The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 17, September 1943



The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 17, September 1943


Includes: editorial matters; prisoners at work; group photographs from the camps; official reports from the camps; the letters they write home; it depends on the book (written by A A Milne); news from the far east; POWs in the far east; they plan their future (studying for examinations); don't forget the censor; how they help the funds (fund raising at home); knitting pattern for a cap scarf; mail from the far east; any questions? Includes photographs throughout.



Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




Sixteen page printed document


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THE Prisoner of War

[Red Cross and St John Logo’s]

Vol. 2. No. 17 Free to Next of Kin September, 1943

The Editor Writes –

DURING a recent tour of a number of counties in England and Wales I visited county representatives of the Red Cross and St. John, packing centres, prisoners’ friends and others who are helping next of kin to solve their many little problems. It was a most impressive and heartening experience. All over the country, it seems, there are people devoting themselves for many hours of every day to the service of P.O.W.s and their next of kin. They are making or packing garments, interviewing, visiting, advising and helping next of kin in a hundred-and-one ways. In some counties one “prisoners’ friend” can look after 40 or 50 relatives in a populous area. In one large county I visited it required 100 prisoners’ friends to keep in touch with not many more than 100 next of kin, scattered widely over rural areas, and seldom visiting the nearest town.

A Worker’s Tribute
It was good to learn that they were all highly appreciative of [italics[ The Prisoner of War [/italics]. A letter which reached me spontaneously from a county I have not visited is so enthusiastic that I cannot resist the temptation of quoting from it. “I can assure you,” says the writer, “that no anxious mother or devoted wife reads the journal with greater attention than I do. Its issue has made a great difference to prisoner of war work. Before, one often felt that the effort of one’s work was very remote. Now, through the journal, one can see practical results.” This to him, and he thinks to many others, is an encouragement and a stimulation to persevere. . . . Such a tribute is welcome reading to an editor and his colleagues.

Maps of the Camps
With this issue we present our readers with new maps of Germany and Italy showing the location of all known prison camps. If extra copies are desired they can be obtained at 2d. each, or by post 3d. from the Prisoners of War Department, Accountants’ Section, St. James’s Palace, S.W.1. Larger sized maps are also available for 1s., or by post, 1s. 2d.

Sitting on the fence – at Stalag XXID/11.

Conditions at Milag
Mr. J.E. Wainwright, Chief Officer of the “Salmonpool,” who has been repatriated from the Milag Section of Marlag und Milag, writes that there are about 3,500 seamen in the camp and that conditions are satisfactory with very little to complain about. Parcels and mail arrive regularly and the general health of the camp is good. Regulations regarding behaviour are not too strict, and punishments are never heavy. This section of the camp is nearly three-quarters of a mile round, and contains excellent cricket, football and baseball grounds. Each hut has its own garden in addition to a general vegetable garden for the camp. Sports, dances, whist drives, bridge drives, lectures and a very well-equipped library are among the attractions.

Praise for Camp Leadership
In a letter of thanks “for everything” to the Red Cross Prisoner of War Bureau in Cairo a repatriated P.O.W. calls attention to the excellent work being done by the responsible British personnel in an Italian prison camp. He singles out for mention R.S.M. Tom Hegarty, who is doing a most fair and efficient job under frequently difficult conditions; Capts. Miller and Duff, medical officers, Capts. Mathewson and Nye, padres, and the captain dentist “whose name escapes me.” All, he says, with limited facilities working hard, cheerfully and with good results maintaining high standards of health and morale.

Her Husband Told Her To
Mrs. McGee, of Okehampton, received a letter from her husband in a Stalag in

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2 The Prisoner of War September, 1943

which he said: “Please do everything you can for the Red Cross, as I have had a parcel every week since I have been in this camp.” So she called on one of the Penny-a-Week collectors in Okehampton and asked whether she could do some collecting. To-day she is one of the most enthusiastic collectors, and she produces [italics] The Prisoner of War [/italics] as evidence of the good work that is done with the money she collects.

