The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 25, May 1944

MWhiteheadT1502391-180307-10.pdf

Title

The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 25, May 1944

Description

Includes: editors comments; for sailors and seamen (Marlag und Milag Nord camps); official reports from the camps; the letters they write home; groups from the camps; [two pages missing] income tax relief; how they help (fundraising at home); knitting pattern for useful gloves; refund of unused coupons; any questions? Photographs throughout.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1944-05

Contributor

Roger Dunsford

Rights

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

Format

Fourteen page printed document (two pages missing from original sixteen)

Language

Type

Identifier

MWhiteheadT1502391-180307-10

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

The Prisoner of War
[symbol] THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR DEPARTMENT OF THE RED CROSS AND ST. JOHN WAR ORGANISATION, ST. JAMES'S PALACE, LONDON, S.W.1 [symbol]

Vol 2. No. 25 Free to Next-of-Kin May, 1944

The Editor Writes –

MANY prisoners of war are being deprived of their letters week after week because well-meaning people on this side are writing too much and too often. A very urgent appeal has reached us from a British Camp Leader in a large Stalag begging us to do what we can to stop the excessive flow of letters to his camp. “Please impress upon relatives and friends of P.o.W.s,” he writes, “that one letter a week per man is quite sufficient and would certainly ensure every man getting his mail regularly.”

One Letter a Week
I believe that many men have written to their next-of-kin urging them to keep letters down to one a week, but perhaps it is difficult to make people realise the congestion and delay caused in the Censor's office on the other side if there are two or three letters for Bill Smith instead of one; for there may be thousands of Bill Smiths in the camp, and therefore thousands of extra letters to be censored and distributed without any extra staff to do the work. Naturally the men whose letters are delayed get “fed up” to see their companions getting several letters when they get none. The remedy is for each next-of-kin to organise the mail to the best of his ability. “One a week from home” is the ration, and relatives should collaborate to see that it is not exceeded.

They All Get Chocolate
I have been looking at a most interesting chart of the contents of the food parcels that are sent to the camps. Each parcel contains about 17 items out of a list of 40 different commodities. Seven different standard parcels are packed at the Packing Centres, and since last month the contents of the parcels have been replanned under expert guidance. No. 7 parcel is a special one for Indians. Of the other six all contain chocolate, tea, sugar, condensed milk, cheese, hot meat, biscuits and butter or margarine, salmon or pilchards, jam or syrup, beef loaf or chopped ham, and most of them dried eggs and rolled oats or oatmeal. One parcel contains pancake batter, another oatmeal block, and I notice that the one parcel with sausages has no bacon. The average weekly output from all the Packing Centres in Britain is now 97,000.

Cheerful Letters – and Others
Somebody has noticed that the letters we publish on our letter pages are almost always cheerful and bright and suggest that it is time we printed some of the other kind. The answer is, of course, that we do. It is only rarely that a gloomy letter is sent to me for publication, because I think that it is realised that hundreds and even thousands of people might be caused needless anxiety by a piece of information about conditions which perhaps affect only the writer and his immediate surroundings. You have only to read the “Official Reports from the Camps” to recognise that we do not make any attempt to conceal real conditions. Many letters reach the Prisoners of War Department containing complaints about one thing or another. These are always investigated, and in suitable cases referred to the Protecting Power or the International Red Cross Committee for action.

[photograph]
Prisoners of war setting off from Stalag Luft 3.

Holiday Camp
Life certainly sounds congenial at Stalag III D, judging by an unofficial account I have seen of the camp. Stalag IIID is run as a sort of holiday resort for men who have been working in mines or on other arduous tasks for the past three years.
“They come here for a six weeks' rest with good food and organised games, concerts and sports,” writes my informant, “and it's really amazing
[page break]

2 The Prisoner of War May, 1944

to see the change this rest does for most of the lads.”
The writer is himself a member of the camp staff, in charge of arranging all the indoor games, and it is not surprising to hear that he is “very contented” with his situation.

Guards Recommended
There is an interesting little story attached to the incident of the fire that broke out in Stalag XVIIIA's work camp 7001/GW one night last November and destroyed most of the buildings. On the morning after there was a “court of inquiry” to which one prisoner, a marine who had been acting as camp interpreter, was called to represent the rest of his companions. “As a request had been made by the men for me to pay respect where it was due,” he writes home, “I recommended two of the guards for bravery in the fire.”
He adds that they are all settled now in a new camp near Schladming, with personal kit replenished by the Red Cross and with the only five men injured in the fire “doing fine.”

Friend in Need
Before he fell into enemy hands a young Australian airman – strange to this country and with his own home on the other side of the world – used to spend his leave periods in company with 26 brother officers at the house of Mrs. Bryant, near Stratford-on-Avon. As a prisoner he expressed a wish to study medicine, but first there was the Educational Books Section to be approached and all his necessary particulars to be collected from his parents and college back in Australia. All these preliminaries have now been settled, and in his latest letter of thanks to Mrs Bryant he tells her that his studies, now well under way, have become “a pleasure instead of a lesson in self-discipline.”

No Time for Fiction
What he modestly calls “a fair amount of work” is being indulged in by a member of Oflag VA, who sends home a most impressive record of camp studies made possible by the initiative of the prisoners themselves.
“A barrister of seven years standing takes our class on contract and property. A partner in a firm of estate agents takes us in valuations. A South African takes four or five of us on building construction, drainage and sanitation. I have an accountant who sets me book-keeping questions, and I have attended lectures on the history of architecture, modern architecture and the general aspect of town planning.
“All this,” he goes on to say, “helps to fill in the week,” remarking that he
is finding less and less time nowadays to read novels. No wonder!

[photograph]
Inside a hut at Stalag 383.

Black Watch Artist
Private Thomas Johnson, of the Black Watch, was an art student before the war and has continued resolutely to “keep his hand in” during his four years captivity. He sent back two specimens of his work recently for his mother to look at – two delicate

[inserted] THEY ALSO SERVE...
“When I came here I felt quite humbled to see the splendid bearing of men who had been down three and four years,” writes a member of Stalag Luft VI.
“Theirs was a more finely tempered greatness than that which excites public imagination. It made me blush to think of the times I had heard 'browned off' talk at home.
“Of course they dream of home and peace; but until those days come, they also serve.” [/inserted]

miniature water-colours. Very sensibly, she has not kept them secret, and I am glad to see that they have been hung in this year's exhibition of pictures by artists of northern counties at the Laing
Gallery, Newcastle. Let us hope that Private Johnson will come home to find himself famous – at any rate in his home town of Tynemouth.

