The prisoner of war, Vol 2. No. 21, January 1944



The prisoner of war, Vol 2. No. 21, January 1944


Includes: New Year message from Chairman of Prisoners of War Department; editorial matters; Come and Spend a Weekend in my Stalag (by Gunner N Gould); official reports from the camps; the brighter side; groups from the camps; [two pages missing] letters; the men who visit the camps (Red Cross delegates); news about the far east; Japan's attitude to her prisoners; civilians in occupied China; how they help the funds (fund raising at home); Washington (news from United States Red Cross conference); knitting pattern for 'warm to wear' pullover; examination results; any questions? Includes photographs throughout.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




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


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THE Prisoner of War

[Red Cross and St John Logo’s]

Vol. 2. No. 21 Free to Next of Kin January, 1944

From the CHAIRMAN of the Prisoners of War Department

AT the beginning of a New Year I want to express our thanks to all those who have supported us so staunchly and have shown such understanding of the difficulties which are inseparable from a work such as ours.
First and foremost I would mention the International Red Cross Committee, without whose aid we should be powerless; and especially their distributing organisation under Monsieur Zollinger, whom we were so glad to welcome here during the summer. Their performance in storing all our supplies and in obtaining transport by which to forward them fills us all with admiration.
We are much indebted, too, to various Government Departments, notably the Ministries of Food and Shipping. The result of all this help, added to the devoted work of our packers, and, if I may say so, our own policy of providing an ample margin of safety, is that there is at Geneva to-day a reserve of at least ten weeks’ supply of food, and in the great majority, if not all, of the camps in Germany, considerable stocks, in some cases sufficient for several months.
The thanks we have received from prisoners and their relatives, and the amazing financial support of all sections of the public have encouraged us greatly in our work. Needless to say, the two repatriations, especially the last, have given us all new zest. I hope that the encouraging reports from many of the returned prisoners will have brought a measure of comfort to anxious relatives whose men are still in captivity.
The transfer of such large numbers from Italy to Germany was, of course, a great disappointment, but new addresses and prisoner of war numbers are coming in fast, which means that the flow of next of kin parcels can be resumed. On the whole, there has been a great improvement in the transmission of these parcels, though a number of those despatched in January are, unfortunately, missing. At about that time a ship was lost soon after leaving a British port.
I wish I could adequately express our sympathy with those who have prisoners in the Far East. The stores carried on the Diplomatic Exchange Ship may, we hope, reach the prisoners for whom they are intended.
British, Dominion and American Governments and Red Cross Societies, working in concert are using every possible means in order to obtain a regular flow which, coupled with the right to neutral inspection of all camps, is the only real solution. Though the Japanese attitude so far has shown very little material change there is no reason to despair, especially as we know from our experiences with the Germans and Italians that the changing military situation can make people much more reasonable.
Let us therefore continue to hope and to practise such patience as we can muster, buoyed up by the pride and courage which we know our prisoners are showing.

THE best New Year wish I can offer to all our readers is that before many months have passed they will no longer be our readers. We have lost many readers in recent months because their men have been repatriated from Germany or have escaped from prison camps in Italy and made their way to safety and freedom. In this Year of Promise I look forward hopefully to the time when Oflags, Stalags, and all the other -lags will be things of the past.
Sir Richard Howard-Vyse, in his message on this page, describes how the Prisoners of War Department and International Red Cross have been striving to build up reserves in every camp, and we know that some camps already hold supplies enough to last for months. This is a wise provision because there is no doubt about the growing transport difficulties in German Europe.

The Far East
What we know about conditions in the Far East is, unhappily, less comforting. A War Office statement, summarised on another page, shows that only about one-tenth of the total number of prisoners and internees are within reach of outside aid. On the remainder the Japanese have drawn down the curtain. Little news has trickled out, and few supplies have been allowed in. all the Allied Governments and all the Red Cross Societies are leaving no stone unturned to persuade the Japanese to adopt a more amenable attitude.

Not So Bad
Letters are now at last beginning to come through in more adequate numbers from men transferred to Germany from Italian prison camps, and I am relieved

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2 The Prisoner of War January, 1944

to find that most of the writers seem to be agreeably surprised with their new surroundings, in spite of their initial bitter disappointment.
Oflag XIIB, for instance, a small camp where 300 officers are housed in a large building like a high school, appears on the whole to have risen pretty well to the occasion. The neighbouring Oflags IXA/H and AZ are helping to supply books, papers and games, and the quarters, although still rather congested, are light and airy. “In our room of 16 men,” writes an officer, “there are windows each end and we get the sun practically all day.”

Parcels In Pursuit
Lunch at 12.30, dinner at 6.45, and hot drinks at 8 are the official meal times at Oflag XIIB. Red Cross food supplies to make those times worth looking forward to should be arriving fairly punctually, too – if we can judge from the account of a man at Oflag VA. He and his companions from Italy hadn’t been at the camp more than a few days before a consignment of food parcels caught them up, and a day or two later a second delivery followed. “Magnificent,” was his word for it.

It Pulled Them Through
The luckier men who have managed to escape from Italy are bringing home with them some interesting stories of the effect Red Cross supplies have had on them in the past. One writes of his experiences as a prisoner in 1942 in Benghazi and Tripoli without the help of Red Cross parcels. “Eventually, those of us who arrived in Italy were in a pitiful condition,” he says, “but after only a few food parcels at Campo P.G.75 we pulled round amazingly, and the Christmas parcel was almost too good to be true.

Oflag IXAH – by one of its members

“Subsequently the warm clothes, boots, games, etc., all helped to make a most unpleasant experience less severe.”

Food Facts
“I am sure no one could do too much for the Red Cross if they realised how much it does for people in our position,” wrote a P.O.W. to his mother the other day. Well, how much? It needs a lengthy answer that could conveniently be started, perhaps, by a little piece of arithmetic by Lord Cromwell, recently repatriated from Germany. In the camp he was in he calculated that each man had fourteen main meals a week, ten of them made up from food parcels thus:–
Three meals of meat roll.
Two meals of stew.
Three meals of fish and/or bacon.
Two meals of porridge.
Of the four meals supplied by the Germans, one is of fresh meat, one of soup, one of cold German sausage, and the last of a ground dried pea concoction irreverently described as “chicken meal.”

New Year’s New Menu
In future the War Organisation hope to reinforce this diet still further. The Ministry of Food have agreed to release a wider variety of hot meals and a better quality in cold meats for our prisoners, and from the end of this month onwards food parcels will include the following:– Meat and vegetable and pork and vegetable rations, steak and kidney puddings, haricot oxtail, Irish stew, sausages, bacon, meat hash, minced beef and vegetables. On the cold menu there will be:– Pork luncheon meat, chopped ham (both 100 per cent. meat pack) and minced beef loaf (92 1/2 per cent.).

More of their Journals
The brief account of camp journals published in the November issue has brought me word of two others that we did not mention at the time – “The Magazine” and “The Quill,” both illustrated monthlies produced at Oflag VIIB. According to my correspondent, it is their editors’ intention to publish them at home after the war, presumably in bound volumes.

The Least He Could Do
Praise of the repatriated men – of their courage, their kindliness, their tremendous spirit – still rises like a flame behind them wherever they go. A lady in Cheam, for instance, was visited by a fighter pilot who had lost a leg in Crete, and the impression he left on her is typical, I think, of many hundreds of others. Here it is:
“He made very light of his loss, only speaking of those worse off than himself. He was spending a good bit of his leave visiting relatives of prisoners left behind, travelling round to various districts on his crutches. I can’t say how much his pluck and good spirits impressed me. When I attempted to thank him he merely said, ‘It’s the least I can do.’”

