Russians won, and then the usual Vodka and Gin depending on which ship one was in. This latter entertainment went on until the small hours as each officer had to see his opposite number home and then be seen home himself.
The following morning our host presented the ship with 20 bottles of Vodka, 20 bottles of Champagne and a very large tin of Caviar for the officers and two bottles of beer for each man. Everyone received 40 cigarettes and so our visit came to an end with just a few more stirrup cups.
Our cargo for the return journey consisted of 60 Kgs. of platinum, 14 British Army Officers and other Ranks who had escaped into Russia from Germany and one R.A.F. Officer who had been shot down in the attack on Petsamo. The only point worth noting on the return home was that for 600 miles we were north of 75o which is the furthest north I have ever been, and in due course we returned to our base after being away just about a month.
So ended a historic journey as we were the first naval ship of our size to enter the river Dvina for over twenty years., Much to everyone’s surprise the engines held together and we had not been attacked.

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“Camp Echo Magazine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed March 21, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10903.

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