The prisoner of war, Vol 3, No. 28, August 1944



The prisoner of war, Vol 3, No. 28, August 1944


Includes: a personal message to next of kin from Sir Richard Howard-Vyse (Chairman of Prisoners of War Department); editorial matters; any old tins? (how food tins are reused); the letters they write home; the brighter side; Prisoners of War Department; official reports from the camps; cap badges for prisoners of war; story of camp life; how they help (fundraising at home); examination results; knitting pattern for socks; any questions? and important notice about parcels. Includes photographs throughout.



Temporal Coverage




Sixteen page printed document


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The Prisoner of War

VOL 3. NO. 28 Free to Next of Kin AUGUST, 1944

(Chairman of the Prisoner of War Department)

IT will be seen from the Post Office statement printed on page 16 that for some time no next of kin or permit parcels have been leaving this country by the normal route, though it is obvious that the Post Office are by no means without hope of traffic being resumed.
We understand that individually addressed parcels which were handed to the Post Office up to the beginning of March should reach the camps normally, but that owing to a variety of circumstances there is likely to be a very considerable delay in the delivery of parcels handed in after that date.
These conditions also apply, unfortunately, to the majority of our despatches from the Invalid Comforts, Educational Books and Indoor Recreations Sections.
There remain, however, possibilities, strictly limited, of despatch by air, though the amount that can be carried is very small compared with the vast volume which we have been accustomed to despatch by surface route.
Standard food and medical parcels and clothing need not, fortunately, cause undue anxiety at the moment, as reserves exist both at Geneva and at the Camps sufficient to meet requirements for a considerable period.
As regards our other despatches, we have arranged an order of priority, at the top of which come the most urgent medical requirements, followed by examination papers.
We look upon the latter as very important because many prisoners of war have now, in the face of great difficulties, prepared themselves for examinations and are anxiously awaiting the papers.
As I have repeatedly stressed in talks to relatives, we have anticipated that sooner or later conditions of this sort were bound to appear, as an inevitable adjunct to the approach to victory. We realise that it must cause anxiety to many relatives; to all of them we tender our true sympathy and the assurance that neither we nor our good friends at Geneva will spare any effort to restore despatches to the normal, or fail to utilise any special opportunities.
Relatives will be glad to know that steps have been taken to explain matters to Camp Leaders.

The Editor Writes –

THE names of new prisoners captured in Normandy are now being received. A certain number have already written from established camps for British prisoners in Germany, but for the most part their camp addresses are not yet known.
At the moment of going to press no confirmation of reports that camps in East Prussia and German-occupied Poland have been moved have been received. In view of the swift advance made by Russian armies such transfers are not unlikely.

Why We Are Late
Our readers will be aware that we in London are working under difficulties at the present time. These are partly the cause of the late publication of this issue of the journal, which has been further delayed to await the latest information about the parcels situation. We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment that may have caused to our readers.

The Shooting of Prisoners
On the plea that Mr Eden made “the unheard of allegation” that the 50 officers who escaped from Stalag Luft III were murdered, the Nazi Government have refused in a Berlin broadcast to make a further report on the matter. The broadcast adds that the country which began the bombing war against civilians has no moral right to speak in this matter, let alone make accusations. Comment is superfluous. Recently an announcement was made of the shooting of another 33 prisoners. It appears that these incidents occurred at different times since August of last year, and at different camps. There has been, so far as is known, no repetition of any such occurrence as that which took place at Stalag Luft III.

P.O.W.s Must Not Broadcast
The Secretary of State for War states that the existing instructions forbid prisoners of war to broadcast messages over the enemy's radio system. He expressed his agreement with the suggestion made by an M.P. that prisoners were being tricked into writing such messages under the pretence that they would be sent by telegram.
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2 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

A Sensible Arrangement
Relatives may be interested to know of the rule with regard to payments made by a prisoner of war from his credit balance. From time to time signed instructions are given by P.o.W.s to pay over all the money standing to their credit to some stated nominee. It has been found, however, that some prisoners have been under the impression that their balance was in the neighbourhood of £30, and were horrified to find that it was more like £100 – all ordered to be paid away. So the present rule is that, unless a specific sum is named or it is clear that the prisoner of war soldier knows the total standing to his credit, no larger sum than £30 shall be paid out until he has seen the statement of account sent to him when the payment is made. This seems a sensible arrangement.

Something in Return
One of the officers who escaped from Italy and is now interned in Switzerland writes to his mother of a trip he made to Berne in order to “to get a job organised to help out the Red Cross.” He goes on to say that it is very pleasant to be able to do something for them in return, and adds that “the fellows here are really cracking into the job – so much so, in fact, that the Red Cross can't keep pace with them, and we have to take a day off now and again.”

At the Mountain “Palace”
High up on a peak overlooking Montreux and the Lake of Geneva a number of our men who escaped from the Germans into Switzerland are living in military internment at the Caux Palace Hotel. It is a big place and the men find it most exhilarating, but, although free to make the journey, they think twice before going down to the lakeside town. As the mountain railway fare costs half a week's pay, and the road is long and circuitous, two of them decided recently to scramble straight down the mountain side. “But never again,” they declare. “Our poor knees are still knocking.”

Those Lisbon Cigarettes
There was little mystery about the sale, discovered a month or two ago, of Red Cross cigarettes in tobacconists' shops in Lisbon. The facts are simple. Among a great quantity of “seized' tobacco and cigarettes illegally entering the country the Portuguese Customs by mistake included for sale a comparatively very small number of Red Cross cigarettes, which have nothing on the outside of their packet to show their identity. There were only 1,750 of these packets-of-ten – less than 1/4 of one per cent. of the weekly supply sent out by the War Organisation to prisoners of war – and immediately steps were taken to recover the majority of them still unsold when the mistake was discovered. When he gave the facts to the House of Commons last month, Mr. Arthur Henderson, Financial Secretary to the War Office, emphasised how small were losses of Red Cross parcels due to pilfering in transit and how grateful were the Government for the immense amount of trouble and care taken by the Portuguese Customs and Post Office officials in handling the enormous quantities of Red Cross supplies on their way through Lisbon.

Reader's Utopia
Life in Stalag Luft III strikes one man, after having been there six weeks, as “the most Utopian of states. The 'haves' will lend anything to the 'have nots,'” he explains. “Red Cross

Hay-making at Stalag XVIIIA.

goods are distributed evenly, and tobacco, educational classes and theatre tickets are free.” The fact that he is a great reader may explain his contentment – he averages two novels every three days, and there are evidently enough to keep him happy. Every room in every block has its own small lending library. “Wandering in to borrow a book makes a good excuse for going into another room and staying for a chat. Any recent novel can be found if enough time is spent in tracking it down.”

Camp Newspapers
Many comments have come through from time to time on the special camp newspapers provided for prisoners of war by the Germans. In these “one reads extracts from English papers which would lead to the opinion the Old Country is rapidly going to the dogs,” remarks a sceptical member of Stalag 344 in a recent letter. And he adds the shrewd comment that there seems still to be a very much freer Press in England than in Germany. Understandably, the men prefer their own newspapers, however home-made in appearance. One such publication in Stalag IVB “is, we hope, going to be printed when we get back. It will make an excellent book giving a fair idea of our life here. Proceeds from it will be given to the Red Cross.”

Birds of a Feather
Here is another story to add to the long list of coincidences that have befallen our prisoners in this war. A man in the Welsh Guards arrived as a stranger in Stalag VIIIB (as it then was) to find himself in company with no fewer than five familiar faces. They were not only fellow-townsmen from his home town, Cwmmawr, Carmarthenshire; they all lived in his own street and as boys they had gone with him to the same school and had attended the same chapel. Three of this sextet are now back as repatriates in this country and will be glad to corroborate me.

Awaiting the Home-comers
At the moment of writing, the first batch of British civilian repatriates have safely reached Lisbon, late but in high spirits after a fortnight's eventful train journey through France. By the time these words appear in print the rest of them should have arrived, doubtless with other tales to tell of adventures on the way, which they will find hard to fit in to the 24-word telegram each is allowed to send home at Government expense.