Prisoners of war at Stalag IVC.

Spectacle Service
Among the men repatriated from Stalag VIIIB is an R.A.M.C. corporal whose job in camp had to do with various medical supplies. He gives some reassuring news about spectacles. “Completed pairs were coming through from England very quickly – four to five months after the date of order. With slight unavoidable adjustment they were very satisfactory and much appreciated by the men.”

Meetings – At Both Ends
To meet and to share their news, their hopes and anxieties, is naturally a great comfort to next of kin. Prisoners themselves, also, find it equally comforting. In many camps in Germany there are groups, big and small, who meet regularly to discuss the one topic of universal interest – home. “The boys here all come from different parts of England,” a man in Stalag XXB tells his mother, “and on Sunday evenings we always have a chat about our folk and wonder what you are doing.”

“Look At Me!”
“If you need any further testimony to the work the Red Cross is doing – look at me and you have the answer,” writes a repatriated prisoner who was a college servant at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge, before he joined up as a sailor. Captured off the Norwegian coast in 1940, he was seven weeks in hospital before being moved to a prison camp in Poland for four winter months –“ the worst months of my experience,” he says, for no Red Cross parcels had arrived, and his weight dropped from 12 1/2 to 9 stone. Yet now, “most of my friends have been struck by my physical fitness. I do look and feel fit, but make no mistake about it; it is not in any measure due to the Germans!”

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January, 1944 The Prisoner of War 3

Come and Spend
A Week-end in My Stalag
By Gunner N. GOULD
[italics] Decorations by Fletcher [/italics]

MEET me at the factory where I work and come back to the camp with me for the week-end.
I live in a large room on the first floor of the building. Down the centre of the room are rows of three-tiered beds; at the sides are the tables and cupboards. The first person you must meet is Bill, my “mate.” Bill finishes work an hour earlier than I do and has already prepared our tea.
He and I pool everything we have, and live, as it were, our own private life [italics] à deux, [/italics] in this community of 500 men. His speciality is pancakes, and to-day he has certainly lived up to his reputation.
As a dutiful host I must apologise for the absence of lemon, but feel thankful that, at any rate, there is some sugar. I can see that Bill is congratulating himself on having put a clean cloth (a towel) on the table.

Teapot from Tins
As for the rest of the meal, the lettuce is from the garden plot (Red Cross seeds), and the oatmeal biscuits are from a Scottish Red Cross parcel. We have noticed your interest in the teapot. It is made from two big Canadian “Klim” milk tins soldered together; the handle and spout are parts of other tins cut to shape and soldered on.
We will spare you the discomfort of an after-tea conversation in competition with two accordions, a guitar and a mandolin. We’re used to these budding musicians, but to you it probably sounds like nothing on earth.
Instead, we’ll wander round the enclosure and see how the football match is progressing. The pitch is not full size, so we play seven-a-side matches. There are seventeen teams in the camp league.
Among the spectators are several camp personalities. You may wish to be introduced to some of them – our Australian medical officer; the “English Commandant” (a Scots sergeant-major!); the cobbler, who also repairs watches; the tailor, who makes in his spare time the dresses and costumes for the stage shows; the band leader.
Don’t despair if you are unable to understand half of what they say. So many German words are simpler and more expressive than the English, and are used so often at places of work that they have been taken into our everyday vocabulary.
But how are we to accommodate you for the night? The top bed of our tier is vacant (I sleep at the bottom, and Bill in the middle), but you might not take kindly to a straw palliasse and a drop of six feet if you roll out! We’ll wangle a night for you in the Revier (Sick Bay) on a sprung bed.

Sunday is Free
Sunday, of course, is a free day, which means that everybody can indulge by getting up later than usual. So if you value your life don’t get up before 7.30!
However, my return for a week of “tea-on-the-table” when I get in is the Sunday cooking, so you’ll be able to sample my bacon and eggs. Cooking tinned bacon is rather like being under fire; it pops and splutters so much. The eggs (powdered) depend on whether or not one has remembered to soak them the night before!
Roll call at 10.30 will undoubtedly be an experience for you. But we don’t advise you to join in. The essential part of this rite is that exactly the right number of men should be present.

“Hot Water Up”
That shout of “Hot water up!” echoing round the building is to signify that the cooks have boiling water ready for those who want to make an eleven o’clock cup of tea. From the mad scramble that ensues you will gather that this is a popular Sunday morning institution.
In the cook-house the three “rings” on the big range are booked up for hours ahead. The whole area is covered with an array of dixies, pots, and tins containing the prunes, porridge, custard, and so on, of the various owners.
We can obtain a fine grand-stand view of the after-dinner rugger match, England v. Colonials, from the library window on the top floor. The other occupants of the library this afternoon are the editor of the camp magazine and a pair of script writers, busy scribbling; one of the camp artists at work on a poster for the next show, and the librarian at work on his card index system.
The room adjoining is the Sgt. Major’s room, which might more accurately be described as the enquiries and complaints bureau. The most popular enquiry is as to when the lorry is next going in to the
(Continued on page 14.)

[cartoon pictures]

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4 The Prisoner of War January, 1944

Official Reports from the Camps

[inserted][italics] 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. [/italics][/inserted]


Hospital at Stadtroda. – This hospital is situated outside the town in a disused cigar factory. The building is old and not suited for use as a hospital.
In the previous report overcrowding was stated to be serious, but since then a wooden barrack has been added and the number of beds reduced by 50. The surgical department has also been transferred to a hospital at Egendorf so that there is now adequate living room for the medical cases which are treated in the hospital.
There are still three British doctors, one German doctor and five British medical orderlies looking after the treatment of the patients (now 122). [italics] (visited July, 1943.) [/italics]

Hospital at Egendorf. – Situated in the country in a large stone building which was previously a military school, this hospital is well away from any military objective. The building is modern and built in three storeys.
Accommodation is comfortable and not overcrowded. Central heating and lighting are adequate in all rooms. The beds are made of iron and are provided with mattresses, bed linen and blankets.
A new surgical theatre has been installed and there are now 250 beds in the surgical section of the hospital.
The X-ray apparatus which has been ordered has not yet arrived.
A young Church of England chaplain looks after the spiritual welfare of the prisoners and also visits the other hospitals in the area. [italics] (Visited March, 1943.) [/italics]

Dress Parade
Trying on the costumes for a play held at Oflag 64Z.

Hospital at Hildburghausen. – The medical and surgical sections in this hospital are in separate buildings, which were formally a lunatic asylum and are surrounded by large gardens. The food which prisoners receive is good in both quantity and quality. A large amount of fresh fruit and vegetables is produced in the grounds. The kitchen is run by German civilians. A stove for private cooking has just been supplied for the prisoners.
The Church of England chaplain from Obermassfeld visits this hospital.
Treatment is under the direction of one German physician and three British doctors. There are 16 orderlies.
There were no complaints about recreation or mail.
[italics] (Visited August, 1943.) [/italics]

Hospital at Obermassfeld. – Surgical and orthopædic cases are treated in this hospital. There are 193 British and 26 American patients under the care of one German and nine British doctors, one chaplain and 47 orderlies.
Accommodation is in an old factory which is in good condition. Two wooden barracks have just been erected for the use of the medical staff. Ventilation and heating are adequate in all rooms.
A new X-ray apparatus has been installed and is working satisfactorily. The dental surgery is well equipped, enabling the dentist and dental mechanic to carry out all kinds of work, including the making of artificial teeth. The kitchen is under German control and there are no facilities to cook B.R.C.S. invalid parcels. [italics] (Visited August, 1943.) [/italics]

Hospital at Freising (Bavaria). – This is a large, well-equipped modern military hospital. All the rooms are airy, clean and well-kept.
There are 33 British and 11 American prisoner of war patients under the care of one German and one British doctor.
The food, which is cooked by nuns, is good. Special diets, including eggs and milk and semolina, are given to patients who need them.
Clothing stocks appear to be adequate. Dental treatment is given by a German dentist in the hospital. Mail is irregular. [italics] (Visited August, 1943.) [/italics]

Interior of a hut at Stalag Luft 3.