“A Really Good Time”
Pte. Denis Sunderland, of Sheffield, must be one of the cheeriest spirits behind prison wire. He was captured in June, 1940, at the age of 19, and his last letter, which his mother tells me is typical, begins: “Here’s your old current bun again in the middle of some more holidays,” and went on “I hope you believe it when I say that we are having a really good time here. If I could only speak to you and let you see me just five minutes I could fully convince you of my health and contentment to wait for THAT DAY.” “I am real proud,” he adds “re the White Elephant Stall and Pop’s domino shuffling.” This refers to an effort by the parents at money-raising for the Red Cross.

From One of the Bad Boys
Some sixty officers from Oflag VIIB were recently moved to the “Bad Boys’ Camp,” Oflag IVC. One of them wrote to his sister at Nuthurst, near Horsham, to say that they are all in tremendously high spirits. “The inmates started cheering their heads off just as soon as the new arrivals were noticed marching up the hill.” He says that the building itself is a bit forbidding (see photograph in our August issue) with only a small courtyard for exercise, but to make up for this one can get out to an exercise park and three times a week for bathing, football, and cinema.

Cooking Utensil Maker
“Life at a prison camp is really not as bad as it sounds,” writes a sergeant in Stalag Luft III to his parents at Chatham. He has been making cooking utensils for his combine with the help of a knife, tin cans, silver paper (for solder, and resin from the trees (for flux). Some of the chaps, he says, have made clocks from wood, and sailing boats from boards, and miniature cars and motor cycles from tin cans. There would seem to be no lack of resourcefulness in that camp. Gunner John Parker, of Ipswich, now in an Italian camp, has his own resources. He keeps himself in touch with his peacetime occupation by drawing “a novel series of cards on plumbing and lead work on the inside of cigarette packets.”

An English Tea Party
From a gunner who recently moved into Stalag XXA 41 comes an impression of his new quarters that may interest some of our readers. “Three rooms, each holding ten of us, have a marvellous outlook, brooks running past the garden; the hills are now a multitude of different greens.” When they were visited by two neighbouring working parties, 45 of them sat down to “a good English tea (thanks to the Red Cross).” And from Campo P.G.38 comes a somewhat similar impression of “a country villa looking on to a very pleasant Italian landscape bathed in sunshine. Altogether there is very little cause for complaint. Enough to eat, a bed to sleep on, and a lot to read.”

The Main Lack
Then this subaltern in P.G.38 goes on to voice a yearning that I have seldom seen expressed in letters, though it must certainly be widespread. “The main thing we lack, of course, is a little femininity – if there is such a word. We gaze wistfully at an occasional distant vision of Italian beauty, and have to content ourselves with pictures from the Italian illustrated weeklies stuck on the walls.”

[inserted] ODDS AND ENDS
NEARLY 56,000 persons paid for admission to the Prisoner of War Exhibition organised in Birmingham recently by the Exhibitions Section of Red Cross and St. John, and 1,322 next of kin visited it at the invitation of Sir Bertram Ford and the Birmingham Joint County Committee.

With the help of slides lent by the Publicity Department, Mrs. Laurd, Chairman of the Herefordshire P.O.W. organisation, gave a most successful lunch-hour talk to about 130 next-of-kin at Hereford recently, explaining the method of packing, despatch and transit of parcels.

A navigator observer of a Wellington bomber brought down on a raid in the Mediterranean has written home to say that he is inaugurating a camp magazine in P.G.70 “that will beat any mag. of any P.O.W. camp in any country.” We wish it a short life and a merry one.

Relatives of P.O.W.s in P.G.38 will be interested in a new book “Behind the Lines,” by Harold Denny, correspondent of the [italics] New York Times [/italics], in the Middle East in 1941, who after his capture was sent first to Berlin and then to P.G.38.

A letter to his mother from a lance-bombardier who strained his back while at work in Campo P.G.62 speaks highly of the kindness of the Italian doctor. [/inserted]

To Aid the Deal
I wonder if any of our readers can help in regard to an appeal that was broadcast a week or two ago on behalf of deaf prisoners and internees. There is a demand for valve amplifier hearing aids of the type usually operated by two batteries and usually box-shaped or of the vest pocket kind. Would anybody who has one of these to spare please send it to the National Institute for the Deaf, 105, Gower Street, London?