Idea for Disney
Winter sports of one kind or another, in spite of handicaps, have been enjoyed by quite a number of our P.o.W.s, to judge by the accounts they have sent home. One man in Stalag 383, to which the Red Cross sent out a hundred pairs of skates last year, approaches the subject from a new angle. “The sight of a hundred men skating on the tiny pond at Hohenfels,” he says, “would give Walt Disney inspiration.” I print his suggestion for what it's worth.

Making Things Easier
A touching tribute reaches me from a New Zealander, another inmate of Stalag 383. “Every P.o.W. fully appreciates your efforts to make their life of waiting easier,” he writes. “To all readers and workers of your organisation I acknowledge a debt of gratitude we can never repay.”
It has been encouraging, too, to hear from a lady in Feltham, Middlesex, that the journal gives her “a vivid picture, and helps us to realise the sort of life our men are now living.”

Mistaken Identity
One of the most pleasant testimonials I have seen of the skill shown by P.o.W.s in their theatrical disguises was given – inadvertently – by a new arrival at Stalag Luft III. The camp had staged its first production of “The Merchant of Venice,” and amid the applause at the end of the performance he turned to his companion to comment on the brilliant acting of the female parts, asking with understandable enthusiasm where those W.A.A.F.s had been captured!

News Flashes
Here are a few glimpses of life to-day in various camps. I choose them from a pile of letters for which, unfortunately, there is no space to quote at length.
Oflag VA: “Hot showers once a week, and private parcels arriving.”
Oflag IVB: “Visit to the local natural history museum.”
Stalag XVIIB: “Plenty of fresh air and exercise now, working in the forests.”
Stalag XVIIIA: “Different activities starting, including dancing lessons and revival of debating club.”

Merrie England
It was my good fortune to spend Easter in a Surrey village where on that glorious sunny Saturday the local Hunt held a gymkhana and show in aid of the Prisoners of War Fund. It was a beautiful and a typically English sight in which children and ponies played the major part. I could not help thinking what a joy it would have been to thousands of our country-bred lads now in prison camps, if they could have been suddenly transported to that field and seen the fearless young riders patting their ponies' necks after a good jump. Here was a little pattern of Merrie England that never changes in war or peace – of the England that is worth coming back to.
[page break]

May, 1944 The Prisoner of War 3

For Sailors and Seamen
An Outline of Marlag and Milag Nord

MARLAG UND MILAG NORD consists of two distinct camps, of which “Marlag” is the camp for naval prisoners of war, and “Milag” for merchant seamen. “Marlag” is in its turn divided into two quite separate sections, of which “Marlag O” houses the naval officers, and “Marlag M” the ratings.
The camp is situated in undulating open country, in a farming district. “Distant pine woods encircle us,” wrote a prisoner in the “Milag.” “Half the fields are cultivated and the remainder is lovely grazing pasture. Between one village and the next runs a stream, and we can follow its course from our window by the willow trees.”
Anyone visiting the camp now after an absence of some two and a half years might hardly recognise it. “When we arrived at Marlag, the whole place was a sandy waste,” reports a prisoner. “On windy days there were miniature sandstorms, nasty on the eyes, and dirty in the rooms.”
Now there are grass plots within the enclosures, formed of turf sods which the men were allowed, under armed guard, to fetch from outside the camp. They brought in loads of soil also, to make garden beds, and young fir trees were planted in groups between the huts.

Three Sections
Life in the three sections of the camp is similar, yet diverse. Each section has its own theatre, church services, orchestra, sports ground and sick bay. In each one classes are organised and regular courses of study are followed.
In one respect, “Milag” differs from “Marlag,” and that is in the number of nations represented by the internees, though the majority are British. A visitor to the camp described it as being rather like a village, each hut having an individual character, which indicated the national characteristics of its occupants.
Gardening appears to provide a great interest for the merchant seamen, and seeds sent out by the Royal Horticultural Society, as well as the plants bought locally, have enabled the men to grow flowers and vegetables with great success. “The authorities here give us every facility for gardening,” wrote the senior British officer. “Quite apart from the important food factor, it gives employment to a large number of otherwise idle hands.”

[photograph]
A group of men in Marlag O, the section which houses naval officers.

The Daily Routine
Another letter from the same section of the camp describes the writer's daily routine. “We rise at 6.30 a.m., parade at 6.45, get breakfast ready in our room, and at about 7.20 I go to inspect the garden. From 8.30 to 10.30 my assistant and I work assiduously in the parcels office sorting and collecting the tins needed from our Red Cross parcels. Most afternoons I join our outside gardening party from 1.15 to 4, returning to a bath and two-course tea.
The food parcels he speaks of are forwarded by the International Red Cross Committee at Geneva jointly to Marlag and Milag, and are then divided as required between the three sections of the camp. Uniform is also sent alike to the three sections, and, of course, like all other prisoners of war, they may receive next-of-kin and permit parcels.
“The Germans do not trouble much with the internal arrangements of the camp,” comments a repatriated officer, looking back on his years behind the wire. “Consequently, the camp is nicely organised and efficiently run by our own appointed officers. Neither were we troubled much with rules and regulations, the Germans concerning themselves mainly with the blackouts. Generally speaking, any rules we had to obey were reasonable.”

[inserted][cartoon]
They brought in young fir trees to plant between the huts.[/inserted]

Education at Milag
Great interest is taken at Milag in education because, thanks to the co-operation of the Ministry of War Transport, the Merchant Navy Officers' Training Board and the Red Cross Educational Books Section, apprentices and cadets can continue their ordinary education and prepare for their future career by studying for their Second Mate's Certificate. “I hope my sister Betsy is doing as well at school as I am here,” wrote 17-year-old cabin-boy Jackie Hipkin, who has been a prisoner for three years, to his mother last October. “I learned algebra and geometry last winter, and now I'm in the matriculation classes. I've also started learning Spanish, and I am surprised how easy it is!”

Well Used Leisure
In the same way study courses for First Mate and Master and all grades of marine engineer are available to merchant seamen, while in Marlag as well as Milag, examinations are held in construction, navigation and kindred subjects for which officially recognised certificates are awarded. Thus, here as elsewhere, those who have devoted their enforced leisure to study should find on their return that their captivity has not been an unmixed evil.
[page break]

4 The Prisoner of War May,1944

Official Reports from the Camps

[inserted] In every case where the 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]

The following camps were all visited in January, 1944.
STASLAG XIB (FALLINGBOSTEL)
Work Camp 7005 Salzgitter. – This camp was opened only a fortnight before it was visited, when there were 409 British prisoners of war from Italy. Two-thirds of the men are doing heavy work for factories in the area and find the work too heavy in their present state of health.
The prisoners live in wooden barracks, with double-tier bunks, palliasses and two blankets. The rooms are well heated and there is ample space. Electricity is to be improved. Washing, bathing and toilet facilities are good.
Food is described as poor, and up to the time of the visit no Red Cross parcels had been received.
As yet there is no British medical officer at the camp. Dental treatment is given by a local dentist. Clothing of all types is needed. There has not yet been time to organise religious or recreational facilities.