The camp, which is situated at Schubin, near Bromberg in Poland, consists of a large stone house, which accommodates American officers, and a smaller stone house which is used as a hospital and in which several British orderlies are billeted. The hospital has only four sick patients at present.
Sports are well organised. One concrete barrack is used as a study room and another for theatricals. There is a large sports field but a shortage of equipment. The Roman Catholic chaplain here says Mass and also holds a general service for the Protestants. Cooking is done by the Americans. Their only complaint is that the ration is rather small. [italics] (Visited October 5, 1943.) [/italics]

Upper Camp. – There are 179 British officers and 46 orderlies in this part of the camp. The building is an old castle which was formally used as a forestry school. It is centrally heated and each room accommodates 8-10 prisoners of war. Lighting is bad and there has been a water shortage due to dry weather.
Food and medical attention are satisfactory.
Dental treatment has been organised since the last visit. A prisoner of war dentist is now giving treatment. He can, however, only do fillings and extractions. Prisoners who need bridges

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January, 1944 The Prisoner of War 5

Talent Display
The arts and crafts exhibition held at Oflag 64.

and plates can have them made by the local dentist.
There is no canteen here. Religious services are held by two Anglican chaplains.

Lower Camp. – Another old school has been converted into this prisoner of war camp. It is not far from the Upper Camp and is pleasantly situated beside a stream. At present it holds 215 British officers and 40 orderlies.
The water supply is limited, consequently the number of hot baths has been reduced to two per month for each prisoner of war. A swimming pool is available.
Fuel for private cooking is scarce. Sports and walks are well organised. Some rooms are still overcrowded. [italics] (Visited August.) [/italics]

There are 116 non-working N.C.O.s in the base camp. Attached to this camp are 52 work camps which hold altogether 750 prisoners of war. Most of the prisoners are Australians; only 33 are from the U.K.
The electric light is still very poor, especially in the Australian barrack. Fortunately this is now less crowded. The billiards table is now much used. Theatrical productions are in full swing, as well as an amateur band. Lemonade and occasionally beer are the only items obtainable in the canteen.
Walks for protected personnel have been stopped owing to shortage of guards.

Work Camp No. 4842, Hammelburg. – Twenty-eight prisoners of war are living in a small stone house in the town. This billet is overcrowded and altogether unsatisfactory.
The prisoners work long hours sorting private and Red Cross parcels for the whole of the Stalag and its various Work Camps.

Work Camp No. 7028, Fuchstadt; No. 7011, Heustreu; and No. 7005, Wulfershausen; and No. 7008, Groswenkheim. – These are all agricultural camps where prisoners are accommodated in farms. Living conditions here are good, though Sunday work is often compulsory.

The band at Stalag IXC.

Work Detachment No. 26, Weimarstrasse, Erfurt. – This detachment contains 92 prisoners of war who work for a seed firm. Accommodation and toilet facilities are good.
The food is now cooked by the prisoners themselves and they are satisfied with this arrangement. There is always a good supply of fresh-grown vegetables.
The canteen supplies two bottles of beer to each man per week. There are very few other articles obtainable.
No padre has ever visited the camp. The sports ground is in use again. Mail is irregular.

Work Detachment 35B, Erfurt. – Conditions in this camp are, unfortunately, not good.
Accommodation is bad. The windows and shutters on one side of the barracks are closed so that in hot weather the men suffered from lack of ventilation.
There is no running water in the compound and prisoners of war have to fetch water from a nearby factory. Once a fortnight the men are allowed to take a hot shower at the public baths.
Food is better than it was formally. Generally speaking, the camp is badly off for clothing.

Work Detachment 27B. – Men who work in this detachment are billeted at No. 35B. They work in extremely dismal surroundings sorting coal-dust and cinders.
Food is brought to the camp from a community kitchen in the town and there is no complaint about it.
The canteen provides beer and French cigarettes, but little else.
Note. – Information has been received that this work detachment is now closed.

Work Detachment No. 51B. – The prisoners are accommodated in a former beer garden restaurant which is very pleasant. It has a kitchen, a day room and a large sleeping room.
The men work at putting up electric light standards. There has been a shortage of fresh vegetables from the camp diet but that is now more satisfactory. The cooking is done by prisoners of war themselves.
Medical and dental attention is given by a civilian doctor and dentist at Gispersleben, to whom visits may be made at any time.
Clothing is not in very good condition here. No padre has ever visited this camp.

Work Detachment No. 1401. – In this camp there are 169 Scottish prisoners of war. Accommodation and toilet facilities are adequate. Work is done at the salt mines. There were no complaints at the time of the visit. It is considered a good camp. [italics] (Visited July, 1943) [/italics]

Please note the following on your Camp List:-
Add: OFLAG VIC, situated at Osnabruck.
The locations of the following camps are:-
OFLAG VA, Weinsburg.
STALAG XIIF, Bolchen (N.E. of Metz).

Penguin Books have informed us that the following ten books were chosen as the November selection for prisoners in camps in Germany:-
PENGUINS:- [italics] Selected Short Stories of “Saki”, Put Out More Flags [/italics], Evelyn Waugh: [italics] She Was a Queen [/italics], Maurice Collis: [italics] Doctor Darwin [/italics], Hesketh Pearson: [italics] ‘Twixt Land and Sea Tales [/italics], Joseph Conrad: [italics] A Game Warden Among His Charges [/italics], C.R.S. Pitman: [italics] The Hotel [/italics], Elizabeth Bowen.
PELICANS:- [italics] Man Microbe and Malady [/italics], Dr. John Drew: [italics] Britain B.C. [/italics], S.E. Winbolt: [italics] Rutherford of Nelson [/italics], Ivor B.N. Evans.

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6 The Prisoner of War January, 1944

The band at Stalag XXB/328.

The Brighter Side

SPORT and theatricals – football and footlights – are apparently becoming still busier centres of attraction on the entertainment side of camp life in Germany. Their popularity is being helped, of course, by the cold afternoons and long evenings of winter, and in theatricals, especially, it looks as if prisoners are going to enjoy a boom season.
At Stalag IIID [italics] Treasure Island [/italics] was chosen by the camp concert party as the Christmas show, after their success with [italics] The Vagabond King [/italics]. A little earlier the staging of [italics] The Student Prince [/italics] had won applause from the audience that was echoed in their letters home.

“Empire United”
In addition a repeat performance of a previous concert was planned here in honour of eighty new arrivals from Italy, who were given a great welcome. “There are a number of South Africans among them, so we now have in camp men from every part of the Empire,” remarks one man. “One of the room football teams is now named Empire United.”

Good shows
“I wish you could have been here!” exclaims a member of Marlag und Milag Nord to his wife in describing “some really good entertainment . . . last night we had a concert of mixed music, and last week the thriller, [italics] Ten Minute Alibi [/italics]. The next show is [italics] Banana Ridge [/italics].” He on to speak of football and of the cricket season that was just finished. On the improvised pitch “we usually allowed two days a week for the better players and the remaining days for what we call goon cricket – funny matches and so forth.”

Empire games at Fort 15, Stalag XXA.

