The prisoner of war, Vol 3, No. 27, July 1944



The prisoner of war, Vol 3, No. 27, July 1944


Includes: editorial matters; our sketch club; official reports from camps; the letters they write home; pictures of camp life; groups from the camps; exam results; when they come back; the brighter side; parcels greet repatriates; how they help (fundraising at home); knitting pattern for easy to knit pullover; any questions? Includes photographs throughout.



Temporal Coverage




Sixteen page printed document


IBCC Digital Archive


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 and





The Prisoner of War

VOL 3. NO. 27 Free to Next-of-Kin July, 1944

The Editor Writes –

MANY prisoners have expressed their appreciation of the essentially personal interest taken in them by the Red Cross, and have been surprised and gratified to find, after repatriation or escape, that their names are well known to the staff, and that they are welcomed almost as old friends. Although many Red Cross supplies are sent to the camps in bulk, the individual requests of the prisoners, or of their next-of-kin, are complied with as often as possible. Week after week parcels containing books for one prisoner, a favourite game for another, a musical instrument for a third, are despatched from the Indoor Recreation Section of the Prisoners of War Department.

Personal Contact
Another entirely personal service is that of the next-of-kin parcels; and bound up with this, but embracing very much more besides, is the contact with next-of-kin carried on at St James's Palace. It is not perhaps generally realised that the Correspondence Section has an individual file for every British prisoner and interned civilian. Every week some seven thousand letters are dealt with, covering every conceivable topic that concerns their welfare.
In addition, there is the Educational Books Section, where work is almost entirely individual, as the needs of each prisoner who is studying depend upon his standard of education, his capacity and his reason for studying. In the Invalid Comforts Section, nothing could be more personal than the care of the sick and wounded.

Abundance of Food Parcels
Relatives of prisoners of war in Oflag IXA/H Upper Camp will be glad of some news that has reached me from a recent inmate of that camp, who was repatriated at the end of May and is now living at Redbridge, near Southampton. He says that everybody was in good health and high spirits and adds that with the start of the “Second Front” their spirits will, if possible, be higher still. Food was plentiful and there were enough Red Cross parcels to last for months with more coming in regularly.

Prisoners of war at Stalag XXA in charge of parcels

L.C.J.'s Tribute
Speaking at a Red Cross garden fête at Hambledon (Surrey) the other day the Lord Chief Justice referred with admiration to the men who, though they were living in a hut with 20 or 30 others, could actually study and sit for examinations so that they could take up a profession on their return home. He had recently received a report on prisoners of war who took a legal examination to become barristers, and there were three who obtained first-class certificates of honour. “I think,” said Lord Caldecote,“ that we learn from them the great lesson of courage, cheerfulness, and concentration.” One of the competitions at the fête, which raised well over £400, was “guessing the weight of the Rector.”

“It's Like Paradise”
I do not often mention any of the numerous services that Red Cross and St. John provide for those who are not prisoners of war, but I think that many of my readers who have menfolk serving in Normandy or Italy may like to be reminded of some of these. Here, for instance, is an extract from a really rapturous letter sent by an R.A.F. sergeant in the Central Mediterranean Force to his mother in Guildford: “I'm staying at a Red Cross Convalescent mansion. I didn't think such a place existed. It looks like Paradise. And the food! I thought I was dreaming.... We do what we like – swimming, sunbathing, trips arranged, it's a perfect holiday, thanks mostly due to the Red Cross.”

First Aid Enterprise
During the last year men at Stalag 383 have been studying and practising first aid. Classes taken by pre-war members of the St
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2 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

John Ambulance Brigade have already produced no fewer than 297 successful candidates in the examinations held by medical officers at the camp. Of this number ” (I quote from an account sent to St. John Headquarters) “ three have passed for labels, seven for medallions, forty-eight for vouchers, and the remainder for certificates.” Last winter these enthusiasts undertook official duty, four at a time on the sports field, where games of soccer, rugby, and hockey were usually in progress at once. In the course of the season they treated 180 minor injuries promptly on the spot – a record of which both St. John and Stalag 383 may well be proud.

No Ordinary Corporal
A distinguished new arrival at Stalag XVIIIA is a corporal who speaks seven languages. Previously a man of confidence, he has come here to take up duty as local representative for thirteen subsidiary camps as well as exercising his talent for languages in the capacity of camp interpreter. One of his many responsibilities is the distribution of Red Cross food parcels. “We could not do without his help,” he writes in giving the news.

An Aussie's Gratitude
While our repatriated men were sailing north on the last stages of their journey home to Britain another party of their companions, with whom they had travelled through Germany and France, remained at Algiers, getting their first taste of freedom. These were Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops waiting to be conveyed home.
“And what a reception we were having here!” writes an Australian in a letter to the wife of a prison camp pal, Mrs. Bryant of Catford. “Everything is too wonderful to mention. The nurses here cannot do enough for us, and it's very hard to realise I'm a free man.” He adds, as they all do in one phrase or another, “It would be God help our boys if it wasn't for the Red Cross.”

Next of Kin Clubs
A popular addition to the number of Red Cross next of kin clubs is the one formed for Northants. All next of kin in the county – there are about 900 – are invited to its informative monthly meeting and encouraged to bring with them any questions they would otherwise have sent to the Prisoner of War Department in London. At these meetings (as shown by our photograph on this page) they have adopted the idea of reserving tables for particular camps, so that the relatives concerned may meet to exchange news and suggestions of mutual interest.

Tables are reserved for particular camps at this Next of Kin Club in Northampton

Success of Exhibition
The successful Daily Telegraph Prisoner of War Exhibition in London, organised in conjunction with Red Cross and St. John, which was described in our last issue, had 181,909 visitors during the 41 days it was open. Funds were a subsidiary aim of the exhibition, but it is satisfactory to record that the total cash receipts were £15,682.
A limited number of illustrated guides for those who were unable to visit the exhibition are still available at 7d. a copy, post free, or at 6d. in quantities of 12 or over, from Exhibition Section 24 Carlton House Terrace, London S.W.1.

Rebuilding of London
Evidence is continually reaching me of the lively interest taken by our men in post-war problems. One recent example is the reception given at one Stalag to the County of London reconstruction plan, which has been sent out by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The plan rivalled the war, I learn, as a topic of conversation. Indeed, an enterprising group of men managed to condense the material into a lecture which, with the help of the book-plates projected on a screen through an epidiascope, was followed for two hours by a very cramped and very attentive audience. The lecture had to be repeated on three successive evenings.

Habit Spreads
A man at Stalag IVC, who has been patiently saving his daily working wage of 70 pfennigs until he has accumulated 300 Reichmarks, now writes proudly to tell his wife in Bushey, Herts, that “I shall be sending you £20 (at the exchange rate of 15 to £) to use just as you please.” In addition, he and his friends in this relatively small camp are all saving for the Red Cross and are arranging to send over the truly astonishing total of £270.

Welcome Home
FLAGS, the bright tabs of staff officers and the sparkling chains of office of innumerable civic dignitaries brightened the landing stage at Liverpool when 628 British repatriates from Germany arrived in the early evening of May 28. The men lined the rails shoulder to shoulder, while above them the snowy jackets and smiling black faces of some of the ship's company contrasted vividly with the British faces below them. People on the ship and the quayside stood almost in silence as the gang-plank was slowly and rather clumsily adjusted, but the hungry eyes of the home-coming exiles missed not a detail of the scene - it was home.

Greetings from Good Friends
As soon as the ship touched the quayside and even before making fast began, the Adjutant-General, Sir Ronald Adam, greeted the men through the dockside loud-speakers, referring to the presence of their good friends from the Red Cross.
On the ship itself the small welcoming party from the War Organisation included Sir Richard Howard-Vyse, chairman of the Prisoners of War Department, Mrs. Bromley Davenport, secretary of the Invalid Comforts Section, and Miss E. M. Thornton, director of the Prisoners of War Department.