STALAG LUFT I, BARTH VOGELSANG
Luft I has now become a camp for British and American Air Force officers only. Accommodation remains the same, though there are fewer prisoners in the camp than there were. British and Americans are in separate compounds, though at present they are all administered as one camp. Accommodation is still being enlarged, and the capacity of the camp will be about 3,000. At present there are nearly 800 prisoners of war.
There is one British medical officer and two chaplains. Lighting is still unsatisfactory. Heating is described as adequate. Washing and bathing facilities are satisfactory; toilet facilities have been improved.
The British medical officer is satisfied with the infirmary and the treatment given; medical supplies are sufficient. There is great need for a dental surgeon. Clothing conditions are fair. No arrangements have been made so far with regard to laundry, and the officers have to do their own washing.
Recreational and religious facilities are entirely satisfactory, though there is some lack of sports equipment.

OFLAG IXA/H, SPANGENBURG.
This camp is rather more crowded than it was owing to the arrival of senior officers from Italy. Acommodation [sic] is therefore not so good as it should be for senior officers.
Two-tier bunks are used. The rooms are dark and lighting not very good. Hot showers are available fortnightly.
A new German doctor is in charge of the revier, and the general state of health is stated to be extremely good.
Mail has been slow of late. The senior British officer asked for more walks to be organised.

[photograph]
The old stone-built monastery at Wurzach, civilian internment camp.

OFLAG IXA/Z, ROTHENBURG
Officer from Italy have also arrived at this camp and it is also full to capacity, even study and recreation rooms being unavailable for normal use.
Lighting is not adequate in some of the rooms, and the toilet facilities are insufficient.
The supply of fuel has been cut in many camps during the winter, and heating has been hardly sufficient, particularly as two of the buildings have stone floors.
Each man has only one blanket from the German authorities, but they are well supplied with private blankets.
The British medical officer stated that the general health of the camp was amazingly good. The arrival of mail has been very erratic during the last few months.

MARLAG UND MILAG NORD, WESTERTIMKE
This camp is now divided into four distinct camps:-
Marlag O for Naval officers.
Marlag M for Naval ratings.
Milag for Merchant Navy.
A camp for Indians.
There is also a small Dulag or transit camp.
Marlag O. – There are 271 officers in the camp. Accommodation is fairly satisfactory, but it is reported that the roofs of the barracks are continuously under repair. Lighting is fair. More cleaning materials and cooking utensils are needed and a new boiler for the laundry. Recreational facilities are satisfactory.
Marlag M. – 663 petty officers and ratings are detained in this camp. Several small points about the camp should be improved, such as lighting in some of the rooms. The boiler and refrigerator should be repaired and the kitchen range enlarged. The receipt of mail has been very bad of late.
Milag. – There are 2,561 internees of the Merchant Navy in the camp of many nationalities. The same remarks apply to this camp as to the others. Roofs need repairs; lighting in some of the rooms is bad and the coal supply is described as insufficient.
The hospital at this part of the camp caters for prisoners of war from the entire camp, and the organisation is described by the British medical officer as very satisfactory in every way; the general health of all the camps is said to be very good. The clothing situation has improved.
The Indian merchant seamen are satisfactorily housed in a newly built camp in the forest.
Dulag. – Two barracks are used by prisoners, who normally stay in this camp only a short while before they are sent to a permanent part of the camp. The capacity is about 150 men. Accommodation is satisfactory, and the camp is administered from Marlag.

STALAG XIA, ALTENGRABOW
Stalag XIA was originally built for German troops and prisoners of war of other nationalities than British, and is in the heart of the country, about 50 miles from the nearest town.
The 1,327 British prisoners are accommodated in stables, which are very
[page break]

May, 1944 The Prisoner of War 5

solidly constructed. The rooms are high, with small windows and floors of cement. Kitchens, and infirmary, hospital, and recreation rooms have been separately built.
There is a large sports ground. Two blankets have been issued to each prisoner, who sleep in three-tier bunks.
The rooms are overcrowded and there is not adequate seating accommodation. Lighting is bad and heating insufficient.
The water supply is adequate, but the sanitary installations are not, although all the prisoners have one hot shower each week.
Food is prepared by French prisoners of war in a central kitchen. The medical situation is good. Two British medical officers and seven orderlies are in charge of the infirmary and hospital, and dental treatment is given by a French dentist. Medical supplies are sufficient and hygienic conditions are described as being “not too bad.”
Laundry is done by the prisoners of war themselves. Recreational facilities have not yet been organised. Most of these prisoners came from Leros and their morale is very high. They will be sent out to work camps as quickly as possible.

STALAG XVIIA, KAISERSTEINBRUCH
1,883 of the 2,335 British prisoners are in the main camp. The others are in work camps. These men are from Italy. The British in the main camp occupy four huts, the remainder are occupied by prisoners of other nationalities.
The huts are built of wood and are divided into two rooms each, which are said to be overcrowded. Three-tiered bunks are in use. Lighting is bad, and washing and bathing facilities are inadequate for the large number of prisoners. There is not enough space for exercise and no sports ground.
Clothing conditions are satisfactory. Correspondence forms had not been issued to the prisoners, but a stock had arrived on the day of the visit and receipt of mail has been greatly delayed. No religious facilities had so far been organised.
One of the huts has been reserved for use as an infirmary with two British medical officers in charge, assisted by five British medical orderlies.
Up to the time of the visit this hut had not been sufficiently fitted out as an infirmary, but the doctors had an adequate supply of drugs.

STALAG XVIIA
Work Camp A941. – There are 68 prisoners of war here, accommodated in wooden huts, which are situated on a hill. They have two-tier bunks, one sheet, a pillow and two blankets. There are huts in use as dining-rooms, kitchens and for sanitary installations.
Heating and lighting are adequate and there is plenty of room for tables and chairs. Clothing conditions are not good. Medical and dental attention is given by civilians and appears to be satisfactory. Recreational facilities have not yet been organised. The men are employed on drainage work. Hours of work are 8 1/2 per day and weekends are free.

HOSPITAL AT OBERMASSFELD
Obermassfeld is described as very full and many airmen are brought here if wounded when captured, as well as surgical cases from Kloster Haina.
271 British patients and 104 Americans are in the care of nine British medical officers and a British dentist. There are also nose and throat specialists. The supply of instruments and drugs is, generally speaking, sufficient, and the operating and dental theatres, massage room and artificial limb “shop” are quite well equipped. The dental station deals with prisoners from many camps in the IX Area.
Apart from being somewhat over-crowded this hospital can be considered to be satisfactory.