High Jinks
Fantastic “horses” whose bodies were constructed of wooden stools and with heads made from the cardboard of Red Cross boxes were put through their paces a little while ago at a “race meeting” at Stalag Luft 6. Ingenuity, however, did not rest with the horses; the event was enlivened by a grand parade and dance in fancy dress devised “from scrap cloth and odds and ends from personal parcels,” according to the account of one performer, a Scotsman, “Out kilts were of blankets coloured with chalk to form proper tartans and our tunics doctored with white wool and silver paper to look like Highland dress. The Maoris sang and danced, the Canadians did a barn dance, one of us Scotsmen did the Highland Fling, three the Sword Dance and eight an Eightsome Reel. Unfortunately,” he adds, “there were no bagpipes.”

Exercise – Two Versions
A more sober invention at Stalag Luft 6 is to be found in the form of dumb-bells made out of Red Cross tins filled with sand. Effective, too, apparently – “as a result of our opening performance with them we are as stiff as blazes; but in spite of that a bar-bell will be the next product.” Not content with such exercise alone, this correspondent is “muscling in” on other weighty subjects. “I am going to classes in German, Spanish and French,” he says. “They help to pass the time.”

Strung Up!
There’s an enterprising amateur dress designer in Stalag 383 who has made himself a pair of shorts out of an old shirt. “They look all right when I’m standing up,” he says, “but I don’t think I can sit down in them.”
However, when he’s tired of standing he can at least relax in luxury in a hammock that he has pieced together from Red Cross parcel string – “much more comfortable than sleeping on boards, and almost like a spring mattress.”

For Film Fans
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers entertained Stalag Luft 3 a few weeks ago in their film [italics] Shall We Dance? [/italics] – thanks to the Red Cross in its unfamiliar role of film distributor to P.O.W. camps. The audience went away with the prospect of returning soon to see the next “forthcoming attraction,” Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in [italics] Bringing Up Baby [/italics].
A consignment of beer had luckily arrived at the camp at about the same time, so that the Astaire-Rogers dances may have gone with more of a swing than ever.

Symphony Orchestra
When the Stalag VIIIB symphony orchestra gives a concert nowadays “you have to queue for it,” writes a member of its audience. “There’s a capacity of 600, but there are 14,000 in the camp.” The orchestra itself is 50 strong, with three double-basses (one of them from a famous West End dance band), “form most mellifluous horns,” and violins described by our correspondent as being a little “panicky.” However, a concert early in October proved a success for all concerned. Beethoven’s Fifth was the main feature.

Putting His Foot in It
The inmates of Stalag Luft 6 have had the chance of enjoying at least two good plays lately – [italics] George and Margaret [/italics] and Noel Coward’s [italics] Design for Living [/italics]. Each show runs usually for four nights, which means that, with a theatre holding 350, 1,400 people can see it.
There is much admiration for the skill with which men manage to play women’s parts. “They have all the actions and movements just right,” remarks one critic, “except last night when one of them tried to stand up in an evening dress and couldn’t because he had his feet on the skirt.”

Figures carved by a prisoner of war at Marlag und Milag.

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January, 1944 The Prisoner of War 7

GROUP from the CAMPS









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10 The Prisoner of War January,1944

of course, though they felt the parting from their friends, and, of course, this place has been a home (of sorts) for some of them for 2 1/2 years. Roll on our boat.
A sudden craze for indoor games has hit this room now. You should see all the bent heads at the table at this moment. Fierce concentration is going on over bridge, draughts and dominoes.
We are quite resigned to spending long winter nights indoors, though we are sure it will be the last.
Food parcels are pouring in in an attempt to establish a six months’ reserve, and I wish the Red Cross luck. Anyway, we have enough here now to last until the New Year. I have had scraps of news about the regiment. I suppose most of my mates are gone now, but I wish I was still with them in action.

The civilian internment camp at St. Denis, France.

A Two-day Exam
[italics] Stalag XXID. [/italics] 12.10.43.
I MENTIONED in my previous letter that I was entering for the Advertising Association examination; well, last week saw the finish of it. It was a two-day examination with four papers, each 2 1/2 hours, a total of ten hours. There are three more parts to the examination; it is a start in the right direction, and whether I pass or not I am feeling pleased with myself.
Facilities for study in this life are not of the best, and I always admired those who stuck it before me.
Our entertainment hut is now finished and in use; it is tastefully decorated and is complete with a small orchestral pit. One must give full marks to the chaps who have worked so diligently at it during their all-too-brief moments of spare time. It was opened by the Swiss Protecting Power.

He Was at P.G. 53
[italics] Stalag VIIA. [/italics] 9.10.43.
I AM perfectly well. More food here than we had in Italy. We have had two issues of American Red Cross food parcels, and considering the disappointment of not coming home from Italy, myself and pals are in good spirits. We even had a beer issue last week and I could not find any teetotallers.

At Escaped Prisoners’ Camp
[italics] Camp D’Evadés de Guerre Britanniques, Wil., St. Gallen, Switzerland. [/italics] 6.10.43.
I HOPE by this time you will have heard of my change of address; we were told last week that you would be notified within the next few days.
We have been here two weeks and just beginning to get settled again; the people have treated us very well indeed.
Our quarters are quite good, sleeping in a large hall and feeding at a hotel across the road. The food is rationed, but we get enough.
We had our first pay day yesterday (12 francs a week); as we had been without smokes for several days we were mighty glad of it; it also enabled me to slip out and buy this writing material this morning.
Don’t send any clothing, as we are getting issued with it. I had to leave most of my accumulated stock behind; we hope our stay here will be a short one.

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 originals are requested, and wherever 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 related to prisoners of war.
Ten Shillings will also be awarded for photographs reproduced across two columns, and five shillings for those across one. 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]

Empire Games at Stalag XXA.

Record Dinner
[italics] Stalag 383 [/italics] 25.9.43.
I THINK we had a record dinner for Gefangenschaft to-day, comprising marrow stuffed with sausage meat, onions, tomatoes, herbs, etc., with baked potatoes and runner beans; we had a pudding to follow, but could not manage it then, so had it for tea.
Re exam., I passed second class in both the Senior General and Teachers’ Prelim.*
I’m sure you must be feeling happier these days and, like me, just longing for the great day to come.
* This refers to the examination of the Royal Horticultural Society.

From a Naval D.S.O.
[italics] Oflag XIIB. [/italics] 6.10.43.
THIS is our permanent camp; 300 officers, though we are not full yet; all from Italy, from Padula, Sulmona and Modena. It is a Senior Officers’ camp, something like 29, and is a large Schloss similar to those grey-turreted castles you see in Scotland. I think it was built in 1903 as a college, and is large and fairly modernly equipped and quite comfortable. We are in rooms of six to twelve. It is a great relief to have wooden floors instead of cold Italian stone ones.
The weather is getting colder, but not unpleasantly so yet. This building is very liberally centrally heated, and should keep quite warm.
We left Italy in rather a hurry, but I was able to bring most of my kit. It is cheaper living here than Italy as messing is free, and we get an allowance of 108 marks a month. . . . I expect you thought we might be freed, but under the circumstances I am afraid there was no hope of it.
The Italians must have known it, too, and, in fact, they co-operated in handing us over and put us off with false promises as well as allowing us no news for the last month.

A Nice Pleasant Job
[italics] Stalag VIIIB. [/italics] 17.10.43.
I HAVE been lucky to obtain a post in the Red Cross Depot just outside the Stalag here, which I think should be quite a nice pleasant job, handling parcels, clothing, etc., etc. Jimmy is also starting with me to-morrow, and two other men out of my old company also work there.
There has been a large number of men leaving this camp to be repatriated (R.A.M.C. personnel, wounded, etc.), and several jobs have become available to the men who have been out for three years.
It is certainly nice to see the lads who were wounded in France getting away at last.