I.R.C. Delegates
The reception party at the docks included MM. Burckhardt and Wirth, two of the International Red Cross delegates in Great Britain, the Earl of Sefton, chairman of the Joint County Committee of West Lancashire, The Countess of Stamford, county president of B.R.C.S. in Cheshire, and Mrs. O'Neill, who is the prisoner of war representative for the same county.
There were several little cameos that linger in the mind – four repatriates with banjos, sitting on a luggage trunk and serenading a rather bewildered-looking Red Cross Commandant. Mrs. Bromley Davenport hurrying along the railway platform to congratulate a slow-voiced Scot on the exquisite workmanship that he had put into an embroidered bedspread that he carried. “I'm taking it home to ma mither [sic] in Fife.” he said.
Then there were two quick-witted Red Cross girls who were waiting to distribute packets of cigarettes to a long line of approaching men, all with both hands laden. The girls quickly opened the packets and while one popped a cigarette into each mouth as the men passed, the other was ready with a light.
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JULY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 3

Our Sketch Club

By a Member of Oflag VIIB.
After recovering from a state of both physical and mental exhaustion, I, in company with my unfortunate fellows, began to take notice of the surroundings. When, at long last, pencils and paper became available I became aware of an increasing number of odd people sitting around sketching.
The obvious thing happened. We formed a Sketch Club that met on Sunday afternoons in the theatre.
At first sketches and drawings produced were mainly of the local surroundings – the prison building, the river, the mountains, occasionally trees, and, of course, portraits. Sketches were made of the incidents during the blitz, the march to captivity, and illustrations to diaries. Everybody started writing [italics] their [/italics] story of the war. Luckily, this craze did not last too long.

Our Life Class
I started a life class, which was attended by some forty to fifty officers, only three of whom had had any art training at all. Within two months the numbers in the class had dropped to barely twenty. These certainly were very enthusiastic. No text-books were then available, and a difficulty arose over naming the various muscles and bones.
My own anatomical knowledge needed much brushing up, so I enlisted the services of one of the medical officers, and much useful time was spent observing the model and following the lines of rhythm, in fact generally appreciating the inherent design of the figure. The models were from my mess, and I pay tribute to the way they stood and shivered hour after hour for our amusement.
During this period some of us were able to buy paints and water colours through the canteen. The difficulty arose in finding a space to use them. However, odd passages and senior officers' rooms were often at our disposal, and when after several months we held an exhibition there were some 2,000 exhibits. The standard was not particularly high, and, looking back on that first show, one realises how tinged with the first sordid days of “Kriegiedom” (as the realm of prison is called by us) those first drawings were. There was little that could be called genuinely creative. However, the exhibition proved a great stimulus, and there followed a brisk demand for drawing materials.
I left this Oflag after some nine months and travelled to several camps during the next year. Occasionally at stops during the journey there were opportunities for quick sketches, to be used for finished pictures at a later date. Unfortunately, many of the sketch-books have been lost.

Exhibition in Bavaria
The next exhibition was held in Bavaria. In these mountainous parts the clear atmosphere was a great delight, particularly for painting in water colours.
When all the British officer P.o.W.s were collected together in one camp (nearly 3,000 of them) I ran a four-day exhibition of the arts. There was an attendance over the four days of some 10,000, which proved to me that as long as the arts are presented to the people as a part and parcel of their everyday lives they are prepared to accept and appreciate them. One room in the hut was completely given over to models and craft work, much of which was very fine indeed, particularly the well-designed cooking vessels made from old tins, the sets of carved chessmen and the weaving.
Consequent on this exhibition there was a good attendance at the art lectures. I ran two water-colour classes and a major took the life class. I also ran a series of lectures on British Painting, Italian Painting and French Painting, including the Post-Impressionists. The procedure followed consisted of selecting typical examples of the period under discussion and analysing them, particular attention being paid to composition and the difference in technique used by the various “masters.” I had, too, a series of lectures on Art Appreciation. Despite adverse conditions, the snow and cold, all were well attended.
The Arts Section of the Library is always working at full pressure.
Our scenery painting for the stage is mainly on cardboard and on three-ply flats. We use the water powder paints.

Easels from Home
The British Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A. and the Students' Relief Fund (André de Blonay, at Geneva) have nobly assisted us by sending drawing materials, easels, oil paints and the like. The German authorities allowed us to purchase art books, pictures and whatever materials are available for general use.

It is obviously impossible to mention by name all the artists and enthusiastic art students who have been working and instructing. Even now, after three years, new students are applying for instruction. It is a very healthy sign, considering the circumstances.
From this brief review I hope you have been able to get some idea of the increased attention and appreciation given to the arts. I can assure you that to a great number a new world has been opened. Good design has been emphasised, and when peace comes many of us prisoners will return better fitted to do our part in keeping the arts alive.

Water-colours painted by the author of this article.
(Above) Eichstätt, Bavaria, near Oflag VIIB.
(Below) “Industry at War.”

An attractive lino cut.
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4 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

Official Reports from the Camps

[inserted] IN every case where the conditions call for a 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]

B.A.B. remains quite a good camp and there have been no changes since the previous visit. There are 1,166 British prisoners here, who work on building construction. The general health of the camp is stated to be good. Clothing is fairly satisfactory.
Educational classes have recently been improved, and recent arrivals at the camp include teachers of mathematics, geography and languages. The German authorities have recently increased the rates of pay for most of the men at this camp. (Visited February.)

B.A.B. 21.
A cheerful group in the sunshine. There are 1,166 British prisoners here who work on building construction.

Of the 1,944 British prisoners at Stalag VIIIC only about 570 are at the main camp, the remainder being in the 20 work camps attached to the camp, and a few in the hospital. Most of these work camps are industrial camps, such as paper factories, sugar factories, cement works etc.
The huts are still a little overcrowded, but this will improve when the N.C.O.s in the camp are transferred to an N.C.O. camp. Heating is satisfactory but the electric light is still poor. There are now enough tables and benches. Broken barrack roofs which need repair are to be attended to in the finer weather.
Windows are to be opened at night to improve ventilation. Private cooking facilities have been improved. The clothing situation has greatly improved, and all the men have two German blankets. Medical attention is in charge of a British medical officer. There are French dentists and a French eye specialist is in the camp. Recreational facilities are well organised, there being theatricals, concerts and cinema performances. Incoming mail is rather slow, some letters have recently arrived for prisoners from Italy.
The camp leaders of the following camps were interviewed: -
Work Camps 4026, 4019 and 4023 had no complaints.
At Work Camp 4025 bathing facilities were reported to be inadequate, and at
WorkCamp 4028 the camp was over-crowded. (Visited February.)

Cosel has always been an excellent hospital. At the time of the visit there were 91 British patients, four British doctors and 16 British medical orderlies. Since the last visit a new isolation block has been built for infectious cases, and good electric light has been installed in the operating theatre. (Visited February.)

At the time of the visit there were about 10,000 British prisoners at the base camp and 9,000 in the 235 working parties attached to the camp.
Accommodation is still overcrowded, but many prisoners are to be transferred. Among them are Greeks, Canadians, Americans and Air Force prisoners, and the aim of the authorities is to have not more than 6,000 at the main camp. In many rooms already the lower bunks are no longer in use, though the Air Force quarters are still badly crowded. Every prisoner has now been provided with two blankets.
The water supply and the washing and bathing facilities are still quite inadequate for a camp of this size. This should improve when the camp strength is reduced. A new installation to improve the water supply to the camp has been promised. A new laundry barrack is already in the process of construction.
The prisoners are now allowed to cook their own Red Cross food and permission has been given to enlarge the brick stoves.
There are 19 medical officers in charge of the infirmary and four dental officers. An additional barrack has been made available. At the hospital there are 14 British medical officers. This hospital caters for prisoners of war from many other camps besides Stalag 344 and is in consequence very overcrowded. The clothing situation is bad. (Visited February.)

Contains wooden barracks. Stalag Luft III is divided into two sections – the east and west sections. In each section there two compounds – the east section containing the east and centre compounds, and the west section containing the north and south compounds. About 5 km. outside the camp is the new compound known as Belaria. The whole camp is built in a forest near the town.
Each compound has its own camp leader and its own separate life. The east and north compounds contain only British prisoners of war, the centre and south compounds containing American prisoners. The west compound was to be ready by the beginning of April.
At the time of the visit there were 941 British prisoners and 2,077 Americans, also 533 British at the new camp Belaria.
In the east, centre and south compounds there were complaints that the roofs of the huts are leaking. Electric light is insufficient and there is a lack of cleaning material (brooms, etc.). Improvements have been started in the centre compound. Bathing and washing facilities are unsatisfactory in the south compound, and material has at last arrived for the repairs to the drains in the north compound. Improvements are being made to the toilet facilities generally. Food is poor and there is a lack of cooking utensils.
There are five British medical officers, two dentists, and two American medical officers in the camp. Serious cases are sent to the hospital at Stalag VIIIC, where treatment is said to be satisfactory. The general state of health is said
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JULY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 5

to be good. Recreational facilities are excellent.
Five British chaplains are in charge of religious activities. Mail is slow. Generally speaking, this is still a good camp.
Belaria is a small camp, consisting of wooden barracks. It is situated on a hill overlooking the town, and was once a training camp for German troops. The camp is not overcrowded, but there is a shortage of common rooms. The prisoners sleep in two-tier bunks and have two blankets each. Heating by coal stoves is just sufficient, and lighting is poor. Some improvement is to be made in the ventilation when shutters are closed at night.
Washing facilities are satisfactory, but at present there are no showers available. Cooking facilities are satisfactory. A British medical officer is in charge of a small infirmary. Recreational and educational facilities are being organised. (Visited February.)