HOSPITAL AT BAD SODEN, SALMUNSTER
After the repatriation of sick and wounded prisoners of war last October, Kloster Haina was closed and the “eye-station” and blind prisoners of war transferred to this new hospital at Bad Soden.
A former sanatorium has been taken over. It is on a hillside facing south and is surrounded by a park.
There are patients of other nationalities besides British (who number 36, including 10 officers), and all are under the care of two British medical officers and British orderlies and two Braille teachers. The impression

[photograph]
A group of prisoners at Marlag und Milag Nord.

[photograph]
Outside the internment camp of Dongelberg, Belgium.

[photograph]
A trio of airmen at Stalag Luft I.
[page break]

6 The Prisoner of War May, 1944

gained is that of any ordinary hospital. Only part of the sanatorium is occupied by prisoners, the other part being occupied by Roman Catholic sisters, who are said to be very helpful and kind whenever they can.
Washing and toilet facilities are very good and hot showers are taken fortnightly. Food is good and is cooked by the sisters. Medical supplies are good. Clothing is satisfactory. The British medical officer considers this hospital a great improvement on Kloster Haina.

[photograph]
The Chapel at Stalag Luft I.

CAMPS IN NORTHERN ITALY UNDER GERMAN CONTROL
(Both camps visited November, 1943.)

DULAG 226.
This is a transit camp for other ranks who will eventually be transferred to Germany. The camp consists of wooden huts among trees on the hillside and is surrounded by barbed wire. The general state of health is satisfactory, and a German staff doctor looks after the prisoners. There is a supply of Red Cross parcels at the camp.

STALAG 337. MANTUA.
Stalag 337 is a transit camp for officers and other ranks who have been recaptured in Northern Italy. The camp strength naturally varies from day to day.
Accommodation comprises six large rooms which were formerly used as garages and store-rooms. The rooms are well ventilated but they are rather dark. There are three stoves in each room. The officers sleep on camp beds and have one blanket each; the other ranks sleep on plank beds and also have one blanket each. Washing and toilet facilities are primitive. Prisoners in need of urgent medical attention are taken to the local hospital.
Food is brought to the camp twice a day and is said to be sufficient in quantity and of good quality. On the day of their arrival at the camp the prisoners are allowed to send a card to their next of kin. An Italian priest celebrates Mass in the courtyard. Prisoners do not normally stay at this camp more than 10 days.

CIVILIAN INTERNMENT CAMP
ILAG WURZACH
At this camp, which is situated in an old stone-built monastery at Wurzach, in the province of Wurtemberg, there are 613 internees, most of whom have been there since 1942 when they were evacuated from the Channel Islands. The building itself is dark and damp, especially on the ground floor, and there are rats and mice and plagues of flies and mosquitoes in the summer.
The sanitary arrangements, at first very unsatisfactory, have recently been improved. Some of the internees sleep in single beds, others in two-tier structures with a palliasse and two blankets, in addition to those which they own personally.
The food is reported to be of poor quality with a lack of proper fats and green vegetables.
The school accommodation for children is so limited that it has only been possible so far to give them one hour's lesson daily, but efforts are being made to provide better accommodation.
The situation as regards shoes is very poor.
The internees are able to use the sports ground regularly in the afternoons and walks out are also organised. Mail takes one month to and from the Channel Islands.
The health of the internees is fairly good. The general atmosphere is not considered satisfactory. The building is old, decrepit and unpractically arranged.
(Visited January, 1944.)

ILAG LIEBENAU
This camp is situated at Liebenau, near Tettnang, Ravensburg, in the province of Wurtenburg in south-western Germany, and is about seven miles north of Lake Constance.
The building was formerly a Home of Rest conducted by Roman Catholic sisters, who still occupy a part of the premises.
The nuns attend to the preparation of the food, which is of good quality and the quantity is supplemented by a very satisfactory supply of Red Cross food parcels. The internees themselves help with the kitchen work and the laundry.
During 1941 and 1942 the camp was considered to be almost a model one, but towards the end of 1942 the number of internees was so much increased that the accommodation was overcrowded and until quite recently, owing to the growing shortage of coal, there was insufficient hot water for bathing more than once every two weeks.
Health is good and medical attention, given by a German doctor, is reported to be satisfactory.
An Educational Committee is running a school for the twenty-two children at the camp with great success. For the adult internees student groups for languages have been organised and prove very satisfactory.
Theatre performances are given periodically. For two hours a day the internees are allowed to take walks in the neighbourhood, where the countryside is very beautiful.
The camp is very satisfactorily run, and the nuns show great kindness and consideration.
(Visited January, 1944.)

THE BRITISH LEGION
OF the six to seven thousand branches of the British Legion there is not one which does not run a prisoners of war comforts fund, to provide our men with cigarettes, tobacco and other comforts.
Relatives will find branches in every town and village willing to lend their halls for social gatherings, and ever ready to offer their help and co-operation.
Recognising that the men (and women) of this war will in due course control the Legion's destinies, prizes of £500 have been offered for ideas of the present Forces on its future policy.
This is open to prisoners of war.
Conditions of the competition have been sent to all prisoner of war camps in Germany through the War Organisation of the British Red Cross and St. John, and word has been received at Legion Headquarters, Cardigan House, Richmond, Surrey, that numerous entries are on their way.
When the men return home they will be faced with many and diverse problems, on most of which the local branch of the British Legion will be prepared to help or advise them, or tell them where to get advice.

CAMP LIST
Please add the following to your camp list:-
STALAG IID, at Stargard, Square F3 on map. (Camp for Canadians, also some British prisoners born in Canada.)
STALAG VIIB, at Memmingen. Square C9 on map.
STALAG 357, at Thorn. Square H3.
Reinsert STALAG IIID, as there are still three or four work-parties which use this address.
[page break]

May, 1944 The Prisoner of War 7

[inserted]The Letters They Write Home[/inserted]

His First Letter
Oflag VIIIF. 26.2.44.
WHEN we came in pretty well done up the fellows gave us food and cigarettes, although they had only bare sufficiency themselves.
The Germans, in all fairness, are very correct towards us, and the Red Cross, God bless them! keep us comfortable. I wish you wish you would convey to them our gratitude for their splendid work.
I am sharing a room with nine other very nice fellows. I can almost treat this camp, except for our loss of freedom, like a minor university, for we all work hard to keep ourselves fit in mind and body.
There are lectures to attend, games, amusements, even a theatre we made, and I have already seen a play. Incidentally, “Iolanthe” is coming off in about a month. Don't worry! I'm having a grand time.
Air Like Wine

Marlag und Milag Nord (Marlag T.). 8.2.44.
I AM writing this from the new camp up in the Hartz Mountains; I cannot tell you the name of the place as it is not allowed. The air here is like wine and the camp is situated on top of a mountain overlooking the valley with beautiful little villages scattered here and there.
I was beginning to get mental trouble like Uncle Joe through being behind barbed wire for 3 1/2 years. I am feeling the change already – the fresh air, seeing people, men and women, and even to hearing the sound of a motor car now and then. I am waiting patiently for the spring, when thousands of pine trees will turn green and birds will sing again.