Toys for Children
A grand welcome has been awaiting these “returnees” at Lisbon, from officials of the Government, the International Red Cross and of the War Organisation, which as soon as the repatriation plans became known warned its representative at the port to have ready for them adequate supplies of clothing and toilet articles, including even such “luxuries” as face powder. Special preparations were made for the children, who were thought likely to need more things than their elders – and toys were not forgotten.
With the Government reception party sent out from England are two V.A.D. welfare officers of the Red Cross and St. John, who will help the Ministry of Health officials to look after our compatriots on their voyage to Liverpool. Everything possible seems to have been done for their comfort, and readers will want to join me in wishing them a quick and happy homecoming.
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AUGUST, 1944 The Prisoner of War 3


[italic] Here are Some of the Many Varied Ways in Which Prisoners Make Use of Their Old Food Tins [/italic]


PRISONERS find a use for everything in their Red Cross parcel. Nothing is wasted. The wrappings, the string, the boxes, even the shavings have a useful purpose. But most useful of all are the tins. Out of these the men have for a long time, with great ingenuity, made useful and much needed equipment, such as cooking utensils, ovens, spoons and forks, and a host of other oddments as well.
Because the men are able to put the tins to such good use, a little booklet has been devised with suggestions and instructions for making all kinds of things. This was done at the request of the prisoners themselves, who wrote asking for directions. The little book is sent to camp leaders for general distribution, and is published as a gift by the Metal Box Company, who manufacture many of the tins in which the food is packed.

Technical Information
It contains instructions for making over forty articles for practical use, like saucepans, frying pans, coffee pots, gardening tools; to amusements or hobbies such as chessmen, stage decorations and ornamental flowers. There are even instructions for constructing a mouse trap under the title “Catch 'em or Tame 'em.”
The booklet begins with information about the type of metal and coatings used for the tins and the differences between airtight, sealed containers and those used for biscuits, cocoa, etc. It explains how the lacquer can be scraped off to make a design such as the spots on dominoes. Then it goes on to explain the principles of soldering and shows how the flux and soldering can be improvised, using the resin from pine logs and reclaimed solder from tins burnt in incinerators.


The top vessel contains shaving water which can be heated from beneath.
There are several pages of very practical information on improvised cutters for the metal; how to bend, rivet, hollow, make corners and hinges; and how to make food cans leakproof.
The main part of the book is filled with clear directions and diagrams under the headings of Utensils, Personal Effects, For the Garden, Stage Decorations and Odds and Ends.

What to Make
This is how to make a frying pan from old tin cans:
Multiple Frying Pan. – Two or three sardine tins are needed: butt together and secure with tinplate band or wire, twist ends and attach to stick by binding as shown. Equal portions are assured!
Grater. – This is made with two pieces of plate as extra rigidity is thus assured. The top is first pierced with numerous holes and formed into a semi-circle, leaving about 3/16 in. of flat on either side with the burred holes outwards. The bottom is a flat blank with edges turned over. Place the two pieces together and hammer edges flat.


MULTIPLE FRYING PAN. This is made with three empty sardine tins secured together.

Shaving Mug and Heater. – The top vessel to contain shaving water is an ordinary can body fitted with wire or string for handle. The heater is a second can (holed to allow passage of air) in which a candle or any other combustible substance may be placed. For easy storage, choose cans one of which will fit inside the other.

An Ornamental Tree. – This is made from a round can. Cut down body opposite the seam and round the base of body, leaving about 1/4 in. for turning over. The cut strips for branches. The portion left upright is the seam, which makes a good strong stem. Flowers made from coloured wrappings and clipped on the end of the strips completes an effective decoration.

For the Garden
The challenging question “who can grow the best parsnip or carrot?” is followed by a section of practical gardening hints. The first describes how seeds can be planted in a long can, dug into the ground and filled with soft soil, the best plant being left to mature. Plants, such as tomatoes, that need water at the roots can be watered in an ingenious way by inserting a long, narrow can with a perforated bottom into the earth at the side. Seed markers and staples for training climbing plants are clearly illustrated and quite easily contrived. Perhaps the most interesting part of the gardening section of the booklet for the scientifically minded is that dealing with the making and setting of a sundial.
Garden Scoop or Trowel. – The body is cut from a can along its length, the end being left intact for handle to be inserted.
Scoop or Trowel. – This is formed from a 2oz. tobacco tin with one end cut away and simple handle riveted or threaded in as previously described.
The booklet ends with a suggestion for making a spectacle case, and an old-fashioned “handwarmer,” as often used in the past by small boys, which is made by punching a tin with holes and filling it with wool or rag to smoulder inside
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4 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

The Letters They Write Home

Stalag XVIIIA.
An ox is used at the farm on which these prisoners work.

Little Things of Life
Stalag VIIIB. 21.5.44.
LIFE here in Greater Germany is entirely different from that in Italian camps. In Italy I had too much time on my hands; here I have too little.
On the other hand, here are provided little things which go to make life somewhat sweeter, such as tables, stools, enamel mugs, plates and billy-cans, heating, and the feel of soft turf, the smell of pine forests, the sight and fragrance of orchard blossoms, the sound of the wind, and the cries of children playing, the calls of the birds mating and nest building.
These may seem of a trifling nature, but one who has lived without them in Italy can testify to their aesthetic value. Even this life is only a semi-civilisation, and I look forward to the untold joys ahead when I shall be once again with the ones I love, which I hope will not be long.

Refreshments during a short rest at the Military Internment camp at Bornhouse, Eschenn, Switzerland.

Their New Camp
Oflag 79 (formerly VIIIF). 9.5.44.
SINCE I last wrote the whole of the “live and dead stock” of our camp has been transported [italics] en bloc [/italics] to a new place – a journey of 36 hours, which we accomplished last week. So now we have to establish ourselves once again.

Whitsun sports at Stalag 344.

We live in large three-storey buildings, though the top storey is attic, under a very steeply pitched roof, and is not used as living space.
The camp is small in area, and is surrounded by fir trees, which increases the cramped effect, and at present we are very crowded, but this may improve later if we are allotted other buildings.
At the moment I'm in a room of 40, and life is rather chaotic while we try to sort ourselves out! In time we hope to get everything running as before.
One gets used to sudden transplantations, though the work involved and the general confusion is terrific! We have all been dashing about laden with Red Cross parcels, kit, furniture etc., and the place looks just like an ants' nest which has suddenly been upset when the ants are running about in panic.

R.A.F. Visit
Stalag XXB. 9.4.44.
I HAVE just finished my second bucket of washing and am contemplating a third.
About an hour ago we had a tremendous thrill – about 120 of our aircraft passed a few miles away and dropped a few Easter eggs – probably on Marienburg. (The last raid I saw was on Calais, when the Stukas dived within a few feet of their objective.) Our aircraft kept up several thousand feet, appeared to ignore the A.A. (which was pretty accurate), and dropped their load in a very disdainful manner.

Springbok Day
Stalag IVB. 4.5.44.
THIS afternoon I am going to watch a Professional [italics] versus [/italics] Amateur football match. Later on this month the South Africans are going to celebrate their National Day by holding a “Springbok Day,” to include a Zulu dance; the lads manage to rake up costumes from somewhere, heaven knows how.
At the England [italics] v [/italics] Scotland match we even had a Pearly King and Queen, the buttons were tins cut up.

Frame for Three
Stalag IVD. 22.4.44.
I HAVE made a frame for my three photographs from home. It really looks well hanging over my bed.
Last Saturday we had about 100 young trees come in; they are of the ornamental kind, pretty leaves etc., and will make the camp look a lot better.

Bags of Laughs
Stalag IVG., Lager 271E. 24.4.44.
WE are working in the streets, so we see plenty of life. I have some very good pals and have bags of laughs.
We go to the pictures often and play football on Sundays. We also go to the swimming baths [italics] every [/italics] Saturday, which I enjoy very much indeed.

The Only Englishman
Stalag VIIA (Lazarett). 3.4.44.
THE doctor at the Stalag thought I had got a mastoid, and in this hospital they have got every kind of electrical gadget you could think of. However, I haven't had an operation so presume they are getting rid of it by other methods.
I am the only Englander in here and am treated somewhat as a curiosity. All the nurses stare at me as if they ex-
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AUGUST, 1944. The Prisoner of War 5

pected an Englishman to be different. Two of the boys from the Stalag turned up to-day. Boy, oh Boy! I had the shock of my life. Large white blankets, sheets and good food. However, this is a hospital.
No mail from home, but I keep hoping.

He Caught a Fish
Stalag XXA (160). 21.5.44.
I AM still on the farm, nearly a year on the same one. This afternoon we all went fishing in a big pond and I caught a fish.
This last week I have been planting potatoes, and there is not much to do until the sugar beet comes up, and then there will be hacking and hoeing to do.

Tell the Mothers
Stalag XVIIIA. Arb-Kdo A, 10,029/G.W. Undated.
IF you know any mother who has a son in this camp you can, with confidence, inform her that her son will return home very fit and well. We make every effort to keep all men fit.

Collective Farming
Stalag IVD. 26.4.44.
WE enter into the spirit of the collective farming system practised here. To-day is the first Sunday after dung-spreading. Further signs of the awakening New Year is the increased activity among the hares (which we see on our way to work) in the vast acres of rye now free of its cloak of snow, also in the number of Blue-tits and Finches which come and see us at mealtimes in the sheltering fir woods.