Stalag Luft III.
The whole camp is built in a forest near the town.

There are 3,752 British prisoners of war in the 58 work detachments attached to Stalag IVF. Most of these prisoners of war came from Italy.

Work Detachment C,58, Crossen, near Zwickau. – The camp is situated in one of the suburbs of Zwickau near the paper factory where the prisoners work 12 hours a day.
There are two large barracks forming a wide angle and encircled by barbed wire. A new cookhouse and latrines are under construction. They will be connected to the barracks by a covered gangway. The barracks are divided into five large sleeping rooms which contain double-tiered beds, palliasses and two blankets, and five mess rooms furnished with benches and tables, and one locker for each man.
All rooms have central heating and electric light. Food is at present drawn from the works canteen, but as soon as the cookhouse is finished the prisoners will do their own cooking. All the prisoners here are British, 205 of them are from the British Isles, 30 are Cypriots, and six are South Africans.
Sick parade is taken by a French doctor from the town. Clothing is fairly good as a number of men have received work-clothes from the firm. Church services are conducted by one of the prisoners.
There is a small library, some musical instruments and some indoor games in the camp. Football is also played. (Visited February.)
Work Detachment C.101, Crossen. – 230 British prisoners of war are accommodated in two barracks within the paper factory's compound. There are eleven sleeping and living rooms furnished with double-tiered beds with palliasses and two blankets and sufficient tables and benches. Heating and electric light are adequate.
Cooking is done at the factory's kitchen. A daily sick parade is taken by the works doctor. The general state of health is good. Clothing is fairly good, each man has at least one full British uniform. Footwear is also quite good. The prisoners do their own washing. Hot water and showers are available at the works. Canteen supplies are very limited. No religious arrangements have been made so far. There are some books and musical instruments in the camp, and football is played. (Visited February.)
Work Detachment 60, Schoenbach. – This camp is a dance-hall of the village inn. One room serves as a sleeping, dining and recreation room. It houses 48 British prisoners of war.
The beds are double-tiered. Tables, chairs, lighting and heating arrangements are adequate. Washing facilities are primitive. The cooking is done by prisoner of war cooks and is poor.
There is a medical orderly in the camp but only a small medical supply. Sick parade is taken by a French medical officer. No canteen, no religious services or recreational facilities have been arranged. The men work nine hours daily on the railway. (Visited February.)
Work Detachment Z.15, Zwickau. – There are 60 British prisoners of war (17 of them are Cypriots) accommodated in a house adjoining the sports stadium. This house has two dormitories, one mess room and a combined wash-room and cookhouse. The latrines are in a corner of the camp's yard. The wash-room has sixteen taps with running cold water. Hot baths are taken once a week in the town.
Cooking is done at a central kitchen in the town. There are no recreational or religious arrangements; there are a few private books. The men work 8 1/2 hours a day doing odd jobs in the sports stadium. (Visited February.)
Work Detachment W.27, Schiller-schloesschen Werdau. – The prisoners of war are lodged in an annexe to a public house. There is one large dining room, two sleeping rooms, a washroom and a parcel and clothing store room. All 60 prisoners of war are British. One of them is in hospital and two in the revier. The beds are double-tiered with sacking mattresses and two blankets. The washroom has four basins and two foot baths. Weekly showers are taken at the local public baths.
Food is provided by a nearby restaurant. It is the regulation ration for heavy workers, which seems inadequate. Medical attention is very poor. A man who reports sick is excused from work if the camp commander agrees. If he is sick for three days he is seen by a French medical officer. The medical supply consists of one small first-aid box.
Beer and lemonade are available at the canteen. No recreational or religious facilities are provided. The men work at loading or unloading waggons from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the railway. (Visited February.)
Work Detachment Z.118, Zwickau, Buergerschacht I. – This work camp holds 194 British prisoners of war. They are accommodated in one large barrack divided into seven sleeping and living rooms, toilets and guards' room. The beds consist of two large shelves one above the other. Several men sleep on each shelf, with no separation between each man. There was only one blanket each, but a second one has been promised.
The men work in a coalmine where the shifts of work are of 8 1/2 hours' duration. Washing facilities are good. The cooking is done by two British cooks
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6 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

under the supervision of a German civilian in the company's cook-house. The prisoners have a separate cooking range.
Sick parade is taken three times a week by a French medical officer. The works medical orderly is available at any time. The general state of health is reported to be not very satisfactory. The clothing situation is fairly good. Working clothes were issued to the men, but replacements are non-existent. Only a few articles are available in the canteens, but beer is always available. There are some indoor games and one mandolin in the camp. Football is played and walks are organised. (Visited February.)

Work Detachment N.90, Niederwiesa. – The 201 British prisoners of war in this detachment are billeted in the ballroom of the village inn. The same room is used for sleeping, eating and recreational purposes. Triple-tier beds are placed in the centre of the room. Around these are tables, chairs and lockers. Each locker is shared by two men.
General washing facilities are good. The wash-room holds three long troughs with sufficient taps and two coppers for boiling water. Baths are available once a week at work. The men are employed on shift work at the railway. At present they work on 12-hour shifts, but a new schedule is under consideration.
Cooking is done by the prisoners. Food consists of turnips and potatoes with meat on Tuesdays and Sundays. Porridge is served once a week. The men consider the food to be insufficient and not good enough for the work required.
Sick parade takes place once a week at a clinic at Chemnitz. There is a British medical orderly in the camp. Clothing and boots are badly needed. No religious or recreational arrangements have been made. There are some indoor games and a piano. (Visited February.)
Work Detachment G.32, Grunhainichen. – The camp is situated in part of a paper factory where the 29 British prisoners of war work. The men sleep in double-tier beds in a room which serves as dormitory and mess-room. Washing and sanitary arrangements are adequate. Cooking is done by civilians in the works and is satisfactory. The clothing question is acute. Laundry is done by the men themselves. There is no canteen, religious or recreational facilities. (Visited February.)

Football team representing Scotland at Stalag VIIIC.

Oflag VI Zweiglager, Ilag Kreuzberg.
Ilag Kreuzberg is situated in a small town in Upper Silesia, Eastern Germany, about 35 kilometres from the Polish frontier. The camp, which is composed of stone buildings three storeys high, surrounded by big courts with trees and lawns, was first used for British internees transferred from Ilag Tost, towards the end of 1941. There are at present 349 internees at Kreuzberg, 37 of whom arrived from the Channel Isles on March 1, 1943.
The accommodation is generally satisfactory and has recently been improved by the extension of the camp kitchen, a new library and a new drying-room for laundry.
Food and cooking are satisfactory, but there has been a shortage of fresh vegetables during the winter. The internees, therefore, look forward to the spring when the gardening season begins again.
Health at the camp is good, most of the cases of sickness are due to old age. Some of the internees are feeling the strain of long internment. A British medical officer is in charge of the infirmary, which faces south; he is assisted by four medical orderlies and a R.A.M.C. cook. The supply of drugs from German sources is very limited, but thanks to Red Cross parcels the medical officer is able to manage quite well.
Dental attention is under the care of two dentists, but they lack the assistance of a dental mechanic and equipment for making dentures. Only extractions and fillings can be done.
The internees are allowed to use the laundry at a charge of 50 pfennig a week.
Services are held at the camp chapel for three denominations and there is a resident padre. Recreation and exercise are satisfactory. The internees are allowed to take walks outside the camp and to visit the town cinema. There is football at a sports ground and swimming at an outdoor swimming pool in the summer. Indoors there are theatrical activities and a classical orchestra. The library contains 2,000 volumes.
Conditions at the camp are satisfactory from the material point of view. Relations between the British camp leaders and the German camp commandant are stated to be correct and pleasant. (Visited February.)