Farmers' Club
Stalag 344. 21.2.44
I AM in agriculture up to my eyes now; in fact, I have very little spare time. The latest on the list is a farmers' club, of which I am the very proud president, and at our opening meeting I gave a 3/4-hr. speech on the subject “Should Farmers be Subsidised?” Getting good, aren't I? I shall be able to blind you all with science when I return. Seriously, though, this chance to learn is worth a lot to us.

Feels Homesick
Stalag IVB. 3.2.44.
I AM O.K., and have just been out lifting some dumb-bells weighing over one hundred pounds, so I shall be able to lift ten stone O.K. Also trying some antics on a parallel bar. I went to our theatre last evening – It is called “The Empire” – to see a variety show. My main object was to listen to the band, which is very good. But I have been very homesick since; I was sitting next to a chap who was in England just over a week ago. I am just about to start my washing-day for clothes.

He Talked to Padre
Stalag XXB. 23.1.44.
MY camp was visited by the Padre, and the Chief Man of Confidence to-day. We had a very nice religious service, and everything in the camp was found to be in tip-top order. I had a long chat with the Padre and was very interested.

[photograph]
Prisoner with his pets at Stalag XXB/155.

Parcels are Scarce
Stalag XIB, Kdo 7004. 18.1.44.
AFTER short sojourns in two transit camps I have finally landed up in a German working camp and now spend my time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. swinging a long-handled shovel!
Red Cross parcels have been very scarce and, owing principally to their absence and also to the fact that we had only reached our new camp two days before Christmas, Christmas itself was a complete washout. On Christmas Day we were even minus a smoke. Since then we have had one parcel, which is still lasting.
Our rations are only fair, our principal meal being a thick vegetable soup which we get about 6 p.m.
The best thing of all is that living conditions are really good. Good beds, table, forms, and a big stove with loads of fuel and a good fire awaits us each night. We also have a large boiler in the wash-house and get a hot wash on our return from work. I am fit and well.

Day of Rest
Stalag XVIIA. 6.2.44.
ONCE again it is Sunday, our one day of rest. At the moment the snow is falling heavily, and already there is a covering of six inches.
The last stage of our journey to the lumber camp is made on a sleigh drawn by two horses.
We are right up in the mountains and the air is richer than wine. We drink from a pure mountain stream and also perform our ablutions in it. I'll be stronger than an elephant in a month's time.
Our food parcels are punctual now, so everything in the garden is lovely. If you were here I would be a very happy man.

Exam. in April
Oflag VIIB. 29.2.44.
THE frost is moderating and toboganing [sic] is now over. However, it is still bitterly cold at nights. You would laugh to see my night garments: long pants, two pullovers, socks, body belt, scarves, all in addition to my pyjamas.

[photograph]
They're building the theatre – at Stalagluft 3.
[page break]

8 The Prisoner of War MAY, 1944

[photograph]
A group at Stalag XXA/110.

[photograph]
Some bathers - at Oflag IXA.

[photograph]
Arrival at Oflag VII.

[symbol] My exam is fixed for some time in April. I think, after all, I shall be able to manage all six subjects together. I have temporarily given up my fencing in order to devote more time to my studies. At present I dream about contracts, meetings, “fair comment,” etc.
We have now completed our tuition in Culbertson and are proceeding to put it into practice. With some effect, too, I might rather immodestly add.
Only another two months to complete my four years. Really it is getting rather boring you know. However, we still smile, though rather feebly!
[symbol][italic] Final of Chartered Institute of Secretaries. [/italic]

Received Parcels from Italy
Stalag IVG K.D.O. 35/361. 27.2.44.
HERE'S the usual weekly, this time with some really good news. When I had your letter saying the Red Cross were redirecting letters and parcels from Italy, I must admit I laughed.
However, Friday came, and with it fourteen of September's letters – and your fourth parcel. Need not tell you how pleased I was with it, especially as that makes all of the four parcels you sent to Italy.

On Behalf of 1,500 P.o.W.s
Stalag XVIIA. 14.2.44.
IT is with the greatest of pleasure that I write on behalf of the 1,500 British prisoners in this Stalag to convey to you our very sincere thanks for the food parcels and clothing, which we have received from you through the intermediary of the International Red Cross Committee.
The majority of us have been prisoners of war for upwards of two years now – in Libya and Italy and in Germany. We arrived in this Stalag in early November with virtually nothing, and when I take stock of benefits we have received from you in these past three months I find it impossible to express in mere words our very deep gratitude to those of you at home for all you have done – and are continuing to do – on our behalf. We were well supplied by you in Italy, but never have I known so speedy and complete a response to innumerable requests as we have experienced since our arrival here.
We owe a debt we can never hope to repay, both to the millions in England who have contributed towards our well-being and comfort, and to your organisation.

Beer Bar
Stalag IVD E1-105E. 23.1.44.
MAIL started arriving in this camp yesterday, though I didn't get one. However, I might get one any day now. We've also had Red Cross parcels, cigarettes and clothing. There are hot-water pipes here, tables and forms for eating and writing at, and we've built a small bar in our room for serving out the beer which we can buy with our camp money forms.

He Carries Tiles
Stalag VIIA. 20.1.44.
WELL, I've left sunny Italy behind. It is very much like England over here – cold, with rain and snow. Life is much more pleasant than it was in Italy; living quarters are much better and the food is more to my liking. I am working again – the job is easy, and all I do is carry tiles. We go to work by tram, and also get a pint of beer a day. The pay is 70 pfennigs a day and we work 5 1/2 days a week. I think we will have more chances of spending our money here than in Italy. There is a picture show coming to the camp at the end of the month, and also we have a concert in preparation.