[page break]

January, 1944 The Prisoner of War 11

The Men Who Visit the Camps
How the I.R.R.C. Delegates Do Their Work

MANY people have heard repatriated men from Germany and Italy speak of the Red Cross Delegates. Who are these remarkable men, who have access to rigidly-guarded prison camps, and whose activities have been so vital to the well-being of our men?
Few, if any, among the cheering thousands at Leith quayside when the repatriates arrived recognised the two tall civilians who slipped quietly ashore from the first tender.
For Britons this was an occasion of profound joy, but for MM. Rudolphe Haccius and J. Cellerier it was just another mission for humanity successfully concluded.
These Swiss delegates had, as part of their normal duty, travelled from Britain to Sweden with the returning Germans, assisted in the intricate exchange at Gothenburg, and made the return journey as neutral observers and Red Cross escorts for our own men.
On the outward voyage the delegates were available, as they had been throughout the Germans’ captivity, as intermediaries between prisoners and captors in all questions relating to the health and comfort. Hundreds of miles away, their “opposite numbers” had travelled with our men from Germany to Sweden.

Each is a Swiss
The delegates are the front-line representatives of the International Red Cross Committee, and like all the members of this committee and its workers, each is a Swiss. This means, of course, that the vital principle of International Red Cross work – strict neutrality – is maintained, not only in Geneva itself, but wherever the work of the committee is carried out.
There are 48 separate International Red Cross delegations all over the world, and the total number of delegates approaches 100.

Dr. Descoeudres, International Red Cross delegate, watches prisoners of war peeling potatoes at Stalag XXA.

In Europe alone there are 38 delegates in 14 different countries. Africa has 21, the Americas 15, and seven countries in Asia 19. In Britain there are five.
One of the most striking examples of growth of the Delegates’ work is given by the fact that whereas during the war of 1914-18 the total visits to prisoners of war and internment camps were 520, to-day the visits are already nearing the 4,000 mark.

10,000 Miles by Train.
Dr. Wolf de Salis covered over 10,000 miles by train and 2,000 by car in a 70-day tour of prisoner of war camps in Italy last year. In North Africa this year, during a tour of 60 camps in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, five Delegates covered 25,000 miles.
Apart from their camp visits, the individual Delegates, in spite of the importance of their work, are little known outside certain Government departments and the national Red Cross organisations of the countries in which they are stationed. Their photographs or even their names rarely appear in the Press and they never give interviews.
There is good reason for this – they are neutrals in a belligerent country, and nothing must ever be allowed of affect this neutrality and thus jeopardise the prestige and reputation for strict integrity upon which the success of their task depends.
The qualifications of Delegates are as high. Nearly all of them have had medical or legal training. Linguistic ability is essential and to this must, be coupled the tact of a diplomat, and the lawyer’s skill in assessing evidence and valuing statements.
Humanity is their task, but in order to make it effective, sympathy must never be allowed to override justice.
When a delegate is engaged by the International Red Cross Committee, his first task is to take a study course at Geneva. Thus he acquires a complete working knowledge of all activities of the Committee’s “Central Agency for Prisoners of War” with which he will maintain constant contact by cable letter or phone when he is posted abroad.
After some weeks – or even months – he will be nominated by the Committee as a Delegate to a particular country and when the nomination has been accepted by the Government of the country, he will be sent abroad.
The principal task of the Delegate is to visit and report on prisoners of war and internee camps, and, as far as lies within his power to get irregularities and wrongs put right.
His “bible” is the Geneva Convention of 1929, which sets out in detail exactly what are the rights of prisoners of war in the matter of food, shelter, work, education, religious observances, medical care, etc.
In all this the Delegate works in collaboration with the representatives of the “Protecting Power,” who are diplomats of a neutral State charged with the protection of legitimate enemy interests in an opposing country. The Delegate’s camp reports in all belligerent countries are based on a standard questionnaire drawn up by Geneva to cover 66 different points.

Camp Visits
But camp visits and supervising exchanges by no means complete the duties. Some Delegates have the onerous and often heartbreaking task of organising and controlling the distribution of relief to civilians in devastated war areas.
Magnificent work of this type is being done in Greece under difficult conditions. Two of the Delegates have the dangerous task of getting food supplies to the remote islands of the Ægean Sea by means of small native sailing vessels.
[italics] The above article has been reprinted by the courtesy of the “Yorkshire Evening News.” [/italics]

Music Wherever They Go
SETS of orchestral implements supplied by the War Organisation were on their way to prison camps in Italy at the time of the Italian Armistice. Luckily, the International Red Cross at Geneva were able to stop their journey and redirect them to Germany.
This means that Stalags IVA, C and F and VIIIA, and Oflag VA, have each received a new nine-piece orchestra, consisting of three violins and one viola, a clarinet and a cornet, two saxophones or a saxophone and cello, and a set of drums. Spare reeds and strings are included. Because of its size, Stalag IVB has been privileged with a double ration.
In all these newly opened camps there are probably many men transferred from Italy.

[page break]

12 The Prisoner of War January, 1944

News About the Far East

Official Reports
Great Western Road (Civil Assembly Centre)
HERE there are 113 men, 164 women and 110 children of British, American, Dutch and Belgian nationality. The buildings were formally used by the British army in Shanghai.
Many of the families have separate apartments to themselves. Camp doctors and trained nurses attend to the sick; cases of severe sickness are removed to the Shanghai Municipal Hospital.
The food is sufficient and the cooking is being improved. Fresh milk and soya bean milk is given to children and invalids. There is no canteen, but supplies may be obtained from outside.
There is ample room for recreation. The inmates have the use of a library, which is being enlarged. Protestant and Catholic services are held regularly.
British inmates receive monthly allowances of 700 dollars each through the Protecting Power, by arrangement with the British Government. They may send one local message and one message abroad every month. They are allowed to receive one local message each month; the receipt of messages from abroad is not restricted. [italics] (Visited August, 1943.) [/italics]

Pootung (Civil Assembly Centre)
BRITISH subjects in the Centre number 683. Americans 382, and Dutch 15. They are accommodated in the reconditioned warehouses of the British/American Tobacco Company. The accommodation is satisfactory; the rooms are airy and well lit, washing facilities are well provided for with running water and shower baths and there is a large kitchen, well equipped with refrigerators.
There is an infirmary under the direction of three doctors, and a dispensary which is adequately stocked. All the inmates have been inoculated against cholera, typhoid, and smallpox. Three American dentists who have complete equipment give dental attention. The general state of health is satisfactory.
There is a large sports ground, but a certain shortage of equipment. Theatrical and musical entertainments are organised. A library of 2,000 books has been provided. Protestant and Catholic services are held regularly.
British inmates receive a monthly allowance of 700 dollars each through the Protecting Power by arrangement with the British Government. They have also been receiving parcels of comforts, sent in to the Centre by local residents who are uninterned. Inmates are allowed to send one local message and one message abroad every month. They may receive one local message a month; the receipt of messages from abroad is not restricted. [italics] (Visited August, 1943.) [/italics]

A FURTHER stage is the constant efforts of Red Cross and St. John to bring relief to British prisoners of war and internees in the Far East has just been reached in regard to Siam.
350,000 bahts (£21,000) has been placed at the disposal of the Swiss Consul in Bangkok for the local purchases of medical supplies, toilet necessities, cigarettes and clothing for the benefit of prisoners of war in Siam. From this sum the Swiss Consul has purchased and transmitted to the prisoners food, soap, cigarettes and medical supplies, and he has received receipts indicating that supplies have reached their destination.
In addition to the expenditure referred to above, the Swiss Consul in Bangkok has been authorised to send money to the camps for local purchases of food. For this purpose 160,000 bahts (£9,500) a month is being made available.