This internment camp for male civilians is situated in an old castle on the side of a hill above a village in the east of Bavaria, close to the Austrian border. At the present time there are 468 British internees.
The accommodation is stated to be satisfactory and is in a central three-storeyed building, with three smaller buildings. One is the infirmary.
Food rations are the same as for German civilians and are stated to be satisfactory. Red Cross parcels supply additional nourishment. The water supply at the camp is adequate, each internee is able to have one hot shower-bath weekly. The health of the internees is good; medical treatment is satisfactory, a doctor from the Channel Islands attends to the needs of his compatriots. Dental attention, however, is hampered by a lack of material.
Collective parcels containing clothing arrive frequently, but the position as regards footwear is very poor.
A few of the internees have volunteered for agricultural work outside the camp, others help with cleaning and maintenance inside it. Religious services are held for the different denominations. There is a good library. In the winter theatrical and orchestral performances are arranged among the internees. In the summer, thanks to a large garden and a sports ground, the internees are able to live in the open air. Walks out are also allowed.
Mail takes twenty days to reach the camp from England and seven days from the Channel Islands. Visits to the internees of one half-hour's duration a month are allowed. Treatment is good and there are satisfactory relations between the camp leaders and the German authorities. (Visited April, 1944.)

Although the air mail service to prisoners of war in Germany have been temporarily suspended, the Post Office point out that letters can still be sent post free by ordinary post. These letters will inevitably take longer in transit than those formerly sent by air mail.
In order, therefore, to relieve anxiety on the part of prisoners due to the gap in arrival of letters at the camps in those cases where letters were formerly sent by air mail, steps have been taken by the Government to have the camp leaders informed of the position through the Protecting Power.
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JULY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 7

Lumberjacks at Stalag XVIIIA.

The Letters They Write Home

Getting Acquainted
Oflag VIIB, 11.4.44.
ONE of the interesting things about this life has been the unusual chance of really getting to know our Australian and New Zealand cousins. At first we were all hail-fellow well-met, but soon our real differences made themselves felt, and we generally went through a time of distrust and misunderstandings. Now we truly know each other, and I know, for my part, I have grown extremely fond of them and see their point of view quite clearly. Their hearts are, oh! so very much in the right place.

Life's Too Short...
Stalag XXB (328). 11.3.44.
THERE are times when we feel we shall miss the lads when we eventually break up – lads with whom we soldiered, travelled and worked with side by side. We have known rough times – we have known exciting and gay times – but I can never see an ex-prisoner being down in the dumps, even if he loses his whole capital in England.
Life is a great pleasure, and if the rest of the nations feel like me after this “attack” of world argument they'll have peace for ever.

Visit to Printing Works
Stalag 383. 2.4.44.
FOR the first time since 1942 I have been away from the camp. I took a printer with me into Regensburg to make up the second number of the camp magazine. It was a stimulating experience to move about in a big city again.
We were taken down by the welfare officer and a guard. On the train we were the object of some curiosity, but in the city our appearance passed unnoticed. The people of the printing works were most kind, friendly and helpful. It was like old days to move about the composing room during the make-up, and trying to make myself understood in German.
At mid-day one of the girls made us a pot of boiling water and there was quite a commotion when I threw in a couple of handfuls of tea.
We were lodged in the city gaol overnight. First of all they would not take us in, then they wanted to search us, and finally they locked us up in a cell with a couple of palliasses and no light.
The place was like Sing-Sing with grilles at the end of each corridor. Next night it was explained that we weren't criminals and they turned on sheeted beds, washing and drinking water, an extra table and a light. We were then like guests of the State.

Spring Flowers
Oflag VIIB. 11.4.44.
AM writing this on the wall by the stove with a wary eye on the stews. After a long gap have been to cinema and on a walk last week.
We walked up the valley (three miles) to some old Roman fort and spent an hour by the riverside. Lovely blue wood anemones everywhere, and I saw a primrose trying to bud. Now, of course, it is light until nine, so games, etc. go on until late.

Easter Day Communion
Oflag VIIB. 11.4.44.
I WENT to Communion on Easter Day at 8.30 a.m. and to Matins, the latter taken by my old Brigade Padre, who came here a month or two ago.
We all went to see the German film “Operette” last week, a Viennese musical show, and on the 5th I had a very exhilarating parole walk in showery weather.
The grass is perceptibly greener and I have found four wild flowers so far, one of them a rare anemone.

Studying Languages
Stalag Luft 3. 1.3.44.
I HAVE started a course on building construction under a Government training scheme and I am carrying on my study of French, German and Spanish.
We have quite a first-class library, for which we are grateful to our many friends in England who, through the Red Cross, have made this possible.

Getting Back to Normal
Stalag IVB. 4.4.44.
WE are getting back to normal in the camp again now after a long quarantine period. Football is on again and the theatre opens once more. It has been very dull for a long while. The weather has also improved and spring is somewhere about, although one cannot trust the weather here as we have had sun, rain and snow all in one day.
I have not been to school here as I find it is difficult to concentrate these days and there is always something to be done, such as eating, washing up, dashing for the tap before the water is turned off, washing clothes, which I hate doing, and roll calls, etc.

Snakes and Ladders
Stalag XVIIIA. 12.3.44
AM making a new road up the mountains near our new camp. My own work at the moment is drilling the rock

Caricature of a Flight Lieutenant by an artist fellow prisoner.
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8 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

These Pages Will Give You a Picture of Life in Camp

Tableau from a play produced by Stalag IVA.
Dancing at Stalag IIID.

for blasting. All done by hand...The weather here is getting warmer now, and although the snow is still thick, once the sun is out it is quite warm.
There was great excitement and plenty of fun here last week when we held a Snakes and Ladders contest; yes it was funny – nearly came to blows!

New Games Field
Oflag VA. 9.4.44.
OUR hosts have provided us with a games field up in a wood about two miles away, and we are allowed up there about once a week on parole – I have been twice, and how nice it is to get out of the camp for a bit.

Hot Baths Each Week
Stalag XVIIA. 10.4.44.
I AM on a working party which is about a hundred strong. We do 48 hours a week on quite a nice job, which keeps me very fit and well. It helps to pass the time away. We have Saturday afternoon and Sunday off, when we play games, cards and have a concert most week-ends. We have quite nice billets and hot baths each week.

Plenty to Do
Stalag XIA. 16.4.44.
I HAVE a job now on the vans and I find it very nice. This camp is in the heart of the mountains and it is very beautiful. All around here the crops have started to come up and the weather is very warm. If we all come home this year I hope to be fit as we have plenty of work and sports. We have just had a talk on the London shows.

Many Old Friends
Stalag 357. 8.4.44.
AFTER being a P.o.W. 1 3/4 years I have at last taken up residence in a camp that is clean, comfortable, not over-crowded, a decent bed and sanitary w.c. We live in large wood bungalows with fireplaces and fuel. The first I have seen.
The lads here are all N.C.O.s – corporals upwards. Have met many old friends. There is a library and soon we shall have a concert hall capable of seating 600 blokes. Cinema, band and variety entertainment free. Tons of open space for games.

Varied Sport
Stalag XVIIIA. 9.4.44.
We had a rugger match this week, a trial for today's match England v. A.N.Z.A.C.S. I got into the English eight, and we had a very good match, although we were licked 12 points to nil. Only one fellow was carried off the field on a stretcher – somebody always gets hurt in this game. This morning a party of us climbed to the top of the mountain overlooking the town, a marvellous sight, nearly 1,700ft. above sea-level. Yesterday I played in a soccer match, and in the evening we saw a really first-class concert, given by the camp's concert party.

White Bread
Stalag Luft 3, Lager A. 17.5.44.
YESTERDAY was quite a hey-day. I had given to me two slices of white bread – the first white bread I have tasted for three and a half years – and it was a real luxury.

Nice Road, But –
Stalag IVG 377. 18.3.44.
YOU'RE anxious to know something about my work. Well, at present I'm making a road – a very nice road – or it would be if people didn't keep coming along and digging holes in the middle of it and altogether spoiling the effect. [italics] (Our bombers? - ED.) [/italics] I would tell you more about it, only I don't know the English for the materials we use. The man I work for has been making roads for 60 years and he doesn't look any the “worse for wear,” so it can't be doing me any harm.