Winter in Stalag
Stalag VIIIA. 14.2.44.
WINTER is with us in earnest now, 6in. of snow, long icicles hanging from the eaves 1 and 2 feet long, and do we have fun!
Each day there is a “battle royal” between members of the different huts, snowballing like billy-o; even the poor camp S.M. got his share when the lads all turned their efforts against him. I hung out a white hanky and mentioned Official Business in a loud voice, but, no good, I was properly “done over,” so to speak.
We have made sledges out of Red Cross wood to carry our coal boxes and dirt boxes on. I actually saw a horse-

[inserted]PICTURES AND LETTERS
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]
[page break]

MAY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 9

sleigh to-day. complete with bells, driving through this camp.

Day with the Sentry
Stalag XVIIB. 13.2.44.
HULLO, here we are again, Sunday, 4 p.m., and I have just finished work in the cookhouse: start again at 3 a.m. in the morning.
We have had another fall of snow and the north wind is very cold; our billets are in a dip surrounded by trees, so they help to break the wind, We are getting “civvy” rations and our Red Cross parcels each week, which are a blessing to all.
Yesterday I had a day out with a sentry, which was a nice change for me. Our billet was gassed the other day to free us from lice and bugs, and we had to stand out in the cold for seven hours. It only holds three of us, and we have our blankets, a white sheet and pillow – quite comfy.

Like Beau Brummel
Camp d'Internment Militaire, Degersheim, Switzerland. 3.2.44.
I HAD an almost incredible surprise today – thanks to the good offices of the International Red Cross – I have just received a personal parcel from you, dated July 1943. Everything is in good condition, including the chocolate (great stuff that!).
Of course, I am not in such great need of it now, but everything, you can be sure, is very acceptable. I know how hard it must be for you to know what to put into these parcels, but if the wives and mothers could see the faces of the chaps when they open them they would be amply repaid. Of course, the chap does not open it on his own; he always has half a dozen helpers and about 50 onlookers, and everything is handed round, inspected and admired.
And then the great thrill of being able to put on decent clothes, blacken your boots, brilliantine on your hair, good shave, and clean your teeth properly. Then for a walk round the camp feeling like a “Beau Brummel” and thinking that life is not so bad, after all. That's what I felt like when I got that first parcel – made me a man again.

Royal Message
Ilag Wurzach. 2.1.44.
WE had a message from the King and Queen; it is nice to know we are not forgotten. When you mention oranges it is strange to realise there are children here, four years old, who do not know what an orange or banana is.
My skill at shove ha'penny gained me 34 cigs. last week. The master sport!
We had three inches of snow yesterday and the horse sleighs have made their appearance.
Lots of children have home-made sledges and pull each other round the compound. To-day they hitched up to an ox. What a picture! We see lots of squirrels in the wood opposite. Some of our folk here go out for a “conducted walk,” but find themselves knee-deep in snow. We shall wait until the “summer tours” begin.
We are longing for the time when the gates open for good.

Good-night, Ladies
Biberach. 24.1.44.
I WILL try to give you a little camp news. We live in barracks; there is a long passage down the centre with doors opening from it into rooms which hold from two to sixteen people; these rooms are very much like cabins on a ship, with bunks around the side and lockers for clothes and food.
There is a table in the centre and a coal heating-stove to each room, and we get a ration of coal three times a week. We take it in turns to cook the things we get in our Red Cross parcels; we have all our meals in our rooms.
Football is the main sport and they also play handball and netball; there is a hut set aside for dances and theatricals, the internees being the actors, and I must say they put on some quite good shows, and a new one every week.
Two barracks are used as hospitals, one for the men and the other for the ladies, and these are run by doctors from Guernsey, but the nurses come from both Islands. All the work inside the camp is done by internees, from shoe repairing to brush-making. I still help to run the post and records office, and this is a full-time job as there are just under 1,200 internees, occupying

[photograph]
Living quarters at Stalag IVA.

[photograph]
Ready for a dip - at Stalag XVIIIA.

[photograph]
The church at Stalag 344.
[page break]

10 The Prisoner of War MAY, 1944

some 20 barracks. The men have to say good-night to their womenfolk at 9 p.m., and each retire to their own barracks as they are segregated at night. Lights out at 10 p.m.

Chaps From “70”
Stalag IVF. 24.1.44.
THE majority of the chaps have received a letter, but up to date I have been unsuccessful. We hear that some of the chaps from “70” got back to England. I feel like kicking myself now, but at least I obeyed orders.
Did I ask you to send me a pipe? I need a new one badly. We have not forgotten how to smile; in fact, we can get a laugh out of everything. We laugh so much that I often wonder if we are still sane. But we'll soon know when we get back.

Much Better Than Italy
Oflag VIIIF. 30.1.44.
THIS camp is very much better than Italy. We can play rugger and soccer, we have a swimming bath, which is now frozen over and we are able to skate.
The theatre has just opened, and the first show is “Spring Meeting.” Very shortly the band will be in full swing. The educational system is a thousand per cent. better than Italy!

Getting Settled Down
Stalag IVB. 15.1.44.
THIS is a senior N.C.O.s' camp and we are just getting settled down. A church, theatre and educational rooms are being built, but in the meantime concert parties travel round the billets.
In the camp we have three padres and two medical officers, so at least we assured of both physical and spiritual treatment.
It is not too cold here, and my job as interpreter gives me plenty of walking about during the day; and, with a room full of “comics” during the night, I never weary. It is a lot better than Italy in every way.

His Log House
Stalag 398. 12.1.44.
I AM really fit and getting along well; I am now working. We are a small party – 18 of us – and a guard in a mountain valley doing lumbering work. So far, it has consisted of sawing logs into 3ft. lengths.
We have been here five weeks and live in a new log-built house – the best billets we have had since being prisoners. The food also is better. We have had two food parcels; they were the first for six weeks. We are much fitter because of the work, and the scenery here is lovely with everything covered with snow. I am the only one who speaks any German, and have had plenty of practice.

[photograph]
A sketch of the interior of a hut at Oflag VIIB.

London Club
Stalag IVB. 2.2.44.
WE have started a London Club in the camp; so far there is somewhere around three hundred members. So there will be big do's after the war.
I am still with a lot of the same crowd that I was pals with in Italy. The entertainment in this camp is excellent. We have about ten concert parties going the rounds.

His Best Billet
Stalag VIIIB. 19.1.44.
I AM at a working camp now, and it is a dark, dirty job, but the billets are very good. We have a room with ten men occupying it and a wardrobe between two. As much coal as we want for the stove supplied for heating the place. And it is the very best billet I have been in.

Post-war Reunion
Stalag IVB. Undated.
WE have started a Red Rose Club in the camp and I am on the committee. It is for all Lancashire men, and although I'm not actually Lancashire they made an exception in my case.
We play other clubs at football, rugby, darts, bridge and whist, and anything else that can be played.
I have made badges out of tins, with the name of the prisoner's home town underneath, and we are planning a big reunion dinner at Blackpool after the war.