They Hold Their Heads High!
I was interested but not at all surprised to read that a Polish refugee now in Sweden had expressed himself greatly impressed by the bearing of British prisoners of war. “They hold their heads high, are always well shaved, keep their shoes clean, and take good care of their clothes.” I can well believe it.

A Stalag “Thank You”
On behalf of all his fellow P.O.W.s at Stalag XXB, a private soldier writes to St. James’s Palace, saying: “We wish to send our very best regards to all members of the Red Cross, workers, packers, staff, committee, and all, for the great work you are doing. We wish one and all the very best, and sincerely hope we will soon all be together again. I send this card with thanks from the bottom of my heart.” I need hardly say that such an expression of gratitude as this is deeply appreciated by those to whom it is addressed.

His Sister’s Photograph
Mr. Galloway, of Alva (Clackmannanshire), sends me an extract from a letter from his son in Germany describing “a very funny experience.” “I walked into a room in a prison camp after three years and saw a photograph of my sister sticking on a wall. It must have been put there by Bill while he was in this camp.” Bill was his pal, who died in a prison camp two years ago.

He Remembered the Children
Writing in June from a Stalag to the Colchester Guild of Friends of Prisoners of War, Robert Sage says: “I thought it would not be too early for busy people like you to be thinking about Christmas,” and sends an order for £5 to be spent in some Christmas treat for children of P.O.W. “It would please me very much to think I was able to assist in a small way.” My correspondent at Colchester says that this letter touched her very much, and I am not surprised.

What Would You Do, Chums?
After a very ruthless weeding out of all the letters and items of information that have reached me in the last few weeks. I reduced my fund of material for these two pages to 33 paragraphs, which is just about twice as much as there is space for. What can I do about it? I can only say to those whom I disappoint that I am extremely sorry that the demands on our space are so great that I have to leave out many paragraphs after they have been prepared for inclusion.

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September, 1943 The Prisoner of War 3

I have groomed horses . . . and hosts of other things.

[italics] This First-hand Account is Written by a Member of a Stalag in Germany [/italics]

Prisoners at work! Cheerful, cheeky, irrepressible Britons.

BRITISH prisoners of war, from the very fact of being British, are always grousing. Unless they are officers or a rank higher than lance corporal, they must work. This, of course, is the perfect ground for a grouse – or as it is known in the Army – a moan. The hours are too long, the work is too hard, or too monotonous, nothing is ever right. Only on the score of variety is there no complaint – not, of course, that that makes any difference!
I have, since June, 1940, been employed at almost every conceivable form of non-skilled, and some semi-skilled work.
I have groomed horses, washed cars, dug holes – filled them in again, loaded and unloaded every imaginable commodity – and hosts of other things. Now, in 1943, I have settled into “a nice little job” for what remains of the duration. Or so I hope!

A Hundred of Us
There are about a hundred of us, Englishmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, Australians and New Zealanders working in a large agricultural machinery factory. The total number of employees is well over a thousand, and we are well mixed up with the rest.
Our men work in all parts of the factory at a variety of jobs. Some are moulders in the foundry, others are electric welders, smiths, millwrights or fitters, and, of course, a large number are employed as labourers.
We work under the supervision of the shop foremen and charge hands in the same way as the civilian employees. Guards from the camp are formally in attendance, both to protect our interests and to ensure that we don’t do anything contrary to rules and regulations.

Employers are most Reasonable
We are extremely fortunate in that our employers are most reasonable people. Any reasonable request is always granted, and any man has access to the chief engineer for this purpose. It is quite common for a man to ask for a change of job and be granted his transfer.
We have had a table tennis top made in the woodworking shops and have been given permission to use one of the office typewriters after working hours.
There is one great obstacle in the employment of prisoner of war labour. We, the prisoners, have little or no interest in the work we do. We are not working to keep ourselves, we are not working in, or for, our own country. True, we are paid a few shillings a week and receive a certain amount of extra food, but neither of these provides any great incentive to work.
On the other hand, the employers are interested only in their production figures. A solution to the difficulty has been found in a compromise.