Mixed Employment
Stalag IVA. 27.3.44.
WE are billeted in a school gymnasium. It is a good billet, with a football pitch outside which we are allowed to use on the Sundays we are not working.
The nearest big town is Dresden, and the local people are Saxons.
The day starts off like a labour exchange; all the different employers come and collect us. These are some of the firms: good old Siemens, glass and jam factory, a soap firm, flour mill, scrap iron, the local council paper factory, and

Working in the fields at Stalag XXA.
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JULY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 9

several more. We are out all day under the care of civvies.

P.O.W. Since 1940
Stalag IVA. 10.5.44.
IT is now possible to send home money earned in this country, but I only get 23s. 6d. per month and I am sure you don't want me to send home anything that I earn whilst working for the “boys.” I shall save it and send it to the Red Cross when I have sufficient; that is what we (the staff) have decided to do. You must remember that I’m working to try and brighten up the lives of nearly 4,000 men, and we could never use money like that.

His Shepherd's Pie
Stalag VIIA. 3.4.44.
THE main topic of conversation is food. You continuously see people with a box full of half-opened tins in front of a table stirring some powdered milk and making wondrous concoctions. I made quite a good Shepherd's pie the other day. I am quite fit and in the best of spirits. I play plenty of bridge and do lots of reading.

His Frying Pan
Stalag IVD. 16.4.44.
I WAS tickled pink with frying pan and have already used it for pancakes and egg flakes; it is in great demand by all the lads here, and 90 per cent of them have written home for one like it.

Weight Lifting Class
Stalag IVB. 4.4.44.
I HAVE a weight-lifting class of 40 chaps, and if facilities allowed I would have hundreds. I am still lifting well and 240lb. “clean and jerk” is in sight; so good luck; thinks [sic] are looking brighter.
Don't send too many fags as they might get lost when the big show starts.

Prisoners at Stalag 383 are proud of their flower garden.

A party is held at Stalag XVIIIA.
Day old internee at Store Grundet, Denmark.

Stalag IVD. 2.4.44.
I DID five portraits from life in about half an hour the other night; am constantly asked to do more, but cannot owing to lack of material. Am also writing a drama and making the scenery in our Easter play.
Still swotting up on Italian. Three French in the camp who speak Italian are a great help. Also, still experimenting in psychology. Can now get a fellow to take out of a pack of cards any card I wish to name, although he does not know which card is which.

Prisoners' Guide
Stalag IIID. 517/S. 9.5.44.
AMONGST my other interesting jobs, I now have that of guide for our men on their sightseeing excursions. This is marvellous work and very necessary, for our guards do not, of course, speak English, and our German is not very good, so that someone who can explain things is needed.
We go out to these places in parties of fifteen, including myself or another staff man as guide, and with our guards are shown round some of Germany's most historic buildings.
I never dreamed when I was taken prisoner that eventually I should have a fairly easy time here and be looking after the welfare of some of my own comrades.

On the Top Tier
Stalag IVB. 4.4.44.
THERE are about thirteen or fourteen thousand of all nationalities, the majority of which are British and South African. We sleep in barracks, about 200 in a room. Each barrack is long and narrow, about half the floor space being taken up by three-tier wooden bunks. The other half accommodates tables and forms. There are two stoves to a barrack.
I sleep on the top tier, which, believe me, is the best position – it doesn't pay to sleep-walk all the same!
Outside the hut is a compound, slightly larger than a football pitch. There are four other compounds in the camp and we are allowed to walk in any of these.

Job in the Post Office
Stalag 344. 16.4.44.
I HAVE a good job here in the Post Office, the parcels department – a wonderful system worked by P.o.W.s, with the Germans in full charge, of course. The camp is by far the best I've been in yet; plenty of sport, concerts, bands and other things.
Just now we are all busy on our gardens, which the Germans allow us to have. Most men get a little ground and we get sent seed by the Red Cross such
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10 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

as carrots, parsnips, lettuce, radish and several others. I have a piece with another man. We set most of it today.

Inside a hut in Stalag XVIIIA.

His New Camp
Stalag IVG377. 5.3.44.
I WORK on the same job as before; our accommodation is quite comfortable and homely – more like an army billet than a prison camp. We have plenty of indoor games; we've just completed a new ping-pong table; we have a piano which nobody seems to be able to play, and a gramophone which everybody plays. The records aren't quite so up to date as those we had at IIID, but they are nevertheless extremely welcome. We may get some more shortly.

Proud British
Stalag IVF. 9.4.44.
THIS morning we paraded and after a nice march through town were taken to a cinema, where we saw a German picture, “All For Love.” with English translation.
As we carried ourselves as the proud British we are, most of us having been issued with new battle dress, etc., the Deutsch officials seemed highly pleased with the turn-out.

Crooning Dies a Natural Death
Stalag IVB. 9.4.44.
HAVE received your letter of March 17th and also the enlargement of snap of you, which is wonderful. I am hoping to see you shortly dear and we shall not have to write any more letters to each other. Gee, what a day that will be!
We have a good orchestra here now. Shall go to a show this week. Crooning seems to have died a natural death.

Sport Best for “Blues”
Stalag IVB. 16.4.44.
PLEASE send plenty of socks as my darning is still lamentable. I play a lot of rugger; the big games are watched by three or four thousand. I'm getting my arm in for cricket, too, but there isn't much kit at the moment.
Our turn for camp fatigues comes round once every three weeks, and then you have to do a little work in the morning or afternoon. Other than that, life is what you make it. Sport is greatly encouraged and is the best antidote for the “blues.”

Women in White
Oflag VIIIF. 17.4.44.
I AM writing this on the grass in the shade of a group of fir trees, just below the swimming pool. It is 4 p.m. and there is a lusty bird chorus going on in the trees. The birds are very tame here and are always singing.
Now it is warm again I bring my law books out here in the fresh air. I have not been in the pool yet, but probably shall soon...we just go straight in.
A lot of soccer and rugger is being played this week as it is holiday week. Saturday afternoon was very amusing.
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.
The town sports ground adjoins our camp boundary, and two teams of girls in very smart white shorts arrived to play a match. It was a real “prisoners' treat” to see so many girls at once!

From a Polish Airman
Stalag 344. 16.4.44.
THE camp looks like an ant hill. People are moving about enjoying the sunshine. Sun and warmth move people to activity; some are digging ground over, others are busy in theatre, school and orchestra; the majority are in teams of football, basket-ball, cricket and rugby, playing from morning till evening, with thousands of onlookers staying behind the fields.
Courses of P.T., boxing and wrestling are also opened. Adding to all this we are glad to hear English records, music through Tannoy's Auditions. [sic]
We have lots of libraries; thirteen swop-shops where we can buy and sell all sorts of things for “fags”; gambling school where we can win or lose (money or fags) is very popular in the camp.
Jerries [sic] found two underground tunnels leading outside the camp. Bad show!
Lack of cigarettes, limited water and irregular mail are the worst troubles at the moment.

New Playing Field
Oflag VA. 10.4.44.
THE big news of this letter is that at last we have fixed up for a playing field. We have all been up once so far and expect to get up once a week. We are out on parole, and it is simply grand to get out in the fresh air and different surroundings.
The field is about a mile and a half or so away and surrounded by fir woods. We can go out and play various games, or walk or just sit around and read. Each trip lasts about three hours and is much looked forward to.

They Call Him “Pop”
Stalag 344 (E.260). 14.4.44.
THERE are only thirty of us on this working party and a fairly decent crowd of chaps, several London ones amongst them, but I am the daddy, for I am 41 years. They call me Pop – laugh that off – as long as they don't call me too late for dinner!

A Glass of Beer
Stalag IVA987. 16.4.44.
IT'S a grand Sunday morning and I'm sitting out in the sun with just a singlet and slacks. I've a glass of beer here; it is about the time dad goes to the local for his usual.