[italics] International Red Cross copyright [/italics]
Divine Service at Keijo Camp, Korea.

THE paucity of news regarding British P.O.W.s in Japanese hands and the inability of the Protecting Power to obtain information were the subject of a statement made recently in the House of Commons by the Foreign Under-Secretary (Mr. George Hall). His main points were:-
The Japanese authorities at the start of their military campaign made it clear that they would not allow representatives either of neutral powers or of the International Red Cross Committee to establish themselves in newly occupied territories. All neutral representatives were either recalled or no longer recognised.
The Japanese authorities have persistently refused to allow the appointment of the R.C.C. delegates in Malaya, the Philippine Islands, the Dutch East Indies and Burma.
As the Japanese have plainly no intention of allowing neutral or international observers to see conditions in the occupied territories until it suits them, we are bound to conclude that the condition of those areas, especially of our P.O.W. and civilian internees, would not bear independent investigation.
It is not the method or the channel of approach to the Japanese authorities which are at fault, but simply the Japanese character and attitude towards the Geneva Convention and prisoner of war questions generally.
Everything humanly possible is being done both by the Swiss authorities and by the I.R.C.C. on behalf of our men and women in Japanese hands.

Prisoners in Japanese Hands
According to recent official statements in Parliament the number of United Kingdom service personnel known to be in Japanese hands is as follows:-
Navy: 189 officers; 1,707 ratings.
Army: 2,592 officers; 32,274 other ranks.
R.A.F.: 323 officers, 4,806 other ranks.
The above represents the total number of names received not only through official sources, but also through other channels, such as the receipt by relatives of mail from the prisoners direct. Some time ago it was officially stated that approximately 55,000 United Kingdom personnel were reported missing in the Far East up to the time of the termination of fighting in Burma in the spring of 1942. It will be seen, therefore, that the number still unaccounted for runs into thousands, in spite of constant pressure on Japan to improve mail and to send more notifications.

[page break]

January, 1944 The Prisoner of War 13

War Office Official Describes Position

[italics] THE following notes sum up the position and condition of prisoners of war and civilian internees in the Far East, as described by a War Office official on December 17th. [/italics]
Roughly one-tenth of the 300,000 people in Japanese hands (from the British Commonwealth, U.S.A., and Netherlands East Indies) are held in the area north of the Philippines. Conditions here are probably less unfavourable than elsewhere in the Far East, though the diet normally available will not maintain Europeans in health over long periods unless it can be supplemented from outside.
IN JAPAN. – Representatives of the Protecting Power and of the I.R.C.C. have been allowed to visit and report on certain camps. The I.R.C.C. delegate and Y.M.C.A. World’s Alliance representative have been allowed to make local purchases in Japan, from the limited supply of English books and games available, to send to some camps – but not all. There are some which have never been visited, and H.M. Government are not satisfied that they yet know of all the camps or all the prisoners. Such information as has been received suggests that conditions in KOREA and FORMOSA are much the same as in Japan.
IN SHANGHAI. – Comparatively few prisoners, but some thousands of British and American internees. Conditions generally seem to be reasonable. Representatives of the Protecting Power and I.R.C.C. are allowed to visit camps and send in relief supplies purchased locally.
IN HONG-KONG. – Names and locations of prisoners are known to us. Only an I.R.C.C. delegate is recognised and allowed to visit camps under certain limitations. It would be foolish to assume that conditions are anything more than tolerable at the best.

Southern Area
About nine-tenths of the prisoners of war and internees are, so far as is known, in the area comprising the PHILIPPINES, JAVA, BORNEO, SUMATRA, MALAYA, SIAM and BURMA.
So far the Japanese have refused either to reveal where the camps are or, with small exceptions, to recognise the Protecting Power. In Malaya an I.R.C.C. agent may buy supplies from Japanese sources and send them to camps, but camp visits are forbidden him.
IN SIAM the Swiss Consul is recognised by the Siamese Government, but has no authority with the Japanese.
In the rest of this SOUTHERN AREA, nothing is known of what is going on where the prisoners are.

The total area in which these 300,000 are held covers about five million square miles. All the communications, on land and sea, by telephone, telegraph and wireless, are under absolute Japanese control.
The Allied Governments do not accept the Japanese refusal to “lift the black-out” on the southern area. They and the Red Cross Societies are doing and will continue to do everything possible to secure both reliable information and Japanese assent to the distribution of relief supplies. Meanwhile, from the little information that is available, it is impossible to give any reassurance as to the conditions in which our people in the Far East are living.

[italics] (Continued on page 15) [/italics]

IN November, 1942, about 273 men were interned in Haiphong Road Camp, and an official list giving the names of these internees has been transmitted by the Japanese authorities. At a later date some who had been at the Hope Hospital, Amoy, were brought to Shanghai and interned at Haiphong Road Camp.
In the spring of 1943 the Japanese authorities put practically all the remaining British nationals in occupied China into “Civil Assembly Centres.” Some people have been allowed to stay in their own houses presumably on account of age or poor health.
These “Centres” resemble internment camps, but are under the jurisdiction of the Japanese Consulate General, and not, as in the case of Haiphong Road Camp, under the jurisdiction of the Japanese Gendarmerie.
No official list of the inmates of these “Centres” has yet been transmitted, but many Red Cross parcel messages from people in the “Centres” are now reaching this country.
The following are the “Centres” in Shanghai and occupied China:-
Pootung (Shanghai).
Yu Yuen Road (Shanghai).
Great Western Road (Shanghai).
Chapei (Shanghai).
Lunghwa (Shanghai).
Columbia Country Club (Shanghai).
Yangchow (about 80 miles up-river from Shanghai).
Chefoo (Province of Shantung).
Weihsien (Province of Shantung).

Relief Supplies
From information dated July, 1943, it is clear that the internees in Haiphong Road Camp and the inmates of the “Centres” in and around Shanghai were receiving gift parcels from local relatives and is at present not possible to send individual parcels from this country to the Far East, though some relief supplies have been sent in bulk.

Red Cross Postal Message Scheme
It is possible to communicate with internees in Haiphong Road Camp and with the inmates of the Civil Assembly Centres by means of the “Red Cross Postal Message Scheme.” These 25-word messages are despatched by the Red Cross Postal Message Bureaux (frequently the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau). Any Post Office should be able to provide the name of the local bureau. The correct way to address a message to an internee at Haiphong Road Camp is as follows:
Christian names, Surname, Number (if known),
British Civilian Internee,
Haiphong Road Camp,

The correct way to address a message to an inmate of a Civil Assembly Centre is as follows:
Christian names, Surname, Number, British National,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Civil Assembly Centre, Name of town or province.

In every case the Foreign Relations Department of the British Red Cross, Clarence House, St. James’s, will inform all enquirers as soon as a camp or “Centre” address is known. Until official notification has been received it is advisable to send Red Cross Postal Messages to the former home address. These messages are forwarded by the International Red Cross delegate in Shanghai, who will redirect them if the addressee has moved.

The War Prisoners’ Aid of the Y.M.C.A. (under the auspices of the World’s Alliance of the Y.M.C.A.) have received a letter from an officer who is a prisoner of war in Osaka Camp.
This letter, which came through the Swedish Legation at Tokio, [sic] expresses the thanks of officers and men in this camp for gifts which they have received from the Y.M.C.A.
In the letter this officer writes:
“Your thoughtful selection of books, including cultural, technical and fictional works, ensures something to suit every taste. . . . Your kind action will always be remembered. Thank you also for the musical instruments, which enlivened many dull hours. As there are many amateur musicians here we have had several concerts.