Piece-work Basis
As many men as possible have been put on a piece-work basis, whereby they finish when a given amount of work has been done. For example, the fitters contract to assemble thirty ploughs a day. They, and the firm, regard this as a fair day’s work of 10 1/2 hours. If a fitter can assemble this number in eight hours – and he does, then he can take 2 1/2 hours extra leisure instead of working on and earning more money as the civilians do.
Everybody is satisfied by this. The firm because they get the work done more quickly, and because men who are working for themselves on piece-work require practically no supervision; we are satisfied in being able to get the job done in the shortest possible time, yet knowing that we have done enough, but not too much work. This very subject of how much work, what sort of work, and how long to take to do it, is the subject of endless arguments amongst ourselves.
My “nice little job” is in the tempering shop. This is non-repetitive, congenial work. (I have previously “earned it” with six months in the foundry). My co-workers are three civilians and, since they understand no English, I must speak German the whole time. I find this stimulating and useful.

A farm worker attached to Stalag XXB goes milking.

“Life within a Life”
We “moan” about having to work, but it is at any rate a contact with the outside world and it gives a semblance of normality to our queer “life within a life.”
I have purposely written about work because this, and most other camps, are working camps. We have our sport, our dance band, our stage shows – and our Red Cross parcels; but work takes up most of our time.
Prisoners at work! Cheerful, cheeky, resourceful, irrepressible Britons! War-time ambassadors for their country. But ambassadors, nevertheless, who will be glad of their recall!

THE Prisoners of War Department wishes to make it clear that any quarterly parcels for prisoners of war in Italy which are sent into Packing Centres at Finsbury Circus and Glasgow will be repacked and forwarded in the usual way.
It is thought, however, that some next of kin, whose parcels fall due at this time, may themselves prefer to delay their despatch for a little while in the hope that the situation in Italy will soon become clearer.

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4 The Prisoner of War September, 1943

Groups from the Camps








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September, 1943 The Prisoner of War 5


[inserted][italics] IN every case where the conditions call for remedy, the Protecting Power makes representations to the German or Italian authorities. Where there is any 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]

This camp is now entirely British. At present accommodation is satisfactory and there is no overcrowding. A theatre has been built and is already in use. One football field is always available, a second is to be surrounded by barbed wire, so that no guards will be needed, and it can be used at any time. It is hoped that a larger barrack for lavatories will be built.
Health conditions are reported to be good; a German dentist visits the camp, but a full-time British dentist is needed. Clothing conditions are described as adequate. Recreational and educational facilities are well organised and there is now a common-room in each block as well as one large one for the whole camp. [italics] (Visited May.) [/italics]

There are nearly 5,000 British at this camp. They live in four old Forts which are probably warmer and less draughty than the usual barracks. These are Fort XIII, Fort XV, Fort XVI and Fort IV, which is a hospital. The rooms are reported to be rather crowded, but no complaints were made. Each Fort has its own kitchen and British cooks.
Disinfection, washplaces and showers are in a separate barrack outside the Forts and every man can take one hot shower per week.
Clothing conditions are said to be particularly good, nearly every man having two uniforms, underclothing and shoes.
There is a small infirmary in each Fort, as well as the camp hospital at Fort XIV. Serious cases are sent to a neighbouring German hospital, which is visited by the British doctor twice a week; he gives it a very good report.
An improvement was noticed in the dental installation and treatment.
There are two Church of England Chaplains and a Roman Catholic Chaplain. They would like permission to visit the work camps. [italics] (Visited April.) [/italics]

Work Camps. – Various types of work are done by the men at these camps – agriculture, saw mills, railway work, quarrying, timber work, building and work for the town corporation.

Camps 110033 G.W. and 11010 G.W. were described as excellent camps.

10760 L., 11034 G.W., 10487 G.W., 11017 G.W., 10294 L., 11022, 11072 G.W., 10029 G.W. were all given good reports. The number of prisoners of war in these camps varies from 12 to 102. Most of the camps are reported to be in or near the country, where the men are often able to swim in a lake or river after work, and have plenty of outdoor exercise. The visiting delegate was able to settle several complaints on the spot. Arrangements are to be made for a chaplain from Stalag XVIII A/Z to visit these camps.