Out in the Forest
Oflag VIIB; No VI coy. 20.1.44.
I HAVE now got an occupation which, if it continues, should make me reasonably fit mentally and physically before seeing you again.
Thirty officers go out to the forest daily to grub up tree-stumps for sending back to camp to cut up as fuel. I started on the job a week ago.
My daily programme is as follows: wake up at 6.15 a.m., get up and dress in the dark, meet the rest of the party at the camp gate at five to seven, march down to the station to catch a train at 7.25, which takes us to a place three stations out.
Here we have a room to ourselves where we can leave our things, and come back for our lunch. From this place we walk out with our tools to the area where we are working, which varies from 1/2 to 2 miles.
Each person in turn makes a fire to boil water for a mug of tea or cocoa all round, and when it is ready we stop to have our breakfast, usually at 9.30; work till mid-day, and walk back to the station for lunch, i.e., soup sent out from the camp. Back to work at 1 o'clock, and then catch the 4.30 back, arriving at the camp at 5.15. It is a long day but great fun, and the forest is lovely. One quite forgets the camp except to look forward to supper.

A Small Wage
Stalag IVG. 22.1.44.
THIS is the second form I have had since leaving Italy. Things are just a little brighter here at present owing to the arrival of three issues of Red Cross parcels – previously we had only two in four months; we are all hoping they will arrive better in future.
We are in a small working camp attached to the railway and really the billet is very good, but we see very little of it as we are working 5 1/2 days weekly.
Food is very poor; in fact, below the Italian men's working standard, consisting chiefly of potato water and a small bread ration.
We get paid a small wage monthly but the only thing we can buy appears to be a very indifferent kind of beer. However, I am still keeping fairly fit and well.

From a Camp Leader
Stalag XXB. 23.2.44.
I AM still in the main camp but my kit is all packed ready to move and I expect to go tomorrow.
I am going to a camp in this Stalag (a working camp) as camp leader.
The biggest part of my job, however, is the charge of a Red Cross food distribution store for a whole area (about 1,000 men).
You see, the area of this Stalag is very great and necessitates several distribution centres to ensure that each man receives one parcel per week with 50 cigarettes.
I understand, though, that it will be a good job and it will certainly be a change. It will take several hours' train journey to get there. I am going alone (with a guard of course).
[page break]

MAY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 11

[photograph]
STALAG IXC
[photograph]
STALAG XXID/9
Groups from the Camps
[photograph]
STALAG 383
[photograph]
STALAG XXB
[photograph]
STALAG XVIIIA
[photograph]
OFLAG IVC
[photograph]
STALAG IVA
[photograph]
ST. DENIS (SEINE)
[page break]

14 The Prisoner of War MAY, 1944

INCOME TAX RELIEF

The following statement as to income tax reliefs which may be claimed by a member of the United Kingdom Forces who is serving abroad, or is a prisoner of war, has been received from the Inland Revenue.
A MEMBER of the U.K. Forces is chargeable to tax on his U.K. service pay whether or not he is resident in the U.K. If he has no other income except his service pay, and his wife has no income of her own, he will be liable to the same tax if he is serving outside the U.K., or is a prisoner of war, as he would be if he were serving in the U.K.
If he has income apart from his service pay, or if his wife has income of her own, he may in certain circumstances be liable to less tax if he is serving abroad, or is a prisoner of war, than he would be if
he were serving in the U.K. The following note sets out, briefly, in what circumstances this happens and how relief may be claimed.
1. A person who is not resident in the U.K. is not liable to income tax on any income he may have from sources outside the U.K. (e.g., dividends on shares in a foreign company).
2. A person who is not ordinarily resident in the U.K. is not liable to income tax on the income from the following British Government securities: 4% Funding Loan, 4% Victory Bonds, 3 1/2% War Loan, 3% Defence Bonds, 3% War Loan, 2 1/2% National War Bonds, 3% Savings Bonds. All income from other British Government securities, or from any other British source, is chargeable whatever his position may be as regards residence.
3. The distinction between “not resident” and “not ordinarily resident” is, briefly, as follows:
[italics] If he does not maintain a house [/italics] or other place of abode in the U.K. he is regarded as not resident and not ordinarily resident in the U.K. for the whole of any period of absence from the U.K. which includes a complete income tax year (ending April 5th). Short visits to the U.K. on leave will not make him resident or ordinarily resident.
[italics] If he does maintain a house [/italics] or other place of abode in the U.K., then –
(a) He is regarded as [italics] not resident [/italics] in the U.K. for the whole of any period of absence which includes a complete income tax year; but if he visits the U.K. during that period, he is regarded as resident for the year in which the visit takes place.
(b) He is regarded as [italics] not ordinarily resident [/italics] in the U.K. if his period of absence from the U.K. is not less than 36 months. Short visits to the U.K. on leave will not make him ordinarily resident.
4. Tax is in many cases deducted at the source from dividends and interest. If a member of the Forces gets any payment from which tax is deducted, and is entitled to exemption from tax on that payment because, at the date it was paid, he was not resident, or not ordinarily resident in the U.K., he can get the tax back from the Inland Revenue. He, or his wife, or agent, should write to (or call at) the tax office which deals with his liability.
5. If a non-resident has income that is not liable to income tax, he gets a proportion of the personal allowances to which he would have been entitled if his whole income had been liable to tax. The proportion depends on the amount of his liable income as compared with his total income – for example, if only three-quarters of the allowances to which he would have been entitled if his whole income had been liable to tax.
6. If a husband is not resident in the U.K. but his wife is and she has income of her own, they may, if it is to their advantage, be treated for the purposes of personal allowances as if they were separate single persons. The tax office may not, however, know that the husband is not resident, and if the wife is in any doubt whether they have been given the right treatment, she should write to the tax office which deals with her liability or should call personally.
7. Anyone who does not know the right tax office to go to should write to Chief Inspector Claims, Marine Hotel, Llandudno.
8. The above paragraphs deal with the normal position of a man whose place of residence before joining the Forces was in the U.K. If he was resident abroad before joining, the tax office should be informed, as special treatment may be applicable.

[photograph]
Bringing in their food parcels to the camp.