Seeds for the Garden
Ilag Kreuzberg. 4.4.44.
THANK you very much for the supply of seeds which we have now received by the kindness of the Royal Horticultural Society. This year we have been able to rent an additional garden, so that all being well, we are hopeful that the camp will enjoy a regular supply from the early summer on. We plan ahead – but hope for the best. Our forcing frame is already in full swing, made by an expert from the Channel Islands, an excellent job, so all is ready for the garden as soon as the weather breaks.
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JULY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 11

Groups from the Camps
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12 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

The following successes are reported by the Educational Books Section of the Red Cross
Grade I :- C.P.O. F.W. Rogers, 2nd Cl.
Grade I :- P.O. L. Cryer, 2nd Cl.; Ldg. Tel. J.H. Laurie, 2nd Cl.; C.P.O. F.W. Rogers, 1st Cl.; Ldg. Tel. H.C. Woolley, 1st Cl.; Ldg. Tel. J.C.W. Wright, 2nd Cl.
Transmission and Lines
Grade I :- L.T.O. J.N. Forrest, 1st Cl.
Inter. Sec. B, :- P.O. H. Shedker, 1st Cl.; Cpl. F.R. Roberts, 2nd Cl.
Grade II :- L.T.O. J.N. Forrest, 1st Cl.
Technical Electricity
Grade I :- Ldg. Smn. F. Andrews, 2nd Cl.; Ldg. Tel. R.G. Avis, 1st Cl.; P.O. L. Charman, 2nd Cl.; P.O. Tel. L. Cryer, 1st Cl.; Ldg. Tel. J.H. Laurie, 1st Cl.; L.T.O. A.B.C.E. Merrall, 2nd Cl.; C.P.O. F.W. Rogers, 1st Cl.; P.O. A.C. Webster, 2nd Cl.;
Grade II :- Ldg. Tel. G. Avis, 1st Cl.; P.O. Tel. L. Cryer, 2nd Cl.; Ldg. Tel. J.H. Laurie, 1st Cl.; L.T.O. C.E. Merrall, 2nd Cl.; C.P.O. F.W. Rogers, 2nd Cl.; L/Tel. H.C. Woolley, 1st Cl.
Inter. (Written only. Practical to be taken after the war) :- L.A. Thompson, 1st Cl.; Sgt. F.M. Wilkes, 1st Cl.; F/Sgt. E.L. Graham Hall, 1st Cl
Illuminating Engineering
Inter. :- Sgt. S.H. Bevan, 2nd Cl.
Final: Lt. M.V.B. Riviere, 1st Cl.
Builders' Quantities
Final Sect, A. :- Lt. E.D. West, 2nd Cl.
Technical and Chemistry of Oils, etc.
Inter. :- Lt. R.M. Longstaff, 1st Cl.
Final :- Lt. R.M. Longstaff, 2nd Cl.
Painters and decorators
Final (Written and Drawing only. Practical to be taken after the war and specimen submitted) :- Pte. H. Terry, 1st Cl.

Stage I :- D.P. Brien, with credit; D.S. Chalmers, with credit; A.T. Clifton; F.P. Freshney, with credit; E.B. Jamieson, with credit; M. Prebble, with credit; B.H. Raine, with credit; F. Riddle; G.E. Sargent; D.H. Saunders, with credit; J.P.Tiplin.
Stage II :- D.S. Chalmers, 1st Cl.; D.H. Saunders, 1st Cl.; T.D.Lindsay, 1st Cl.
R.P. Fenwick, German III, 1st Cl.
R.W. Leah, French II, 1st Cl, III, 2nd Cl., German II, 1st Cl., III, 2nd Cl.
Major R.A. Milne, German II, 1st Cl., German III, 1st Cl.; French II, 1st Cl. French III, 2nd Cl.
G.D. Stephenson, French II, 1st Cl., French III, 2nd Cl.
O.S. Stevinson, French II, 1st Cl., French III, 2nd Cl.
D. Walker, German III, 1st Cl.
Captain J. L. Pumphrey, Russian II, 1st Cl., Russian III, 1st Cl.
D.A. Bartlett, German II, 1st Cl.
P. Pardoe, German II, 2nd Cl.
Lieut. Cdr. J. Casson R.N., Russian I, with credit, German II, 1st Cl.
F/Lt. G.W. Walenn, German I.
Lieut. J.E. Dunn, U.S.N., French II, 1st Cl.
F/Lt. J.F. McPhie, French II, 2nd Cl.
F/Lt. H.T. Morgan, French II, 1st Cl., French III, 1st Cl., German II, 1st Cl., German III, 1st Cl.
Lieut, T.G. Bentley, R.N., German II, 1sr Cl., German III, 2nd Cl.
F/O. R. de Wever, German II, 1st Cl., German III, 2nd Cl.
Lieut. N.M. Hearle, German II, 2nd Cl., German III, 2nd Cl.
Lieut. C.V. Howard, German III, 2nd Cl.
F/O. E. Habicki, Russian II, 1st Cl.
F/Lt. B.A. James, German II, 2nd Cl., Russian II, 2nd Cl.
F/Lt. P.G. Leeson, German II, 2nd Cl., German III, 2nd Cl.
F/Lt. R. Marcinkus, German III, 1st Cl.
Lieut. A.D. Neely, R.N., German II, 1st Cl., German III, 2nd Cl.
F/Lt. D.E. Pinchbeck, German II, 2nd Cl.
F.O. R.N. Rayne, German II, 1st Cl., German III, 2nd Cl.
F/Lt. T.E. Syms, German II, 1st Cl.
F/Lt. J.B. Boardman, Russian II, 1st Cl.

Part I
L/Sgt. W.A. Bray, L/Sgt. G.A.T. Brett, W/Sgt. J.E. Hacking, S/Sgt. E. Goodwin, Bdr. L. Grey, Cpl. W. Hixon, Cpl. R.G. Jack, Bdr. F.M. Khull, L/Sgt. A.J. King, S/Sgt. B.T. Marks, Cpl. S.D. McPherson, Sgt. E.A. Moore, L/Sgt. D.O. Reeves, Sgt. H. Rickard, Cpl. J.W. Storer, Cpl. L.J. Upton, Cpl. E.A. Wilkins, Sgt. A.E. White, Cpl. R. Wright.

Norman C. Bizley; Ronald Buckingham; Kenneth S. Carter, with distinction in Office Practice; Norman S. Fisher, with distinction in Local Government, Public Administration and Office Practice; John L. Flanagan; Reginald A.C. Hooper; Michael Kelly, with distinction in Office Practice; Ernest W. Penn, with distinction in Statistics, Local Government and Office Practice.

Theory Stage II
Shorthand :- L/Sgt. R.D. Chugg; S.S.M. C. Davis; Sgt. L. Cooper; L/Cpl. J. Fitzpatrick; Bdr. J. Dowlman; Sgt. T. Malone; L/Sgt. P. Wickham; Sgt. J. Keele; Cpl. G. McLoed; Cpl. A. Russell; Sgt. W. Barlow; Sgt. A. Diprose; Cpl. T. Guttridge; Cpl. B. McKeown; Cpl. H. Rangipanawbe; Cpl. R. Oppenheim; Sgt. R. Parish; Cpl. J. Molloy.
Speed Test
Shorthand :- Cpl. R. Rangipanawbe; Sgt. R. Parish; Cpl. G. McLeod; Cpl. B. McKeown; S.S.M. C. Davis; Sgt. W. Barlow; Sgt. T. Malone; L/Sgt. R.D. Chugg.
Shorthand Teachers' Diploma
Robert J.H. Carew; To take one paper again:- Charles T. Gollett; George W. Haylock; J. Rawcliffe.

Russian Certificate
Captain N.K. Denham; Captain A.L. Gordon; Captain N.C. Janson; Lieut. J.D. Mulholland; Captain J.L. Pumphrey.
(Oral examination to be taken on return home.)

Teachers Preliminary
3rd Class:- F/O. P.M. Sheppard.

Spring Series
Stage I :- L. Charman; F.A. Kite; S.R. Taylor, with credit.
Stage II :- P.W.H. Boulnois, 2nd Cl.; W. Clark-Hall, 1st Cl.; J.S. Grant, 2nd Cl.; J.D. Sutton, 1st Cl.
Stage I :- T.C. Crowhurst, with credit; J.E. Evans, with credit; R. Lewins; D.A.J. Percy, with credit; R.N. Spir; K.R. Alger, with credit; Sub. Lt. R.E. Collinson, with credit; A. Howarth; D.P. James; W.H. Locke, with credit.
Stage II :- T.C. Crowhurst 2nd Cl.; J.E. Evans, 1st Cl.; R. Lewins, 2nd Cl.; D.A.J. Perry, 1st Cl.; K.R. Alger, 1st Cl.; T.B.J.D. Butler, 1st Cl.; Sub. Lt. R.E. Collinson, 1st Cl.; I.S. Griths, 1st Cl.; A.R.L. Henderson, 2nd Cl.; D.P. James, 2nd Cl.; Lt. R.T.V. Kyrke, 1st Cl.; W.H. Locke, 2nd Cl.; B. Mansfield, 1st Cl.; R.V. Morman, 1st Cl.; W.H. Petati, 1st Cl.; J.S.N. Pryor, 2nd Cl.; J.L. Wells, 1st Cl.
Stage 1 :- Lt. E.A. Bert, with credit; P.J.C. Dark, with credit.
Stage II :- P.W.H. Boulnois, 2nd Cl.; Lt. E.A. Bert, 2nd Cl.; R.F.A. Jackson, 1st Cl.; A.B.K. Tillie, 2nd Cl.; T.A. Turner, 2nd Cl.; J.L. Wells, 2nd Cl.; D.P. Woods, 2nd Cl.
Stage II :- Sub Lt. C.H. Cane, 1st Cl.; R.M. Harris, 1st Cl.; D.P. James, 1st Cl.