Camps 11025 G.W., 11030 G.W. were described as fairly good. Lighting was unsatisfactory, washing and bathing facilities were poor. When, however, these defects are improved, both camps should be satisfactory.

Various types of work are done by the men attached to the work camps of Stalag XVIIIA.

Camp 951 G.W. is situated high on a mountain, accommodation being an old mountain inn with thick walls and built against the rock. The men are quarrying. The camp is described as very rough, though the men’s spirit is reported to be surprisingly high. The coal ration is described as meagre; each man has four blankets.
Showers are taken fortnightly and the men have to go some way down the mountain to take them. They are to go weekly in future. Food is cooked by civilians. Medical attention is given by the doctor employed by the firm; this is not always satisfactory and it has been arranged that a medical orderly should be sent to the camp.
Uniforms wear out very quickly owing to the nature of the work. The men have to work every second Sunday – the civilians also work on Sundays. New eating and drinking utensils have been ordered. So far the camp has not been visited by a chaplain.

Camps 1025 G.W., 924 G.W., 47 G.W. and 2083 L. were also visited. Several improvements were found since the previous visit and satisfactory reports were given.
Many points were settled immediately by the visiting delegate at Camp 415 G.W.
The prisoners of war at Camp 59 G.W would like a change of camp and work. The matter was to be discussed at the main Stalag.

The British Camp Leaders from Camps 22 G.W., 194 G.W. and 959 G.W. were summoned to Camp 47 G.W. to interview the inspectors. Camp 22 G.W. is to be visited shortly – at the other two, several points were taken up and settled immediately. [italics] (Visited May.) [/italics]

There are 10,500 British prisoners of war at this camp. Accommodation has improved considerably since the previous visit.
The old semi-underground huts are now no longer in use. New huts are still being erected and a new delousing plant is being installed. Shoes and uniforms were reported to be in bad condition. [italics] (Visited April). [/italics]

There has been considerable improvement in the housing conditions at the main camp. Two of the old forts have been abandoned and the prisoners of war accommodated in huts. Fort Rauch remains satisfactory and the nine new huts are described as being good throughout. Wash places are still inadequate.
All the prisoners of war are periodically examined by X-ray apparatus to discover any cases of T.B. The result was extremely satisfactory, there being only eight suspects out of about 650 prisoners of war at Fort Rauch. The camp chaplains, both Roman Catholic

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6 The Prisoner of War September, 1943

Members of a gardening work party.

and Church of England, are to be permitted to visit, at any rate, the larger work camps.
Work Camps 3 and 46 were described as “not producing a very good impression.” Accommodation at Camp 3 is part of an old linen mill, where the prisoners of war work – they lack any sort of cupboard in which to keep their personal belongings and are definitely overcrowded. Wash places and toilets are rather primitive – a cold shower is available each week.
Camp 46 is soon to be disbanded and incorporated into Camp 7 which is said to be excellent.
Camps 11, 12 and 13 are all satisfactory. They were all newly formed after the transfer of prisoners of war from Stalag XXIA. The men are well housed and well treated. [italics] (Visited April.) [/italics]

CAMPO P.G.47 P.M. 3200, MODENA
Contains over 1,319 officers and men. Accommodation is satisfactory but distinctly overcrowded. Lighting has been improved. Kitchen ranges have been repaired. Cold showers are available at any time, and warm showers twice a week. Medical service is described as quite satisfactory and clothing as adequate. Educational and recreational facilities remain satisfactory. [italics] (Visited June.) [/italics]

The camp is built on a large plain, and is surrounded by high mountains. It is laid out in two entirely separate sections. The British section is a transit camp for prisoners of war who are going to work camps attached to this camp. They are mostly employed on agricultural work.
Concrete buildings form the dormitories, store rooms, workshops, chapel, etc. Electric light is rather weak, water supply and sanitary installations are good. There are no British medical officers nor C. of E. chaplains in the camp. Walks had not so far been organised, and there was a lack of boots and indoor games. [italics] (Visited May.) [/italics]

CAMPO P.G.148 P.M.3200, VERONA
Has become a base camp for agricultural work camps, which are scattered in the vicinity. In the main camp improvements are being made. Windows are being put in the barracks where necessary. Electric light is now satisfactory. The lavatories are being repaired, though water is not very abundant. Clothing is now satisfactory, parcels arrive regularly, and the canteen is well stocked with fruit and vegetables. Mass is celebrated by a Roman Catholic priest. [italics] (Visited May.) [/italics]