Real Beer
Stalag VIIA. 15.5.44.
I AM once again in a small working camp, quite the best I have been in. We have a cosy room, plus a stove, between six or eight men, and manage to look after ourselves fairly well. The work – well, I should be a good assistant for the estate drainer when I get home to the farm again. We have a canteen, generally well stocked with beer – yes, real beer!

Cricket Season
Oflag IV/C. 14.5.44.
THE cricketing season has started here – 5.30 in the evening in the courtyard. Wickets are chairs or buckets, soft balls, of course.
The theatre is closed for four weeks. I think this is the ninth time of closing.

Sunday Best
Stalag IVD H.E.88E. 17.4.44.
I AM all dressed up in my Sunday best – new shirt, pullover, socks and slippers. Hair all done with hair cream, thanks to your lovely N.O.K. parcel. How nice to be able to use a good toothbrush and some real English toothpaste. I have made a cake recently and am going to bring the recipe home for you.

Stalag 357.
Taking bets at a race meeting.

British and French Men of Confidence chatting at Stalag XXB.

Spud Party
Stalag 383. 18.5.44.
HAD a grand trip out last Sunday on a spud party – went to a station 11 miles away. There were only six of us and we were like kids at a picnic. Had a good flagon of beer, too. Also went to cinema show held in large hall in German quarters a fortnight ago. We all had high hopes of being sent to a neutral country, but it seems to have died a natural death. Do you know if there is anything in it?

Interesting Library
Stalag IVD. 19.4.44.
THIS camp is in Central Germany, and is where repatriations take place from, and we appear to be on the staff, so we may see people we know as they pass through. Everything is far, far better than the previous camp. A dining hall, sheets etc.
The library here contains a number of interesting American books. Many, for some reason, on writing, journalism, story-writing, radio writing and film writing. Also several locally produced books with magnificent photographs. And Ponsonby's [italics] Falsehood in Wartime! [/italics]
I finished a play the night before leaving the last camp and left it there for them to do.

Settling in
Oflag VIIIF. 11.5.44.
I HAVE been uprooted so often in the last two years that I have developed a technique for settling in to brand-new camps; first of all a bed, then a place in the sun to spend all the daylight hours, and that is about all. I have so

A group of prisoners at Oflag 79 (formerly VIIIF).
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6 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

little kit to worry about that I can be packed up and away at five minutes' warning.
Fortunately, the weather is perfect, and I can get a patch of grass and read all day; space is so limited that every inch of grass is occupied by someone, but it is better than being inside, where the rooms are chock-a-block with beds, leaving little room for the thirty or forty occupants.
I have received a book parcel to-day from Geneva, sent by the European Student Relief Fund, also a packet of pamphlets about the Diploma of Education, from the Red Cross.

Interior of a hut in Stalag 383.

Swimming Champion
Stalag IVB. 3.5.44.
I AM at the moment writing this in bed – a luxurious bunk made of boards with a straw mattress. Still, I manage to get bags of sleep. We are only allowed to write once per week with a bit of luck. The weather is very warm here and I am as brown as a berry. I managed to pull of the swimming championship for the R.A.F. versus the Army. We held the gala last week and I was presented with a couple of medals.

Life is Good
Stalag IVD – Kdo-D602. 9.5.44.
THINGS are brightening up these days in the way of entertainments, and it is far more pleasant; also we are getting clothes supplies from Red Cross. We have all had some socks and a new pair of trousers each, and battle dresses and boots are on the way. Life in camp is good these days.

Not So Warm
Oflag VIIB. 31.5.44.
IT is so warm that I am sitting here at the table in my shorts and shoes writing this letter – but not so warm as I was this day three years ago, my last day of liberty, when I was dashing around missing death by inches.
We have had another visit to the cinema this morning, and we saw a light comedy picture which I found very enjoyable.
During the past week we have had a six-a-side football competition, but the team I was playing for got knocked out in the third round.

Feathered Friends
Stalag IVG. 29.5.44.
TO-DAY is Whit Monday; a beautiful day. The sun has been shining since early morning. Yesterday I went for a nice walk in the country and saw a football match between two teams of French prisoners.
Today I went to see a film, a German production with English writing underneath, called “Offspring of the First Wife.” Now my “holiday” is over and back I go to work to-morrow.
We have quite a few feathered friends here. There are two nests of swallows just inside a wide passage, and the young ones will soon be ready for flight. Also a green linnet comes through the window and helps himself to whatever happens to be on the table. He is particularly fond of Canadian butter; I suppose it is one way of greasing his vocal chords!

From a Botanist
Oflag VIIB. 23.5.44.
ON the last parole walk I observed 60 species of wild flowers of all kinds, but half as many again have been found in the vicinity. Owing to the shooting season opening, walks will be confined to the roads for the next month or so, but I hope to be able to pursue my hobby along the roadsides.

TEN SHILLINGS will be awarded each month to the senders of the first three letters from prisoners of war to be printed. Copies instead of the originals are requested, and whenever possible these should be set out on a separate sheet of paper, showing the DATES on which they were written. The Editor welcomes for other pages of the journal any recent NEWS relating to prisoners of war.
Ten Shillings will also be awarded for photographs reproduced across two columns, and five shillings for those under two. Photographs should be distinct, and any information as to when they were taken is helpful.
Address: Editor, “The Prisoner of War,” St. James's Palace, London, S.W.1. The cost of these prizes and fees is defrayed by a generous friend of the Red Cross and St. John War Organisation. [/inserted]

Last week a circus visited the town and the whole camp had the opportunity to go. It was very much out of the ordinary and everybody thoroughly enjoyed it. Red Cross parcel situation still very good; we have had New Zealand parcels this week – very good and a change.

After Four Years
Stalag VIIIB. 23.5.44.
I STILL work in the workshop here and find life generally quite bearable if only we were not shut up. At work we don't notice this so much as we are free to go all over the pithead and coal and wood yards at our work, and as these cover an area considerably larger than a mile square, one is not so consistently aware of being a prisoner.
Another good factor is the absence of guards from the time we are handed over at the workshop in the morning till 4.30 p.m., when we are collected at night.
My Polish vocabulary is just beginning to assert itself.

His Pumpkin
Stalag 383. 8.5.44.
I AM finding plenty to do and have already begun cricket practice. Our exam. papers are a month overdue.
Have started a small garden, the boys in the room have bought enough seeds to feed the whole camp and are amazed when I tell them that perhaps only one-hundredth part of them will be of any use.
Have got another pumpkin on the way, but any boast of “record” pumpkins must be left till the thing has grown. Remember what happened to the last one (the boys overfed it and it burst).

A Holiday
Stalag VIIA. 16.4.44.
WE had a three-day holiday, during which time various competitions were arranged. Needless to say I confined myself to the non-active recreations such as bridge, darts, Lexicon, etc. On Saturday we (the Postal Staff) had another walk of nearly ten miles which I enjoyed immensely, although I was dead beat on returning.
The change-over in this part of the country from winter to spring is very sudden. It was a beautiful day, and to wander freely (more or less) in a country-side very like our own is an indescribable pleasure.
The next day we attended a piano recital by a Frenchman, who is one of the best pianists I have ever heard, but while music is a tremendous comfort it also increases my longing for you and home.
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AUGUST, 1944 The Prisoner of War 7

A new play is presented once a fortnight at Oflag VA.
This is a scene from “Grouse in June.”

The Brighter Side
THE rest camp at Stalag IIID referred to by the Editor in the May issue if the Journal is proving a very popular institution. A selection of hard-working men from the mines and other occupations go there to enjoy six weeks of rest and recreation that seems to be as near the “real thing” as possible for a prisoner of war.
“This last week has gone like a flash, with sight-seeing tours, walks and cinema shows,” writes a visitor from Stalag XXID. “Last night there was a carnival dance when everyone wore a fancy dress. To-night we have had an excellent variety show by entertainers who came from another camp specially for the occasion. The weather is beautiful, and I have another week to enjoy myself. Plenty of food and rest – as you can imagine, a welcome break after four years.”

Tea-making, an elaborate enough ritual in most camps, has evolved at Stalag 344 into a technical process which is claimed by at least by one man as unique in the history of the art. First, he says, you must have a “blower,” a special apparatus made from empty tins and consisting of a fan enclosed in a tin, together with a firebox, and “of course, the necessary connecting pipe and gear wheels.”
When the fan gets working on it the fire in the firebox will burn anything – “a brew of tea can be made in 3 to 5 minutes on empty cigarette packets” – but wood from Red Cross packing cases is naturally much coveted as fuel for this precious purpose.

North Country Touch
The busy theatre people at Stalag 344 made a great success of [italics] The Mikado [/italics] recently, with music and dresses of most professional standard, and the singing made unintentionally more colourful than even Gilbert and Sullivan could have anticipated. “We had a beautiful mixture of accents,” writes one delighted member of the audience. “Ko-Ko was a Geordie, Nanki-Poo had a slight Lancashire touch, and Pitti-Sing a broad and homely Yorkshire. The madrigals were all unaccompanied and the diction was clear as a bell.”