Summer Series
Stage I :- L. Ball, with credit.
Stage II :- L. Ball, 2nd Cl.
Stage II :- E. Eaton, 2nd Cl.; J. Lynam, 2nd Cl.
Stage II :- J. Lynam, 2nd Cl.

When They Come Back
A VIVID account of life in prisoner of war camps in North Africa and Italy is given in the book [italics] The Sun Stood Still, [/italics] by J.G. Mustardé (Pilot Press, 8s. 6d.).
The author, a repatriated R.A.M.C. doctor, who was captured at Tobruk, writes an interesting passage in which he speaks from his own experience of the after-effects of captivity on the mind of a prisoner.
It is sometimes found that when prisoners of war return home, especially after prolonged incarceration, they are still subject from time to time to moods of depression, and Dr. Mustardé believes that great understanding and tact are needed in handling such men. This is what he says :-
“It is misguided and utterly useless to try to cheer them up, and I know from the experience of some of my own friends that the lack of the opportunity for shutting one's self off, unexplained and unheeded, till these spells passed, is one of the chief difficulties of readjustment to normal life, especially home life. Fortunately most of their families quickly accepted the situation, but I know of others who have met with less understanding treatment.
“If relatives of repatriated men would leave them severely alone when they are moody and let them sit in a corner, or walk in the street in the rain if they wish, they would be doing infinitely more to help them . . . than by trying to reason with them or to “take their minds off it.”
Dr. Mustardé goes on to stress indirectly the inestimable value of the facilities for reading and study that are made available by the Educational Books Section to prisoners of war in Germany.
Many of the men in the prison camps in Italy, he says, had left their jobs or professions in the middle of their training, and were anxious to use their enforced leisure to complete their studies. He adds :-
“There was a definite lack of books of a technical nature . . . and no opportunity for learning or study was then available in Italy, and it was a source of continual discontent and worry.”
The most contented prisoners, in his experience, were those who had no desire to study or to read anything more serious than “Crime Club” books.

Regimental Badges
Attention is drawn to the fact that only badges of pre-war regiments, ranks, trades etc., may be sent to prisoners of war in their next-of-kin parcels; but not those of regiments etc., established since September 3rd. 1939. The berets or caps of these may, however, be sent without the badge.
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JULY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 13

“Geisha girls' at Stalag 383.

The Brighter Side
ST. DAVID was given his day with full honours at Stalag Luft VI, thanks to the efforts of the resident Welsh Society who for two and a half hours held the camp entranced by its sample performance of an Eisteddfod. All round the stage great white drapings, [sic] made from thousands of white handkerchiefs sewn together, were lit by red and green floodlights. In the centre at the back stood the sumptuously constructed Bardic chair, while stretched across overhead was the name of the Eisteddfod in large illuminated lettering, and pennants carrying bardic names fluttered at the sides.
In this impressive setting sat a choir of forty as the afternoon's events proceeded [sic] – addresses, recitations, vocal and instrumental solos, folk songs, the chairing ceremony, and the fine choral rendering of Brahms' [italics] How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings. [/italics] “Two and a half hours of the finest entertainment in the world,” writes one delighted spectator. His opinion may well have been shared by the Swedish representative of the Y.M.C.A., who at the end “gave a good speech and praised us very much.”

Another Exhibition
Men in many camps managed to give themselves “something special” at Easter this year. Life in Stalag IVB, for instance, was lightened by three football matches and a concert, and above all by an admirable exhibition of arts and handicrafts which, from prisoners' descriptions, sounds not unlike the one lately on view in London. There, too, a working model of a loom provided one of the chief centres of attraction. “I was even inspired to try making a model galleon,” writes one IVB visitor.

Easter Outing
The highlight for a party of men at Stalag IVD, on the other hand, was the visit they paid on Easter Monday to a neighbouring village. “Here coffee etc., had been laid for us in a hall attached to the local pub. One of the lads got cracking on the piano and soon we were singing and dancing. We had a most enjoyable time.”

Marlag's Mummers
Few of the services provided for prisoners of war by the Red Cross give more pleasure and satisfaction than its supplies of plays and musical scores.
“Members of the relatively small Marlag “O” section of Marlag and Milag Nord, who treated themselves to a remarkably good Easter concert of Mozart's [italics] Magic Flute [/italics] overture, Schubert's [italics] Unfinished Symphony [/italics] and some Tschaikowsky [sic] ballet music, can boast of a fine achievement in the theatrical field. In the course of the last twelve months, including a month's holiday in August, they have staged no less than eighteen full-length productions performed by over 100 actors.
Little wonder that a young R.N.V.R. lieutenant there remarks that he is rather busy. In addition to a whirl of acting jobs he writes musical sketches, produces revues, plays the flute and saxophone in the dance band and theatre orchestra, arranges scores for the church orchestra, contributes articles to the camp paper, gardens, and studies Arabic.

Parade for Princess
Celebrations in honour of Princess Elizabeth's birthday on April 21st were held by the men at Oflag IXA/H according to a brief account sent home by one of the camp members. “We had a special parade for her and gave her three cheers,” he says. That evening in the theatre they gave a special performance of extracts from the best shows of the last two years.

Magic Carpenter
Internees at Biberach are benefitting from the presence among them of someone who is evidently a magician. Not content with making frying pans, kettles and plates for them out of nothing, he has now set to work on a bit of light timber and three-ply with a hammer, a pair of pliers and a tiny home-made saw – and produced a tricycle! “I already have an order for another one,” he says, “and have also made two brooms out of pieces of string.” Just how he performs these feats he does not disclose.

Bakers' Progress
“Baking is quite an industry here,” writes a man at Stalag 383, who says that the bakers, like most of the other members of trades and professions in the camp, formed themselves into a Study and Discussion Group. With breadcrumbs, finely mashed potatoes and biscuits from Red Cross parcels ground down into meal, excellent cakes are produced, as well as pastry, very successful in the making of jam tarts. “Often the cakes are iced and decorated,” our correspondent goes on. “A mixture of dried milk, sugar and margarine is the base of the icing; chocolate, cocoa and coffee are used for the decorative effects. Baking tins are home-made, as are the icing tools.”

Advance Booking
A pathetic little story is told of an airman prisoner lately arrived at Stalag Luft III. Before taking off from England on his unlucky flight over enemy territory he had booked two seats in London for the popular play [italics] Arsenic and Old Lace. [/italics] Shot down and captured he found the unused tickets still intact in his pocket. But they weren't wasted – for at Stalag Luft's theatre they gained him admittance to the very same play, which he found there in full production. It is a pity, though, that he had to come quite so far out of his way to see it.

Acrobatic event on Sports Day at Vittel.
[page break]

14 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

Parcels Greet Repatriates

This is the story of the intricate arrangements which were necessary to make sure that our men arriving at Barcelona on their way home from Germany should find Red Cross comforts from Great Britain awaiting them.

5 p.m. – War Office to Prisoners of War Department: “Up to 1.000 men are being repatriated at Barcelona on Day 24. What can the Red Cross do about it?”
5.5 p.m. – Red Cross P.o.W. Department to Red Cross Stores: “How soon can you pack for urgent shipment 1,000 parcels for special comforts?”
5.10 p.m. – Prisoner of War Department to Government Department “A”: “Although there is a restriction on all exports, will you try to make a special exception for us?”