How They Help
From his prison camp an Indian Sergeant has written to his Rajput Regiment asking that Rs.6s. should be deducted from his pay each month and sent to the Fund. Considering that his monthly pay is Rs.36s., we can share wholeheartedly the opinion of his adjutant – who sends us the news from India – that “this is a fine action.”
There is news this month of two other generous contributions from occupied Europe. Miss Dorothy Rolfe, lately repatriated from Vittel, has had sold for the Fund a wrist watch presented by her fellow internees, while an exquisitely hand-sewn Red Cross flag, the patient work of “Sister Patrick” at Liebenau Camp, has, on reaching this country, raised £24 in aid of P.O.W.s, thanks to Mrs Knox, of West Jesmond.
A Group of N.F.S. men in Havant, Hants, have made a dolls' house and sold it for £5 15s., while home-made dolls themselves have enabled Miss Barnard of Bexhill-on-Sea, to send £5, and Miss Partington, of Beeston, Notts, to send £4 to the Fund. “Not smoking during Lent,” a resolution carried out by Mrs. E. M. Williams, of Brow, Haworth, Yorks, accounts for a large part of the £2 10s. she has sent us.
Another good idea has been hit upon by an enterprising young woman at Guildford: a coiffeuse before she went to work in a munitions factory, she has been employing her spare time in dressing the hair of her fellow workers and has contributed the proceeds to the Fund.
Two other Surrey ladies have come forward with novel means of helping. One of them, a young bride, has sold her wedding bouquet; the other, married now for the second time, has given to Red Cross sales a ring presented to her by her late husband.
Dances, whist drives, bring-and-buy sales are as popular as ever. Among recent successes have been those organised by Mrs. Clegg and four friends at Blackpool, £175; Mr. Seetlin and Mr. Bryant at Trowbridge, £47 11s.; Mrs. T. M. Lee at Prickwillow, Ely, £124 10s; Mrs. Curtis at Grassington, Skipton, £65; Mrs. Lavington at Withyham, Tunbridge Wells, £6; the Girls' Social Club at South Ackendon, Essex, £12 10s.; the Civil Defence Committee at Kettleshume, Whaley Bridge, Cheshire, £75 3s. 6d.; and the Hospital Supply Depot at Tynemouth, £185. This depot, with an average meeting of fourteen, has raised a total of over £500.
“Red Cross parcels still regular, so neither you nor I have anything to worry about at all,” writes an officer who divides his time between producing plays and preparing for examinations, to his mother at New Milton, Hants, and she expresses her gratitude by sending me regularly a handsome postal order as her subscription for [italics] The Prisoner of War. [/italics]
[page break]

MAY, 1944 The Prisoner of War 15

Useful Gloves

KNITTED ON TWO NEEDLES

[photograph]
Reproduced by courtesy of Copley's

[knitting pattern instructions]

(continued on page 16)
[page break]

16 The Prisoner of War MAY, 1944

REFUND OF UNUSED COUPONS
IN cases of special necessity, next of kin who require more than 20 coupons for their current parcel may, if they did not use their full allowance for their previous parcel, apply to the Red Cross for a refund of any balance of unused coupons which they returned with it.
In view of the great amount of clerical work and correspondence already entailed in connection with the control of coupons issued for prisoners of war, next of kin are particularly asked not to apply unless it is absolutely necessary.

Read These Rules
The following must be observed:
(1) All applications to be sent by registered letter post and addressed to the Next of Kin Parcels Centre, 14, Finsbury Circus, London, E.C.2, or, if the coupons are issued by the Scottish Packing Centre, to the Prisoners of War Next of Kin Parcels Depot, 421, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, C.2. Envelopes should be clearly marked “REFUND.”
(2) The Prisoners of War coupon book must be forwarded with the application. If clothing has already been purchased it should be entered on the coupon account page, to account for the coupons used.
(3) Applications must not be made for a refund of unused coupons from any parcel except for the last one sent.
(4) Refunded coupons must be used with the coupon book with which the application was made and may not be kept for a later parcel. Clothing purchased with refunded coupons must be entered on the coupon account in the ordinary way.
(5) The prisoner's full name, regiment and Red Cross file number must be given in every letter of application which should on no account refer to any other matter. No reply will be sent to any other question included in these letters.

County Representatives
Please note the following changes:
CUMBERLAND: Mrs. du Boulay, P.O.W. Officer, Houssemayne, Keswick.
OXFORDSHIRE: The Hon. Mrs. Gore, Oxfordshire Branch, B.R.C.S., 41, St. Margaret's Road, Oxford.

[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?
Tins for Food
Do you use special for your food parcel contents?
[missing word] special lacquering is used for tins [missing word] Prisoners of War food parcels, [missing word] lacquering differing according to the commodity. Many of the foods sent are also canned in special sizes suitable for inclusion in these parcels.

Study Facilities
Can you tell me how the provision of study facilities for prisoners is governed? In view of the fact that work is compulsory for those under the rank of sergeant, and that working hours are often very long and days off very infrequent (in my husband's case there is only one day off in 21), how do some of the “other ranks” manage to study for exams., etc.?
Work is compulsory for Privates although not for N.C.O.s or protected personnel, but it is not necessarily continuous, and if a man is determined to study he usually does so, even though it be at the end of his day's work. One man worked for his B.Sc. after 10 hours a day in a salt mine, and a number of Privates have already passed examinations. In Stalag 344 (formerly Stalag VIIIB) the Germans have allowed men preparing for examinations to return to the base about six weeks before the examination is held.

Transit camp
What is a Transit Camp? I am anxious for news of my son who was a prisoner of war in Stalag and have been told he may be in a Transit Camp and not able to write for some time.
A Transit Camp is one in which prisoners remain for a comparatively short time before being moved to a permanent camp. It is for this reason that prisoners writing from transit camps often tell their next of kin not to write to them until they have been able to send a permanent address.

Papers for Switzerland
Can I send my husband, now interned in Switzerland, his favourite weekly paper?
You should consult a bookseller or newsagent who holds a Censorship permit about this.

P.o.W. in Italy
I have still no news of my son who was a P.O.W. in Italy. Does this mean he escaped and is still in Italy?
In the absence of news from your son, it is likely that he escaped from his camp and that he may still be at large in Italy awaiting an opportunity to make his way through to Allied lines.

Income Tax
Does a prisoner of war pay income tax?
Yes. For details see the article on page 14.

Pay on Their return
Do repatriated prisoners of war receive accumulated pay when they return to this country?
Yes, if it has not already been disposed of on instructions given by them to their paymasters.

Stage Make-up
Can I include a stage make-up outfit in my quarterly parcel for my son, who is a theatrical producer for his camp?
Yes.

Patterned Dressing-gown
May I send my son, who is a prisoner of war, a patchwork or patterned dressing-gown?
If you will refer to the leaflet of instructions sent out each quarter with the label and coupons, you will see that patterned materials are recommended for dressing-gowns.
Patchwork should not be sent.

USEFUL GOVES
(Continued from previous page)

[knitting pattern instructions]

[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]

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, [missing letters] 1.

Collection

Citation

Great Britain. Red Cross and St John war organisation, “The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 25, May 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 8, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17118.

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