Country Adventures
Parole walks have provided many pleasant afternoons for members of Oflag VIIB. To firewood collecting and visiting the local town and convent can be added another kind of experience not yet reported in this journal and evidently provided by a naturalist. Walking through the woods to inspect an ancient Roman camp a few miles down the river he was delighted to find so many wild flowers – “simply superb,” he says, “and this is the first time in all these years that one has been able to get out to see them. Whilst out I saw a crested tit – which means that our list of birds seen has now risen to 114, a tremendous record.”

Village Football
Provided they can find a sentry to take them up there the football enthusiasts of Stalag IVD are allowed to go off for a game in the neighbouring village any fine evening they like. It's a privilege much appreciated – not only, apparently, by the players. “Quite a crowd of villagers turn out to watch us,” writes a correspondent.

Swimming Weather
There is a good river, too, near Stalag IVD where men, writing home last April, were hoping soon to start bathing.
At Stalag IVB, at any rate, prisoners were able to take full advantage of the fine weather of April and May in the camp's big swimming pool. “Been swimming three times as well as sunbathing.” notes one man in a record of his week's activities. “Saw Bernard Shaw's [italics] St. Joan [/italics] on Sunday, went to a band concert this afternoon, so what with volley ball and P.T. classes my time is pretty well occupied. A two-day boxing tournament to look forward to to-morrow.”

“Café Continental”
Pleasant indication of the cosmopolitan character of life at Stalag IVA is given by an account of a “cabaret evening” held at the camp one Sunday last April. The theatre barrack had been specially converted for the purpose, with a bar in one corner, a little platform for the band, and the rest of the floor space dotted, café-like, with little tables and chairs. “In little clusters round the tables,” says the writer, “were Poles, Russians, Italians, Serbs, French and representatives of many parts of the British Empire. It really had the atmosphere of a Café Continental, and we have seldom had a show here which provoked so much good humour.”

German and Zulu
A popular twice-weekly event at Oflag VA is the voluntary class conducted in German by a German officer. Students here have what may well be the valuable chance of becoming acquainted with German classical literature in the original, and when last heard of were studying Schiller, the 18th century poet and philosopher.
A new play is presented about once a fortnight at this camp, and considering that there are about 500 South Africans on the premises it is not surprising to hear that a recent “special” was an all-South African production featuring Zulu songs and realistic veldt scenery. It appears to have much impressed the non-South African members of the audience.

Fashion Notes
An amusing example of high spirits after four years of captivity is set by a young officer of the Seaforth Highlanders who takes a prominent part in the theatrical activities of Oflag VIIB. For his present show – from a wardrobe that would do credit to a London modiste – he wears “a black two-piece with half sleeves, high-necked pink organdie ruched blouse and black straw halo hat with pink satin flowers, and a pair of black leather high-heeled shoes; then an orange dressing gown and long white skirt and sandals, and finally a royal blue afternoon frock with flared skirt, blue-and-white flower-pot hat, white satin sash, long white gloves and bag, and a double string of pearls. The colour scheme is beyond reproach.”

[inserted] The paragraphs on these pages are based on letters from prisoners of war. Most of them refer to activities in big base camps and it should not be assumed that they are typical of conditions in some camps or in outlying working detachments where facilities for sport and amusement are much more restricted. [/inserted]
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8 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

Prisoners of War Department
The pictures and description on this page will give our readers an idea of the work for British prisoners which is carried on at St. James's Palace by a staff of over 350 women and girls
Photographs: Lee Miller by courtesy of Vogus

REGISTRATION SECTION – Here the first records, files and index cards are made for new prisoners.
TYPISTS' ROOM – This is the Throne Room of the Palace. The canopy of the Throne, protected by canvas covers, can be seen.
CORRESPONDENCE SECTION – The view shown is part of the largest Section which works on the Army files.

The object of the work at St. James's Palace is the welfare of each prisoner individually. It consists largely of correspondence with the next of kin, to whom instructions about letters and parcels are sent out as soon as a man is known to be a prisoner. The Department also asks for news of prisoners if necessary, and in cases of urgency sends messages to them through the International Red Cross Committee at Geneva. It is closely in touch with all the Service Departments of the Government, with the Foreign Office and any Ministries which are concerned, as well as with the Dominions Red Cross Societies, those of other nations, and Associations such as the Soldiers' Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Help Society, the British Legion and the Young Men's Christian Association.
Some 7,000 letters are normally received in the Department every week, as well as hundreds of personal and telephone enquiries.

The Interviewing Room
A staff of about eight workers receives relatives and friends of prisoners every day in the Interviewing Room and gives them information, advice and instructions. There are food and next of kin parcels on show, as well as photographs of prisoners and their various activities in the camps.

The Records Rooms
The Records Rooms are filled with table-racks especially made to contain folders or files, each one containing all the information available about any one prisoner. There are about 57,500 of these in the Banqueting Hall alone, some of which can be seen in the picture.
Every new prisoner of war is given a reference number, which is the number of his file. This is shown on all outgoing letters about him, and correspondents are asked to put it on the top of their letters to the Department so that the filing clerks can attach incoming letters to the correct file. The file, with the new letter, is then passed to the appropriate correspondence section to be answered. Each case is looked after, as far as possible, by the same workers, so that they get to know it thoroughly and are able to take a personal interest.

Correspondence Section
There are special sections to deal with letters about prisoners from the Army, the Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Merchant Navy and civilian internees.
Much of the correspondence is about next-of-kin parcels, and everything possible is done to ensure that if they cannot be sent to the prisoner by the next of kin themselves, they shall be despatched by his own Regimental Association or by a local fund or someone personally interested in him.
Correspondence is also carried on with the prisoners themselves, many of whom write to the Department for help or advice. Camp leaders write regularly, too, giving information about prisoners, asking for enquiries to be made for them if they are anxious about their families, or giving instructions as to their wishes in connection with family affairs. Much of this work is passed on by the Department to the Prisoner of War Representatives appointed by every County Branch of the Red Cross, as it can often be carried out best by a personal visit to

INTERVIEWING ROOM – Relatives and friends are received daily in the Ambassadors Court by sympathetic and understanding workers.
INDEXES – Workers checking up particulars of a prisoner to reply to an inquiry.
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AUGUST, 1944 The Prisoner of War 9

ANOTHER RECORDS ROOM – Filled with table-racks especially made to contain folders. The files contain information about each prisoner of war.
THE MAIN INDEX – The Picture Gallery houses the main index which contains a card for every p.o.w. and civilian internee.
MAIN RECORDS ROOM – This picture was taken in the Banqueting Hall of the Palace, which contains 57,500 files.

the prisoner's family. Special reports are frequently obtained in this way and forwarded to the prisoner by the Department.

The picture gallery is for the most part occupied by three of the Department's card indexes. The index on the long table shown in the photograph is known as the “Main” index and contains a card for every prisoner of war showing his name, service particulars, camp address, name and address of next of kin and Red Cross reference number. There are similar cards for the Merchant Navy and for the civilians, who include women and children. All these cards are kept in strictly alphabetical order.
The general use of this Index is to show rapidly whether a particular person is a prisoner or internee, but if a letter of enquiry reaches the Department and does not show the Red Cross reference number, it is checked with this Index, the file number is written on it, and it is then passed on to the appropriate Records Room to be attached to the file as described above.
A second index is called the “Regimental,” and this has cards for all the Army prisoners, arranged alphabetically according to their regiments. This is useful for identifying prisoners by their numbers and their regimental particulars if their names should have been misspelt, and for supplying regimental associations with the names of their new prisoners.

INTERVIEWING ROOM. – The small son of a prisoner of war is shown where his father's camp is on the map of Europe.

The Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, Merchant Navy and civilian correspondence sections have their own indexes, which are the counterpart of the Regimental.
The “County” index contains a card for every prisoner and internee, classified according to where the next of kin lives. This is done by having as many boxes as are required for each county, each one containing cards for every town and village in that county in alphabetical order. Behind these cards are grouped, also alphabetically, the index cards of all prisoners and internees whose next of kin live in that town or village.
From this index are sent to the Red Cross prisoner of war representatives the names and addresses of all the next of kin in their respective counties. This enables them to get into touch with the next of kin and to give them any help or advice they may require.
The Department has other indexes for different purposes among them the “Emergency Index,” which as a safeguard is kept in a different building from the rest.
The cards for all the indexes are made on duplicating machines to ensure that all the particulars shown on them are identical. There is a special system for correcting them when any alterations, such as changes of address, have to be recorded.

Typists' Room
Most of the shorthand and copy typists work in the Throne Room. The workers go into the correspondence sections to obtain their work, and return to the Throne Room to carry it out.