[page break]

14 The Prisoner of War January, 1944

How They Help the Funds

OFTEN in past issues it has been the young people whose examples have shone most brightly from this page. But this month, beyond any doubt at all, pride of place goes to the elderly. Their sacrifice and determination in raising money for our prisoners should be known and remembered by all next of kin – while the scale of their actual achievement deserves our most grateful applause.
Mrs. Bacon, for instance, in spite of her 72 years, is in charge of a collection box in Dynevor Road, Skewen, Glamorgan. And in her hands during the last ten months that box has amassed the wonderful sum of £110 for the funds.

Christmas Sale
At Frolesworth, near Rugby, this summer the old ladies of the Almshouses had the happy idea of holding a Christmas sale to help the P.O.W. Though many of them are over 80, they set to work at once in preparation, starting work parties and enlisting the help of the whole village. Thanks to their successful efforts the funds have now been enlarged to the extent of £130. But they do not rest content. So keen and proud and active are they in the cause that they have determined to carry on the good work after Christmas.
Lying ill at her home in the village of Musbury, near Axminster, another old lady, Miss Bouchard, received an un-expected cheque for £5 the other day. To how many little personal comforts could she not treat herself, an old-age pensioner, with such a gift! And yet this was not the way she looked at it. She saw what seemed to her a more urgent purpose, and quietly but firmly she has passed on those £5 – to the funds.

Selling Flowers
Young people, of course, have also been busy, and to much good effect. Jessica Lane and Gillian Vine, aged nine and eleven respectively, have sent £1 14s. as a result of selling flowers and making a miniature garden which they “threw open to the public” at 1d. entrance fee. At Stewkley, near Leighton Buzzard, two concerts, held by children in their homes, at the time of a Christmas bazaar organised by their elders, has helped to raise the joint proceeds to the admirable total of £324.

A group of workers at Frolesworth

Egg Sale
Mrs. Cook, of Westminster, has shown great business acumen. By selling a basket of fruit and new-laid eggs presented to her for the purpose by her greengrocer, Mr. C. Bird, she has been able to send us £12 10s. A lemon, though, still seems to give the best answer as a money raiser. One produced by Lt. J.W. Rowlands, of Bangor, fetched £26 19s. 7d. recently as an advance item of the treasure sale to be held in the town next February in aid of the funds.
Selling, home-made dolls proves a popular occupation, especially over the Christmas season. In this way Mrs. Ker, of Crowthorne, Berkshire, has helped us with £2 10s.: Mrs. Edward Davis, of Cullercoats, Northumberland, £5; the staff of Nicholl’s Stores, Kensington (in yet another effort), £5 3s.; and a 70 year-old lady of Blackfriars, £2 15s. She knitted a Micky Mouse. Mrs. Southgate, of Lambeth, raised £11 8s. 6d. on the sale of a model aeroplane made by her brother, Mr. Richard Robins.
For a fire-screen her husband made before he joined the Forces, Mrs. Bowler, of Leicester, has accepted £5, which she contributed to the cause, while £3 comes from Mrs. Wallace, of Braintree, raised by her disposal of a pink silk “nightie” case.

Skittles Match
Miss Rosina Pearle and her colleagues at Clevedon, Somerset, had a skittles match the other day. At the end, with 12s. 6d. in hand, “we decided to put the kitty into some fund,” she says, “and thought the Red Cross was the most deserving.” By the well-tried method of saving ship-halfpennies, Mrs. Jesson and her little daughter, of Gargrave, Lancashire, have just collected 5s. 6d.; but Mr. Patrick Doolan, of Moseley, Birmingham, has hit on a more seasonal way of self-denial. The £1 10s. he sends “I should in normal times have used for buying Christmas cards,” he tells us. “But while the war is on I would sooner the money go to the relief of our prisoners of war.”
Others have kindly sent us the following contributions:-
£10 from the W.V.S. of Barugh Green, Nr. Barnsley (their second donation).
£5 from Mr. W. Tilt, of Sutton Coldfield, Nr. Birmingham; Mr. C. Moore, of Perambar, Madras; and the pupils of Heversham School, Milnethorpe, Westmorland.
£4 from Mrs. Gemmall Smith, of Sydney, New South Wales.
£3 3s. from Mrs. Goldie, of Cumnock, Ayrshire.
£1 10s. from Mrs. Arnold, of Walmer, Deal; and Mrs. Draper, of Cheam, Surrey.
£1 1s. from Mrs. Randall, of Petts Wood, Kent; Mrs. H.R. Taylor, of Thornton-in-Craven, Nr. Skipton, Yorkshire; and Mrs. Sanderson, of Morpeth.
£1 0s. 3d. from Mrs. Day, Bexhill.
£1 from Mrs. Huxford, of Woodbridge, Suffolk; Mrs. Trenear Gaze, of Diss, Norfolk; and a group of “Victory Girls” of Redhill, Surrey.
10s. from Mrs. Baker, of South Wootton, King’s Lynn; Mrs. F.C.N. Smith, of Westminster; Mrs. Morris, of Bolton; Mr. J. Wyllie, of Walton-on-Thames; and Mr. Joseph Lamb, of Cockfield, Bishop Auckland.
5s. from Mrs. H. Talson, of Dewsbury; Mrs. Walenn, of Golders Green; Mrs. Arthur, of Barrasford, Hexham; Mrs. Angell, of Manchester, 19; Mrs. Halfin, of London, E.; Mrs. Coombe, of Huyton, Liverpool; Mrs. Miles, of Mayfield, Tunbridge Wells; Mrs. J.E. Bull, of Fratton, Portsmouth; Mrs. F. Hodges, of Daventry; Mrs. R. Mills, of Abbey Wood, S.E.; Mrs. Vernon, of Edgware; and Master Freddy Moat, of Newcastle-on-Tyne.
2s. 6d. from Mrs. Galloway, of West London (an annual gift); Mrs. Moffat, of Padstow, Cornwell; and Mrs. Nash, of Newmarket.

[italics] (Continued from page 3) [/italics]

main Stalag H.Q. for the collection of parcels and mail.
After tea an undenominational service is held, conducted by a lance-corporal. Later on there is the weekly mail to be written and despatched, and to end the day the band gives its usual Sunday evening programme from the “band-stand” – the outdoor boxing ring. As we reluctantly bid you goodbye at 8p.m. they are just swinging into their signature tune, “Amapola.”
What were your impressions of us? A depressed area? Certainly not! Rather, we hope you left us with the picture in your mind of a small but cheerful community of Britons.