9.30 a.m. – Red Cross Stores to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “We can have 1.000 parcels ready in one week's time, weighing 30 to 40 cwt.
9.45 a.m. – Government Department “A” to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “The export permit is agreed.”
9.50 a.m. – Red Cross P.o.W. Department to British Overseas Airways Corporation: “Government have given us special export permit. Can you provide air transport?” British Overseas Airways Corporation reply: “Yes, if you can get priority from Government Department 'B'.”
9.55 a.m. – Red Cross P.o.W. Department ask Government Department “B” for priority.

10.30 a.m. – Government Department “B” to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “Priority is given.”
10.35 a.m. – Red Cross P.o.W. Department to British Overseas Airways Corporation: “We have priority. What is earliest date on which you can provide air space?” British Overseas Airways Corporation reply to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “Space will be available probably on three days as from Day Six.”
10.45 a.m. – Red Cross P.o.W. Department to Red Cross Stores: “Hasten packing. Airways Corporation will accept delivery as from Day Six.” Red Cross Stores reply. “Parcels will be in the hands of Airways Corporation on the morning of Day Six.”

Red Cross P.o.W. Department cable to Lisbon representatives: You will receive 38 packages, weighing 33 cwt. Arrange earliest clearance and forward by passenger train to Barcelona. Must arrive before Day 24.”

DAY 10
Lisbon representative to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “Twelve packages arrived and entire consignment will be forwarded as soon as remaining packages received.”

DAY 14
Lisbon representative to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “All 38 packages have arrived.”

DAY 16
Lisbon representative to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “38 packages left by passenger train
for Portuguese-Spanish Frontier.”

DAY 22
Barcelona to Red Cross P.o.W. Department: “38 packages arrived.”

DAY 24
“Gripsholm” arrived at Barcelona and the entire consignment was put on board. It consisted of the following:-
1,000 Treasure Bags; 250,000 Cigarettes; 40lb. Tobacco; 250 Pipes; 500lb. Chocolate; 250 Packs of Cards; 2,000 Handkerchiefs; Assorted Games; Magazines and Newspapers; Stationery, with stamped envelopes and pencils; Razor Blades; Milk Drinks.

THE SAILOR'S RETURN – An Able Seaman is greeted by his mother after three years in captivity.

How They Help
[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 here to record individually. [/italic]
RAG DOLLS and attractive toy animals are the speciality of Mrs. Colombe, of Whitchurch, Hants – and a great success she has made of them. In addition to filling a gift shop with them last Christmas and raising, with the help of her friends, £128 in aid of the Fund, she has since set to work and made more of them to the tune of a further £67 up to date.
Meanwhile Mrs. Dalby, of Kettering, Northants. has been concentrating on little dog brooches. Several of the hundred she has made so far, she says, enclosing the £5 proceeds, “have been over Berlin and back on the lapels of American air crews.”
For every goal that was scored locally during the football season Mrs. Payne, of Maidstone, exacted a penny tribute from her shop customers. Whether it was the goals or the customers that were so plentiful Mrs. Payne does not say, but at any rate she has been able to send to us the total of £9 5s.
From a jumble sale organised by two small boys of Eastbrook, Dinas Powis, near Cardiff, £2 has been achieved for the Funds. With the same ambition, twelve-year-old Joyce Calvert, of Preston, Lancashire, has managed to dispose of a pair of vases for £1 5s. (her second donation), while young
William and Tony Hutchinson, of Arrowthwaite, Whitehaven, have piled up £1 10s. in ship halfpennies.
Remarkable among recent communal efforts was the Horse Show held at Bransgore, Christchurch, by members of the Bransgore and Thorney Hill Dance Committee. Under the enterprising chairmanship of Mr. A. Auld, it has brought in a total of £502 in aid of our prisoners. The Halifax “Thespians,” too, gave special performances in the prisoners. [repeated in error] The Halifax “Thespians,” too, gave special performances in the [/repeated in error] Grand Theatre, Halifax, of two plays – [italics] Quiet Wedding [/italics] and [italics] Night Must Fall [/italics] – which 5,700 people came to see, thereby raising the sum of £650 which the Thespians have generously handed over to the Fund.
After a successful run of nearly three months the darts tournament held at the Four Bells Inn, St Athan, Glamorgan, has resulted in a gain of £60 – just £50 above its original target!
From Mr. Harrison of Cullercoats, Whitley Bay, and Friends of the Fishermen's Mission, comes a gift of £6 “to help carry on your great work”; from the Birmingham branch of the Prisoners of War Relatives' Association, £100; and from the Burton Prisoners of War Aid Fund a cheque for £1000, making £4,000 during the last four years.
[page break]

JULY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 15

Easy to Knit

[italic] By courtesy of Copleys [/italic]
Simple pattern of a man's pullover for everyday wear.

[knitting pattern instructions]

[inserted] TO GUIDE YOU [Details][/inserted]

[knitting pattern instructions]
(Continued overleaf)
[page break]

16 The Prisoner of War JULY, 1944

(continued from previous page)
[knitting pattern instructions]

[inserted] FREE TO NEXT OF KIN
THIS Journal is sent free of charge to those registered with the Prisoners 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]

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.

New Camp
Can you give me the location of Stalag IVF?
Stalag IVF is at Hartmannsdorf, Cheminitz. The Red Cross map reference is E.6.

The Returned P.o.W.
Could you tell me if any book has been published on the treatment of the returned prisoner?
We have not heard of the publication of such a book.

Son's Report
Can I send my son's school report to my husband, a P.o.W. at Stalag 344?
We think that there would not be any objection to your sending the report as an enclosure in a letter, but that it might be better if you were to copy it as part of the letter itself.

Husband's Ribbons
My husband has asked for a new set of ribbons; may I send these in his new parcel?
Medal ribbons may be sent in next-of-kin parcels. They are included in the list of permitted articles issued every quarter with the label and coupons.

Zip Jacket
May I send a leather jacket with a zip-front to my brother in Stalag 344?
No, this would come into the category of “wind-cheaters” which are in the list of articles that may not be sent to prisoners of war in their next-of-kin parcels.

P.O.W. Magazine
Would my son be allowed to send home the camp magazine which he edits?
We think that he probably would be allowed to do so, but it would depend on permission being given to him by the German camp authorities.

Paints, Please
What materials can I send to my husband who has taken up drawing and painting? Can I send crayons and paints?
Water-colour paints (in pans), brushes, rubbers, pencils, drawing books, pastels and crayons can all be sent to prisoners of war in Germany and occupied countries by ordering these materials through any shop which holds the necessary export permit. No paints in tubes can be sent. If any difficulty is experienced, next of kin should write to the Indoor Recreations Section, Prisoners of War Department, Red Cross and St. John War Organisation, St. James's Palace, London, S.W.1.

Mouth Organ
Can I send my son's old mouth organ in his next of kin parcel?
If you will refer to the list of articles which may be sent to prisoners in their next of kin parcels, you will see that small musical instruments are included.

Interned in Switzerland
Is there any possibility of my son being released from Switzerland?
We understand that if your son is interned in Switzerland, it will not be possible for him to be released until the cessation of hostilities with Germany; but if he escaped into Switzerland after the surrender of Italy, he will be entitled to release as soon as we establish a common frontier with Switzerland.


Photo and Frame
It is regretted that an error occurred in the reply to the question under this heading, which appeared in the Prisoner of War for June. Frames with unbreakable glass and talc may be sent in next of kin parcels, but photographs, which must be unmounted, may only be sent by letter post.
[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]

Please add the following to your Camp List :-
OFLAG IVB; Koenigstein, Square F6.
OFLAG VIIIF; Waggum, nr. Brunswick, Square C4.

County Representatives
Please note the following changes:
LONDON. - Mrs. Lloyd Roberts, City and County of London Joint Committee, 43, Belgrave Square, S.W.1. DERBYSHIRE. – Mrs. Swift has resigned and in future all correspondence should be addressed to The Secretary, Derbyshire Committee B.R.C.S. and St. John, County Clearing House, Bakewell, Derbyshire. WESTMORLAND. – Miss E.M.C. Somervell, County Office, Netherfield, Kendal.

Printed in Great Britain for the Publishers, THE RED CROSS AND ST. JOHN WAR ORGANISATION, 14, Grosvenor Crescent, London, S.W., by THE CORNWALL PRESS LTD., Paris Garden, Stamford Street, London S.E.1.



Great Britain. Red Cross and St John war organisation, “The prisoner of war, Vol 3, No. 27, July 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 8, 2022,

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