From this short review of the work of the Prisoners of War Department, readers will realise what a great deal of interest and individual attention is given to their men in the prison camps.
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10 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

Official Reports from the Camps

Stalag VIIA.
This camp in Bavaria is divided into three sections. Here are some prisoners at work.

[inserted] In every case where conditions call for remedy, the Protecting Power makes representations to the German authorities. Where there is any reason to doubt whether the Protecting Power has acted it is at once requested to do so. When it is reported that food or clothing is required, the necessary action is taken through the International Red Cross Committee. [/inserted]

Stalag Luft 6 is now composed of four sections. One for British personnel only, one for Americans, one in which there are both Americans and British, and one which is to be levelled as a sports ground. The sections are separated by barbed wire and each one has its own kitchen, barracks, canteen, etc. Apart from all the compounds is a laundry for general use, the theatre and the revier. There are comparatively large spaces between the barracks, which are at present used for exercise.
Unfortunately, the camp becomes more and more overcrowded, and tents to house new arrivals are to be put in these spaces.
There have been a few improvements since the last visit: the barracks are no longer damp, lighting has been improved, the water supply has been increased and toilet facilities are now satisfactory.
There was a total of 4,858 N.C.O. prisoners in the camp, of these 2,788 were from the U.K., 413 from Canada, 128 from Australia, 107 from New Zealand, 1,280 from the United States, and the balance from Ireland, South Africa, Newfoundland, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Cooking facilities are inadequate for such a large number of prisoners. The individual cooking of Red Cross parcels is no longer possible owing to overcrowding. There was a general complaint about the lack of fresh vegetables, and the reduction of the potato ration.
Sewing machines and tools for tailors and cobblers are badly needed. The central camp laundry is of great help and works efficiently. The camp hospital has only 70 beds, which are not sufficient for the size of camp.
Each compound has its own canteen, which is administered by the prisoners of war. A few articles available were bought out of the fund which is a gift from the Air Force officers' camps in Germany to N.C.O.s. Religious services are held in the theatre barracks. There are 900 Roman Catholic prisoners of war but no Roman Catholic chaplain.
There is very little space either indoors or out of doors for recreation. Incoming mail has improved recently. The average time for correspondence from the U.K is now reported to be two months. Book parcels have been held up as long as six months. (Visited March, 1944.)

This camp is divided into four sections, Forts XIII, XIV, XV and XVI.
Fort XIII contains 564 working non-commissioned officers and other ranks. The quarters are still overcrowded. The lighting in the ground floor rooms has been improved.
Fort XIV. This is the camp hospital. A new barracks has recently been added and is now in use. Conditions are not very satisfactory. There were 112 patients.
Fort XV holds 429 non-working non-commissioned officers. The rooms are insufficiently lighted, the latrines and passages should be lit at night. Heating is insufficient. The prisoners here receive less food than those in other Forts as they are not working. The supply of meat is small. No protective clothing is issued for dirty camp work.
Fort XVI is an arrest camp and holds 40 prisoners of war. The rooms are insufficiently lit and during the day are dark. Washing arrangements are primitive.
The following points apply to all four Forts: There is a serious lack of cleaning materials. The general health is stated to be very good. Recreational arrangements in all but Fort XVI are all satisfactory. (Visited March, 1944.)

Work Detachment 369/A. – This work detachment is accommodated in three rooms on the second floor of Rosenheim hospital. It was opened in December, 1943. There are 65 British prisoners of war, 45 of them were formerly in Italian captivity and the remainder were recently captured at Nettuno.
The rooms are airy and furnished with double-tier wooden beds, palliasses, and two blankets per man, some wardrobes, tables and stools. They have electric light and central heating. Cooking is done by the hospital staff and prisoners receive the same food as patients.

Stalag VIIA.
Boxing always attracts a critical “gallery.”
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AUGUST, 1944 The Prisoner of War 11

Stalag XXA.
This group work on a farm – with musical accessories.

All the men are well dressed, their boots are in good condition, and they nearly all have a second outfit. There is a canteen which has a small supply of articles. Beer is always available.
The prisoners are engaged in the building of a transit camp for patients. They work for nine hours each day and have Saturday afternoon and Sunday free. A Church of England padre from Moosburg attends the camp once a month. Football is played regularly. A gramophone and two mouth-organs have been sent to the camp by the Y.M.C.A.
This is one of the best camps visited.
Work Detachment No. 3785 and Work Detachment No. 3881. – These two work detachments are situated in the suburbs of Munich. Both camps are of barrack type, rather crowded, have adequate washing facilities and one is well lit by electric light. Air-raid shelters are good.
The men, 491 British in detachment No. 3785, and 110 British in detachment No. 3881, work for the town council and are mostly employed on demolition work. They work ten hours a day but have Saturday afternoons and Sundays free. Rations are satisfactory; they are cooked by prisoner of war cooks.
The same prisoner of war medical officer is in charge of medical attention in both camps. He is assisted by two medical orderlies. He states that the prisoners' state of health is very good. There is a small sick room containing 14 beds, only two of which were in use at the time of the visit. Sick parade is held every day. Dental treatment is given by a French prisoner of war dentist in the town.
Detachment No. 3785 has a small canteen, where lemonade and beer are always available; it also has a good laundry and the prisoners of war have sufficient clothing.
Detachment No. 3881 has no canteen, and no laundry or facilities for washing their clothes. The prisoners, who all do exceedingly dirty work, have only one suit and no change of clothing.
Work Detachment No. 3732. – This work detachment is located in the south-western part of Munich and consists of five barracks each holding 80 men, a cookhouse and canteen combined, and a washhouse. It has good air-raid shelters and ample space within the barbed wire.
There were 401 British prisoners of war in the camp, the majority are ex-Italian prisoners of war and arrived at this camp six weeks before.
Each barrack is partitioned into several smaller rooms accommodating six to eight men. The rooms have double-tiered beds with palliasses and two blankets, two lockers, a table and some stools and a small stove. There are an adequate number of cold taps in the washhouse and hot showers are under construction. The food is cooked by nine prisoner of war cooks. The swedes and potatoes are said to be of inferior quality.
There is a small hospital and consulting room under the direction of a British medical officer and two medical orderlies. Conditions are rather cramped but the supply of medicines is adequate. The clothing situation is fairly good. Socks, however, are urgently needed as about 200 men go to work in shoes only.

Stalag XXA.
Scene from a play produced recently at this camp in Poland.

The majority of the men work on demolition work and on tile transport for re-roofing of houses. They work for ten hours per day and have Saturday afternoon and Sunday free. Recreational facilities are adequate. Regular visits are received from the Church of England padre from Stalag VIIA.
Work Detachment No. 3841. – 87 British prisoners of war form the camp strength. The majority of these men were taken prisoner on the Isle of Leros and the rest were formerly in Italian captivity.
They live in one large barrack divided into five compartments, four large rooms holding 20 men and one small one for seven men. There is also a cookhouse, a dining hall and washrooms. Recreational facilities are adequate.
The men do reconstruction work on civilian dwellings for various firms. The hours of work are reasonable. No visits from the padre have taken place so far.
Work Detachment No. 3712. – Accommodation in this detachment is in a large room adjoining a restaurant near the lake at Schliersee. There is little moving space, but the quarters will be enlarged as soon as the snow melts. The prisoners of war number 29, and are all British from Italian captivity.
The room is lit by electric light and contains double-tier beds, wooden and iron type, palliasses, and two good blankets per man, three tables and forms. There are two stoves for heating and one for cooking the contents of Red Cross parcels.
Medical attention when necessary is given by a German doctor at a nearby hospital. The men are enjoying the best of health. The clothing situation is good.
Air-raid trenches for two large hospitals are being dug by the men. They work from 7.30 a.m. till 11.30 a.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday afternoons and Sundays are free. Regular visits are paid by the padre from the Stalag.
The sports ground will be available in the summer. Swimming in the lake will also be permitted. Up to the present the men have been taken out for Sunday
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12 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

walks. Indoor games, a gramophone and wireless are also available.
This is a good camp. (Visited April, 1944.)