[page break]

January, 1944 The Prisoner of War 15

[italics] United Red Cross Action to Get Supplies to Far East [/italics]

AT their recent Conference in Washington, the American, British and Canadian Red Cross Societies have agreed upon a joint policy and a concerted plan of action for providing relief, though Red Cross channel, to United Nations military prisoners and civilian internees in the Far East.
The aim of the Conference was to establish a regular relief service to benefit all of them, and to supplement the measures that have so far proved possible. So far, 5,000 tons of supplies have been carried in four exchange ships, and a considerable quantity has been purchased locally through the I.R.C.C. delegates. It was emphasised, however, that a regular flow of relief cannot be established without the co-operation of the Japanese authorities; and this, in spite of numerous representations, has not yet been secured.
As the Japanese Government has co-operated by carrying into Japan for distribution the relief supplies sent on the exchange ships and has offered to consider receiving and distributing further such supplies forwarded via the Soviet Union, the Conference still hopes through concerted action to establish shipping routes to the Far East for a steady flow of food, medicines, clothing and other articles to be bought mainly in the U.S.A. and Canada.
The joint machinery set up by the Conference has already started working, and is being applied to the handling of relief shipments to Vladivostok made recently through an American West Coast port. The Red Cross Societies will continue in unison to use every possible means to gain Japan’s permission for regular shipments to the Far East, reinforcing the efforts already made individually over a long period by them and the Governments concerted.
At the final meeting of the Conference on December 1st the Red Cross delegations were joined by representatives of the U.S. State Department, the British Embassy, the Dominion Legations, and the Agent General for India.
Afterwards, Sir Ernest Burdon, who, with Mr. J.M. Eddy represented the British Red Cross, paid a tribute to the part played by the Canadian and American Delegations in the work of the Conference, which had in his opinion dealt very satisfactorily with every issue put before it that was controllable by Red Cross Societies.
As well as for the British, he had been authorised to speak for the Red Cross Societies of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India, and he knew that they were all willing at any time to give any help in their power, as also was the Netherlands East Indies Society.

Warm to Wear
This pullover takes 10 oz. of 4-ply wool.

[knitting pattern and instructions]

[page break]

16 The Prisoner of War January, 1944

[italics] These are the names submitted by the Educational Books Section, New Bodleian Library, Oxford). [/italics]

Sgt. H.A. Buckingham: pass Elementary Book-keeping with Distinction. Obtained pass for Book-keeping Certificate.
W.O. H.K.L. Comrie: Elementary French; pass with Distinction. Arithmetic Certificate: pass. English Certificate: pass with Distinction.
Sgt. H.J. Lewis: English Certificate: pass. Handwriting: Pass with Distinction.
Cpl. R.J.E. Hawkins: Company Law (Higher): pass. Economics (Higher): pass with Distinction.
Sgt. R.J. Oates: Salesmanship (Higher): pass.
Pte. H.R.W. Thomson: Salesmanship (Higher): pass.
S/Sgt. D.H. Saunders: Book-keeping Certificate: pass.
G.B. Estill: Book-keeping Certificate: pass with Distinction.
I.J. Ife: Book-keeping: pass with Distinction.
P.H. Parsons: Book-keeping Certificate: Pass.

Lieut. H.D.H. Duffield: passed Intermediate.

Cpl. G.L. Evans: passed German Language Test.

Lt. P.F. Hanbury: passed in part I (b)
Lt. W.A. Wotton: passed in Part I (b)

Cpl. R.B. Kitson: Intermediate: passed in four subjects.

F/Lt. A.P.L. Barber: 1411: passed in Trust Accounts and Book-keeping.

G.H. Abbotts: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
R.G. Baker: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
W.J. Clough: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
R.C.H. Down: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
E.P. Hewson: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
G.T. Hunt: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
D.B. Mckenzie: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
R.S. Miller: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
E.D. Pennington: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
H.A.R. Prowse: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass. (This candidate obtained full marks.)
S. Reeves: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
J. Simpson: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
J.M. Somerville: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
J.H. Ward: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
T.W.S. Wilson: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.
J.M. Wood: Grammar of Music, Grade IV: pass.

[italics] Advanced Grade [/italics]
A. Beattie, 2nd Cl.; P.J. Coomber, 2nd Cl.; S.T. Nolan, 2nd Cl.
Commerical [sic] Law
P.H. Morton, 2nd Cl.
H.F. Ford, 1st Cl.; M. Goodliffe, 1st Cl.; R.S.M. D. Inch, 2nd Cl.; E.B. Lee, 1st Cl.; D.S.M. Mackenzie, 2nd Cl.; P.M.B. Savage, 1st Cl.; J. de B. Stansfeld, 2nd Cl.; G.I.. Watson, 2nd Cl.

[italics] Trinity Examination, 1943 [/italics]
General Examination of Students of the Inns of Court
The following Students passed in Roman Law:-

Class 1
Robert Owen Forsyth Prichard, Inner Temple; John Carnegie Robertson, Gray’s Inn.

[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?

An “Invigilator”
[italics] What is an invigilator at a camp exam., and who is he and how is he chosen and appointed? What exactly does he do? [/italics]
An invigilator is a person appointed to supervise the candidates sitting for an examination. In the camp he would probably be appointed by the men in charge of the education arrangements.

Nails May Be Sent
[italics] Can I send my son at Stalag VIIIB nails to mend his boots? [/italics]
Yes, in the next of kin parcels. This is made clear in the list of permissible articles issued with the quarterly labels.

Helping the Funds
[italics] I cannot afford to pay 10s. a week but would like to help a little with my son’s food parcels. How shall I do this? [/italics]
We suggest that you should contribute as much as you can afford to the Duke of Gloucester’s Red Cross and St. John Fund, through the Penny-a-Week or Rural Pennies Fund. The food parcels and other supplies sent to prisoners of war are paid for by the Duke of Gloucester’s Fund.

Farming Papers Wanted
[italics] My son, who was a farmer before the war, asks for journals on this subject. May I send these to him? [/italics]
Certain professional or trade periodicals may be sent to prisoners of war. A permit-holder could tell you, or could find out for you from the censorship, whether any on farming would be allowed.

Useful Garments for P.O.W.s
[italics] What knitted garments are most useful to a P.O.W.? [/italics]
Cardigans, sweaters, socks, gloves, scarves and balaclava helmets.

Marking His Clothes
[italics] Should I mark my son’s clothes with tape names? [/italics]
It is advisable to mark the clothes sent in a next-of-kin parcel. Full instructions about this are given in the leaflet P1/A issued with the label and coupons for a prisoner’s first quarterly parcel, which the next of kin are asked to keep safely for future reference.

Stage Costumes
[italics] Where do the men get materials for their stage costumes? [/italics]
In most cases the costumes are improvised from materials available in the camps, though in some cases it appears that they have been able to hire costumes.

The Prisoner of War Journal
[italics] Is The Prisoner of War Journal available at the public libraries? [/italics]
It has been arranged that in future copies of the Journal shall be available for reference in public libraries throughout the country.

Stalag VIIA
[italics] Where is Stalag VIIA, and is it only a transit camp? [/italics]
Stalag VIIA is at Moosburg, in Bavaria. It is normally a permanent camp, but in certain circumstances it is used as a transit camp.

Books for Study
[italics] Can I send educational books through any bookseller? [/italics]
Yes, but if you wish for help or advice, apply to the Red Cross Educational Books Section, New Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Far East Camp
[italics] I now know the name of the camp in which my husband is a prisoner in the Far East. Must I continue to address letters to him at that camp, c/o Japanese Red Cross in Tokyo? [/italics]
No. Letters should be forwarded c/o Japanese Red Cross only where a camp address is unknown. Immediately a camp address is obtained letters should be sent direct to that camp and not via the Japanese Red Cross. Full particulars are shown on Post Office Leaflet P2327B (revised issue dated July, 1943), obtainable at all main post offices.

A certain number of civilian internees from Ilag VIIIH have been transferred to: Internierunglager Giromagny, Belfort, France, but until this information has been received from each individual, letters and parcels should be addressed as before to:
Ilag VIIIH, Germany.
We have no doubt that letters and parcels already on their way to Ilag VIIIH will be forwarded to Giromagny if the addressee has been transferred there.

County Representatives in Radnorshire
Please note the following change: Mrs. Meredith Thomas, c/o Welsh Scout Headquarters, The Channings, Llandrindod Wells.

[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.1, 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 2. No. 21, January 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 3, 2023,

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