[inserted] Cap Badges for Prisoners of War
1. It has been arranged that regimental or corps cap badges (with the exception of those of the Corps of Military Police and of units formed since September 3rd, 1939) can be obtained free of charge for inclusion in next of kin parcels for British prisoners of war in German hands. Applications should be made [italics] by next of kin [/italics] to:-
Central Ordnance Depot,
2. Applications will only be considered if received on the form to be found on pages 15 and 16 of the Journal.
3. The badge will be despatched direct to the applicant for inclusion in the next quarterly parcel if he or she makes it up personally, or to be forwarded to the actual sender of the parcel if it is despatched by someone else.
4. British officer prisoners of war will be supplied with the equivalent other ranks pattern badge only, and their Army account will be debited in the usual manner for such purchases from Army stocks. The price varies, but is about 6d. or less.
5. No enquiries about this scheme should be sent to the Red Cross, but should be addressed to: Commandant, Branston, as shown above.
6. It is requested that applications will only be made in cases where a prisoner has notified his need of a cap badge when writing to his relatives, as excessive demands would interfere with the smooth working of the scheme, and supplies for our soldiers still fighting would be jeopardised. [/inserted]

Stalag 398 is located at Pupping, a small village on the Danube. The nearest large town is Linz. The administration of the Stalag is accommodated in part of a Franciscan friar monastery and the camp is laid on the outskirts of the village. It consists of about twelve wooden barracks of which one is reserved for British prisoners of war. There is also a large hospital barrack, a cobbler and tailor shop, and a fairly good dental station serving prisoners of war of all nationality in this Stalag.
The 579 British prisoners of war in the Stalag have been divided into 26 work detachments. 90 per cent. of the men are engaged in forestry; they came here in December, 1943, from Italy, except 41 of them, who were captured at Leros.
The British barrack which is the best in the camp, holds one large sleeping and living room, an office for the man of confidence, and a store room. It has electric light and good stoves for heating. There are double-tiered beds and sufficient sitting accommodation. Water for washing is fetched in the containers from a large pump. Occasional hot showers are available.
The cooking is done by French and Belgian prisoners of war at a central cookhouse and is reported to be very good. Red Cross supplies arrive regularly. Medical treatment is good. A French and Italian doctor are in charge.
The clothing position is rather acute as no Red Cross clothing had arrived so far and the German clothing is only issued when absolutely necessary. Boots are also in a bad state. There is no padre in the Stalag.
Recreational facilities are very poor. There is no sports ground within the camp compound. Some books and indoor games have arrived from the Y.M.C.A. The men are allowed to visit a cinema performance once a month at Eferding. Mail arrives regularly and takes only three weeks from England. Many letters have been re-addressed from Italy.
Stalag 398 makes a good impression. (Visited March, 1944.)

There are three sections (1) Officers' Section, (2) Other Ranks' Section, (3) Nord Lager (North Camp).
Officers' Section. – The officers' barrack No. 39 is situated on the eastern end of the camp and is of the same type as the rest of the barracks in the Stalag. The building is separated by barbed wire from the other barracks.
The personnel at the present total 328 prisoners of war, of whom 162 are British officers, 108 American officers, 10 Indian officers, 21 British and American orderlies, and 27 Italian.
Lighting is unsatisfactory: owing to the arrangement of the electric bulbs on one side of the room only, it is impossible to read, or write, or work in the other half of the room after dark. The furnishing consists of triple-tier beds in bad repair with palliasses and two blankets per man, some tables and benches.
Bathing and washing facilities are inadequate and all water has to be drawn from a pump in the washhouse, where some wash basins are available. Besides that two taps with drinking water are installed. Laundry has to be done in the washhouse. There is no hot water due to lack of fuel. The clothing position is at present satisfactory. Purchases at the canteen are very limited.
Medical attention for minor cases is given by the British and American medical officers. Serious cases are sent to hospital.
Other Ranks Section. – Barracks No. 5, 6, 7, and 8 form one block, and barracks 33, 34, 35 and 36 form a second block. 3,458 British prisoners of war and 52 American prisoners of war are attached to this camp, of whom 1,200 are distributed in seven labour detachments.
Bathing and washing facilities are inadequate. Food is said to be insufficient and not always well cooked. There is an adequate supply of trousers and boots. Battle dress blouses, greatcoats, shirts, underwear and towels are much needed. Laundry is done by the men themselves. Only cold water is available. Soap is provided. The canteen is poorly stocked.
Religious services are held by a Church of England padre. Recently the Roman Catholics attended a mass celebrated by a French priest. Plenty of sports kit is provided in the camp, but outdoor recreation is limited by inadequate sports ground. Mail is said to be in order. (Last month letter forms and postcards sent to the various camps went astray.)
Nord Lager. – All new arrivals pass through this camp for period of quarantine and delousing before entering the transit camp. Accommodation is very primitive. About 400 men were housed in a barracks about 240ft. long and 27ft. wide. They sleep on wood shavings on the floor and are provided with two blankets per man. There is no heating arrangement and no lighting. The windows are small and under the roof. All prisoners received Red Cross parcels on arrival. After delousing the men are admitted in groups of about 50 to the main transit camp. (Visited April, 1944.)

Rugby team at Stalag XXA.
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AUGUST, 1944 The Prisoner of War 13

Is Told from Many Angles in this New Book

Prisoners leaving the kitchen at Military Prison, Graudenz.

TEMPERAMENT, of course, has a lot to do with the cheerfulness so typical of our men in captivity. Mr. Noel Barber, who has studied thousands of their letters and every available report on their condition, comes to the conclusion that it's a temperament pretty well unique. “The English-speaking peoples, with an instinct which has served them well in the building of their civilisation, have a knack shared by few other races of adjusting themselves easily to meet unpleasant circumstances.” he writes in his newly published [italics] Prisoner of War [/italics] (Harrap, 8/6d.).
In the course of a lively and sympathetic survey, Mr. Barber shows how this knack supports these men in every aspect of their lives behind the wire, and how, too, they are helped to make the best possible use of it by the immense bulk and variety of assistance provided from home – in their work and play, in cooking and studying, in health and sickness. Speaking of the work of the Invalid Comforts Section with regard to this last category he declares that “a British prisoner of war who needs food to build up his body after a severe operation or illness can get it more easily than many a civilian in this country.”
Many of the details here will be familiar to the well-established reader of this journal, who will recognise also many of the interesting photographs with which the book is embellished. But not all of us, perhaps, carry a picture of the situation quite as vivid and as comprehensive as the one Mr. Barber achieves.

Allied Prisoners
What should make his book of most value to next of kin is the light he throws on the conditions of British imprisonment in German hands in comparison with those suffered by our European Allies.
And a horrifying comparison it is. The life of our men even in the haphazard inefficiency of an Italian camp would have been luxury to prisoners from, say, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia or Greece. Ragged, overcrowded, underfed, and denied any Red Cross facilities many of these two million-odd Allies have not even had a letter from home since their countries fell to the Germans.
Although the War Organisation in London managed to send out to them in the first half of last year about 50,000 food parcels, 16,000 clothes parcels and 500 parcels of invalid comforts, it can do little in the way of permanent relief for the plight of these unhappy captives.
It is not by chance, as Mr. Barber points out, that the Germans behave so much better towards the British. “One can be certain that if Britain had been beaten our lives would have been as miserable as those of our more unfortunate Allies.”

Talks on religious subjects given by the Rev. Capt. D.H.C. Read, a prisoner of war at Oflag IXA/H, in the spring and summer of 1942 have now been published in book form under the title [italics] Prisoners' Quest [/italics] (Student Christian Movement Press, 56, Bloomsbury Street, London, W.C.1), [italics[] price [/italics] 6s.

[inserted] How They Help [/inserted]
[italic] In addition to those mentioned below, we wish to thank the many kind readers whose help to the Funds this month we cannot find room to record here individually. [/italic]

OFFERING hospitality to Service men on their way through the town, a thoughtful householder in Maidenhead has hit upon a good method of helping the Fund as well. For the tea and “shake-down” in the room this lady has put aside for them the men are very grateful and anxious to repay her kindness – “so we have obtained a Penny-a-Week Fund box,” she tells us, “and suggest that, if they wish, they may make a small contribution.”
In spite of the disappointing weather there has been news recently of some highly successful garden fêtes. The one held in Frensham – a Surrey village of little more than a thousand inhabitants – raised over £3,000 in aid of our prisoners this year, which is more than thirteen times as much as it achieved in 1941, when first it became established as an annual function in Mrs. Patrick Needham's Frensham Grange. An interesting feature was a replica section of a prison camp, presided over by Mrs. Cyril Diver, whose son is captive in Germany.
Good news continues to reach us from the Fund's young helpers. In the small town of Coupar Angus, Perthshire, an enterprising party of schoolboys ran a fun fair in the garden of an empty house, with gaily decorated stalls, games in the afternoon and dancing (to a professional band) until ten in the evening. Opened by the Provost, it closed with a clear profit of £131.
Doris Mann and her brother Gerald, of Coventry, have raised their fourth donation – two guineas this time – by their industry in making soft toys; eight-year-old Geoffrey Makin, of Dalton, Huddersfield, has collected “gate money” of £2 from the admirers of his miniature stage setting constructed in Meccano and plasticine; while proceeds of 10s. are reported from a children's garden party in Maidstone, Kent, run by Anita and Shirley Preston with three friends. The £5 instalments presented each month to the Fund by members of Collierley Council School at Dipton, Newcastle-on-Tyne, have now brought their total contributions to £103 – a splendid record which we gratefully acknowledge.
From the Old Comrades' Association at Hull comes a gift of £50. “Having a son wounded and taken prisoner before Dunkirk,” writes the secretary Mr. Cowper, “I know well what a help and comfort the Red Cross have been.” Part-time wardens at two Croyden C.D. posts have added to past generosity by their latest cheque of £11 10s., and Mr. and Mrs. Pollock, of Sutton Coldfield, have given the Fund £100 in handsome response to the request of their prisoner son, whose first letter from behind the wire has just reached them.
Three other prisoners of war, Sgt. J.P. Newton, of Brighton, Pte. Francis Marshall, of Gateshead, and Pte. Edgar Barker, of Sneinton Dale, Nottingham, have each sent from their prison camps in Germany a gift of £5.

[inserted] NUMBER, PLEASE!
PLEASE be sure to mention your Red Cross reference number whenever you write to us. Otherwise delay and trouble are caused in finding previous correspondence. [/inserted]
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14 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

The Following Successes are Reported by the Educational Books Section of the Red Cross

Summer Series
Stage III: - D.A.J. Perry, 2nd Cl.
Stage I: - H.V. George, with credit.
Stage II: - S/Ldr. N.H. Svendson, 1st Cl.; H.V. George, 1st Cl.
Stage I: - A.F. Colborn, with credit; H.M. Bainbridge, with credit.
Stage II: - A.F. Colborn, 2nd Cl.; H.M. Bainbridge, 1st Cl.

Lt. P.J. Coomber; C.P. Followes; Sgt. K.N. Farrow *; Sgt. J. Houston; Sgt. A. Nicholas; Pte. W.G. Fisher, not granted a pass, but regarded as satisfying examiners in Local Govt. Finance and Law and Rating; Sgt. Pilot W.E. Fennimore, not granted a pass, but regarded as satisfying examiners in Auditing and Costing.
* Awarded prize of £3 3s. by President of the Institute. Sgt. Farrow took 1st place in the Intermediate Examination.
Final, Part II
Sgt. E.G. Tickner.

Associate Membership Examination
Sgt. G. Taylor.

Senior Certificate
Sgt. R.I. Stone; Sgt. T.H. Eyles; Sgt. S.J. Spence.

Lower Certificate of Proficiency in English
Miss J.M. Clarke; Miss O. Duncan; Miss R. Duncan; Miss A. Feuerheed; Miss M. Greenwood; Miss R. McIntyre; Miss N. Nout; Miss C. Percy-Eade; Miss A. Roeder; Miss S. Rookes; Miss W. Siepka; Miss R. Synowiecka;

Matriculation Results
Part A
Pte. F.R. White; Pte. S.L. Woolgar; Pte. W.J. Coleman; Pte. A. Elder; Pte. J. Finney; Pte. F.W. Fludder; Pte. T.H. Hawes; Pte. T.F. Kingshott; Pte. R. Lunnon; Pte. L.A.M. Minty; Pte. T. Ronan; Pte. M.J. Tresadern; Capt. R.L. Mitchell; Rfm. J.M. Goyder; Pte. L.F. Horton; Pte. H.A. March (re-passed); Sgm. A.V. Smith; Sgt. G.H. Byrne; B.Sgt.-Mjr. E. Gardner; L/Sgt. M.D.W. McCann; Sgt. H.C. Needham; Sgt. R.T. Potts; A/Q.M.S. P.A. Richards; L/Sgt. W.J. Robinson; R.V. Wright.
Part B
L/Bdr. A.S. Massingham; Cpl. L. Horsburg; Cpl. L.A. Whelan; L./R. Q.M.S. J.A. Wood.
1st Division
Sgt. R.W.W. Hitchcock.
2nd Division
Lt. J.I.R. Dunlop; L/Cpl. B.B. Peat; Bdr. R. Alpin; S/Sgt. F.W. Punton; Sgt. R.N. Reynolds; Arm/Sgt. T. Saville; Sgt. L.C. Sperrey; S/Sgt. G.A. Thorogood; F/Lt. R.A.G. Ellen; Supplementary Danish: Pte N.T. Hinks, French and German, Part B, to complete by taking Chem. and Part A.

Associate Examination
A.H. Blackbourn, Accountancy, Part II. N.B. – Already passed this subject at previous examination.
R.G. Brown, Practice and Law of Banking, Part II.
L.W. Druce, English Composition Part I; Practice and Law of Banking, Part I.
P. Elliott, Bookkeeping, Part I; Practice and Law of Banking, Part II.
*G.I. Fisher, Foreign Exchange, Part II.
T. Garside, Accountancy Part, II.
T.S. George, Bookkeeping, Part I; Economics, Part I; Practice and Law of Banking, Part I.
G.H. Killey, Economics, Part I; Practice and Law of Banking, Part II; Accountancy, Part II.
*C.G. Osmond, Accountancy, Part II.
[symbol] R.G.M. Quarrie, Bookkeeping, Part I; Economics, Part I; English Composition, Part II.
*T.W. Retter, Economics, Part II; Foreign Exchange, Part II.
B.L.S. Rich, Bookkeeping, Part I. (Already passed this subject at previous examination); Foreign Exchange.
J.A. Rodger, Accountancy, Part II; Foreign Exchange, Part II.
*J.W. Shearer, Practice and Law of Banking, Part II; Accountancy, Part II, distinction.
R.M. Simmons, Economics, Part II; Foreign Exchange, Part II.
F.S. Wenborn, English Composition, Part I; Economics, Part I.
H.F. Moseling, Economics, Part I; Practice and Law of Banking, Part I; English Composition, Part II.
M.F. Mounsey, Bookkeeping, Part I; Economics, Part I; Practice and Law of Banking, Part II.
*P.A.S. Nicholson, Practice and Law of Banking, Part I.
G.W. Sketchley, Accountancy, Part II; Foreign Exchange, Part II.
*A. Wilson, Economics, Part I; Foreign Exchange, Part II.
J.E. Wynn, Practise and Law of Banking, Part II.
Trustee Examination
D.V. Bassett, Practical Trust Administration, Part II.
G.G. Cowen, Trust Accounting, Part II; Theory and Practice of Investment, etc., Part II; Law relating to Wills, etc., Part II; Practical Trust Administration, Part II.
**A.C. Goodger, Death Duties and Probate Practice, Part I; Trust Accounting, Part II; Law Relating to Wills etc., Part II.
**A.E. Horton, Death Duties and Probate Practice, Part I; Trust Accounting, Part II; Law Relating to Wills etc., Part II; Practical Trust Administration, Part II.
**S.D. Oxley, Death Duties and Probate Practice, Part I.
S.D. Rae, Theory and Practice of Investment, Part II.
[symbol] Completes Part I of the Associate Examination.
*Completes Part II of the Associate Examination.
**Completes Part I of the Trustee Examination.

Book-keeping Stage II
Sgt. K. Downing 1st Cl. with distinction.

First Professional Examination
L/Cpl. W. Morrison: Theoretical Chiropody and Anatomy and Physiology, Lieut. R.O. Smith: Theoretical Chiropody, Anatomy and Physiology and Elementary Science.

Associateship II
L/Sgt. J.L Estival: French and German, both with honours.

Preliminary, Part I
L/Cpl. S.K. Crawford.

Sgt. R.J. Powdrill.

Sgt. W.J. Thompson: Practical Mathematics, Cl. I Engineering Science, Cl. I.

Lieut. J.P. Adcock; Lieut. G.T. Copestake; Lieut. W.H. Musson, with distinction; Lieut. R.B. Smailes, with distinction; Lieut. D.L Stebbings, with distinction.
These candidates will be permitted, at the discretion of the Council, to enter for any Honours Examination held within two years of the cessation of hostilities.
Special Intermediate Examination
Lieut. N.J. Rice: Law and Trust Accounts and Book-keeping. Lieut. R.S.H. Beamish, Law portion. Lieut. D.C. Preston, Law portion.

Major G.A.W. Neill, passed Roman Law, Cl. II, Contract and Tort, Cl. III, Real Property, Cl. III, Constitutional Law, Cl. III. Capt. F.V. Corfield, passed Roman Law, Class I. Lieut. V. Lemieux, passed Division I of Final.

Intermediate Associateship Certificate
Cpl. A. Burton.

Sgt. B.L. Tillotson.

Sgt. F. Hankin, Sgt. S.H. Robinson.

Craftman's Examination
L/Sgt. R.H. Butler, C/Sgt. E. Davey, Sgt. J.I. Jay, Cpl. G. Munro, Sgt. F. Norrie, Cpl. P. Rossiter, C.S.M. J. Savage, Sgt. E.B. Tarry.

Final Examination
J.P. Adcock, G.T. Copestake, W.H. Musson, *R.B. Smailes,* (Lt.B. Leeds, D.) L. Stebbing*
* These candidates have been awarded “distinction” and will be permitted, at the discretion of the Council, to enter for any Honours Examination held within two years of the cessation of hostilities.
Law and Trust Accounts and Book-keeping
J.N. Rice.
Law portion only
R.S.H. Beamish, D.C. Preston.

Matriculation Results
Pte. D.M. Elliott, English and Eng. Lit.; Pte. L. Gamston, Pt. A and Eng. Hist. and Rel. Know.; Pte. W.M. Gregory, English; Pte. K.W. Hawkins, 2nd Div.; Pte. K.C. McMartin, Pt. A; Pte. D.H. Morris, 2nd Div.; Pte. V.N. Navalkar, English; Pte. J. Dixon, English; Pte. W.G. Foy, Pt. A; Pte. J. Glover, English; Pte. A.E. Mitchell, Pt. A; Sgt. J.M. Atkinson, Pt. A; Sgt. P. Fincham, 1st Div.; Sgt. F. McMullen 2nd Div.; R.B. Olliver, Pt. A; F/Lt. T.M. Kane, 2nd Div.; F/Lt. D.F. Laslett, 2nd Div.; Sq/Ldr. D.C. Torrens, Supp. Danish; D.T. Jones, Drawing; L. Stubley, French; T.S. Butland, English; Chas. Futer, Pt.A; K.R. Macdonald, Pt. A; G.J.M. Pryde, Pt. A.
F.C. Bailey, Pt. A and Eur. Hist.; A.E. Barlow, 2nd Div.; A.E. Bryceson, 2nd Div.; W. Cowie, 1st Div.; D.F. Eastick, 2nd Div.; T.H.A. Eyles, 2nd Div.; J. Fisher, 2nd Div.; A.W. Hawkes, 2nd Div.; P. Holmes, 1st Div.; H.E. Hunt, 2nd Div.; D. Meyrick, 1st Div. B.C. Whittle, 2nd Div.; A.M.S. Brodie, Pt. A; J.C. Carter, Pt. A; R.I. Eastwood Pt. A; J.H. Pitt, Pt. A; T. Scott, Pt. A; H.W.J. Smith, Pt. A; H.G. Barnes, Pt. B (has still to pass Pt. A); E.J. Hesmondhaigh, Pt. B (has still to pass Pt. A); D.G. Harwood, Elect .and Mag., thereby completing exam.

Harmony, Grade V
S. Reeves, 100.
L.R.S.M. Theory of Music
Lt. J.E.B. Grayson, passed Papers II and III.

Trustee Examination
C. Brookes-Hill,* Practical Trust Administration, Part II; Elements of the Law of Real Property, etc., Part II (distinction).
Associate Examination
I.A. Croke, English Composition, Part. II. E.A. Butcher, Economics, Part. II; Banking Part II.
D.B. Ainsworth, Economics, Part I; Book-keeping, Part I; W.J. Hunter, Book-keeping, Part I. I.R. Biddlecombe, Banking, Part II. J.I. Burbridge, English Composition, Part II; D.J. Griffiths, Banking, Part II. G.A.E. Hodgkinson, Banking, Part I. K.M. Jordan, English Composition, Part II. T.G. O'Shaughnessy, Banking, Part II. W.F. Theull, Banking, Part II. R.G. Woodwards, Banking, Part II (distinction).
* Completes Part II of the Trustee Examination.
[page break]

August, 1944 The Prisoner of War 15

SOCKS Are Always Welcome

Reproduced by courtesy of Copley's

[knitting pattern]

for a Prisoner of War in German hands.
To: The Commandant,
Central Ordnance Depot,
Branston, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire

A request for a cap badge has been received from the following British prisoner of war:- (Particulars to be filled in below.)
Service number, rank and name [symbol]
Regiment and Battalion [symbol]
Camp address and prisoner of war number [symbol]
PLEASE TURN OVER [/inserted]
[page break]

16 The Prisoner of War AUGUST, 1944

Any Questions?
When sending in questions will next of kin kindly always give their name and address so that their letters may be answered by post if, for any reason, it is not possible to reply in this Journal.
P.o.W. in Prussia
Should I be informed at once if my son were transferred from his prison camp in East Prussia?
As soon as information about the transfer of any prisoner is received, the next of kin is informed; but this news is frequently received in the first instance by the next of kin from the prisoner himself.

Air Mail Letters
Can I now send a letter by air mail to my son, a prisoner of war in a camp in Prussia?
Yes, The G.P.O. has announced that the air mail service to prisoners of war, including the threepenny air-mail letter-card, has been resumed.

Civilian Repatriates
Are all civilians being repatriated from Germany?
We understand that, with certain exceptions, all British and Dominion civilian internees will, by degrees, be repatriated from Germany.

How many tablets of toilet soap may I send to my husband in his next of kin parcel?
The answer to this is to be found in the leaflet sent to all next of kin every quarter with their label, etc.

Enemy Action
We recently lost our home “by enemy action.” May I send our son the news?
This is a matter for the censorship; but we do know that prisoners do receive news of this kind from their families.

Next-of-kin Parcel
My husband's camp has taken up knitting; may I send some steel needles to him and to his friends?
Knitting needles are included in the list of articles which may be sent in next of kin parcels. Please see the leaflet of instructions which is issued every quarter to all next of kin with their label and coupons.

New Prisoner
My son, recently taken prisoner in Italy, tells me that he has lost all his kit. Will the camp be able to fit him out before my first parcel arrives?
On his arrival at a permanent camp, he should be supplied with clothing sent to the camps for distribution.

He Was Wounded
Would the camp doctor inform the Red Cross should my son require special food for his illness caused through a severe wound in the back?
Supplies of special foods are sent to all the camps for the use of prisoners who require them; but if any very unusual diet were required, the doctor would inform the Red Cross.

Mail for Officer
Can you tell me how many letter-cards and postcards officers may send each week from prisoner of war camps, and about how many they are allowed to receive?
Officer prisoners of war are usually allowed to send four postcards and three letters every month. There is no limit to the number which they may receive.

THE Postmaster-General has announced that, in view of the continued interruption of railway communication in occupied France, next of kin and permit parcels for prisoners of war in Germany cannot be forwarded.
As there is already an accumulation of parcels in this country, and [italics] en route, [/italics] no good purpose will be served by the posting of further parcels until conditions become more favourable; and the Postmaster-General therefore strongly advises the public to refrain from posting next of kin parcels, or giving orders to permit holders for the despatch of tobacco, cigarettes, books, etc.
A further announcement will be made when parcels can usefully again be sent.
By agreement with the G.P.O., next of kin parcels now being received at the Packing Centres at Finsbury Circus and Glasgow will be repacked and handed to the Post Office as usual unless next of kin apply for their return. Every effort will be made to comply with such applications, but no guarantee can be given that any parcel can be stopped.
Parcels will be held by the G.P.O. until they can be forwarded, but if further shipments from this country prove impossible, they will eventually be returned to the senders.
No further issues of labels etc., will be made unless they are applied for to the Packing Centre at 14, Finsbury Circus, E.C.2, or 421 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
People in possession of labels and [italics] complete [/italics] sets of coupons which they do not now [missing word] to use may return them to Finsbury Circus or Glasgow to be re-issued later if applied for.
If some coupons have already been used, the remainder should for the present be retained, together with the garments and, if possible, the bills.
Further instructions about parcels will be published in this Journal.

OFLAG VIIIF (at Waggum) is now renamed Oflag 79.
A special section for those eligible for repatriation has been opened at STALAG IVD/Z. It is called STALAG IVD, Zweilager, Heilag Annaburg. (Map reference E6).
A new camp STALAGLUFT VII, has been opened at Bankau, near Kreuxberg. (Map reference H6.)

The badge should be sent to:-
Name of applicant:- [symbol]
(in block letters)
Address:- [symbol]
Relationship to prisoner [symbol]
The quarterly parcels for the prisoner to whom this application refers are despatched through the Red Cross by:-
(Name and address of actual sender of parcels to be filled in below):-
Signature of applicant:- [symbol]
Date:- [symbol] [/inserted]

[inserted] THIS Journal is sent free of charge to those registered with the Prisoner of War Dept. as next of kin. In view of the paper shortage no copies are for sale, and it is hoped that next of kin will share their copy with relatives and others interested. [/inserted]

Printed in Great Britain for the Publishers, THE RED CROSS AND ST. JOHN WAR ORGANISATION, 14, Grosvenor Crescent, London, S.W., by THE CORWALL PRESS LTD., Paris Garden, Stamford Street, London, SE1.



Great Britain. Red Cross and St John war organisation, “The prisoner of war, Vol 3, No. 28, August 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 18, 2024,

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