CAMPO P.G.133, P.M. 3100
(Location not known)
Camp 133 consists of a collection of about 19 agricultural work camps, three of which were visited and inspected. Each small camp appears to be complete in itself, having its own dormitories, dining rooms, kitchens, etc. The workers are allowed a higher food ration than normal rations.
Mail has been irregular owing to transfers, and there have been long delays. Red Cross parcels have been regularly received. A civilian doctor attends the sick, and a large military hospital has been fitted up for patients. Dental treatment is not available. Men work eight hours a day and occasionally on Sundays. Walks are organised and the prisoners of war are allowed to swim in the river. Catholic services are held in the camp or at the village. [italics] (Visited June.) [/italics]

Camp 106 is another collection of about 23 work camps – three camps were visited. The prisoners of war in Camps 106/1, 106/2 are accommodated in stone-built houses which are entirely satisfactory. 106/1 appears to be rather crowded, and more windows are to be added. 106/7 consists of a large bungalow. There has been considerable delay in receipt of mail and parcels and in the distribution of cigarettes. Sanitary installations are rather primitive in 106/1 but satisfactory in the other camps, including 106/6
The hospital at Camp 133 functions for sick prisoners of war in this camp also. Recreational facilities have so far not been organised. [italics] (Visited June.) [/italics]

The prisoners of war in 115/3 work in a brick factory. They came from Camp 54 and they live in provisional quarters which are to be replaced by larger accommodation. There is abundant water supply. Clothing conditions are satisfactory. This camp is still uncompleted, but gives a satisfactory impression. [italics] (Visited May.) [/italics]

Camp List
Italy. Add P.G.50, P.M.3300; P.G.112, P.M.3100; P.G.118, P.M.3200; P.G.133, P.M.3100; P.G.145, P.M.3300; P.M. No.1. Marina (we think that this word should be taken as meaning “Naval Camp” and that it does not denote its location. It should be included in the address); Ospedale Militare Perugia. Please note P.M. numbers as follows: P.G. 103, P.M.3200 (not 3100); P.G.120, P.M.3200; P.G.146, P.M.3100.
Please note location of camps as follows: P.G.49, P.M.3200 – Reggio; P.G.63, P.M.3400 – Aversa; P.G.106, P.M.3100 – Vercelli; P.G.110, P.M.50 – Sardinia; P.G.148, P.M.3200 – Verona; P.G.204, P.M.3450 – Altamura. Monturano (P.G.70) is about 30 miles inland from Porto-san-Giorgio, S. of Ancona.
[italics] Civilian Internment Camps. [/italics] – Corropoli, Camp closed.
Casacalenda. – Prov. Di Campobasso (a new internment camp for women).

Members of Stalag XXA. This photograph was found among salvage by a next of kin, who forwarded it to St. James’s Palace, for identification. As the P.O.W.’s full particulars were given, the Palace were able to identify him and forward the photograph to his “adopter” – a Red Cross Commandant.

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September, 1943 The Prisoner of War 7

The Letters They Write Home

Wizard Fruit Pudding
[italics] Oflag IXA/H. [/italics] 25.6.43.
THIS is an exceptional bird year. Here, in the moat alone, only 200 yards in circumference, and with 30ft. to 40ft. walls, we have had twelve nests. Our only hen blackbird is hatching her third brood.
The woods and fields are looking very fine now. The M.O.s and Padres get frequent walks in them, and come back laden with wild flowers. We have raised a few spruce and larch trees on damp flannel in our washhouse.
I am particularly proud of my tomatoes, raised on baccy tins. They are now throwing good fruit trusses. My garden is in the outer wall of moat, but inside wire. To get there I have to be “paroled” by an under-officer, which means endless hanging about, and only certain hours are allowed.
For several days I have given the cookhouse lettuces for all (about 80 each day). Every path, corner and bed has to produce 100 per cent., and the same day as cropped another is sown. Needless to say I am learning much, and bringing improvisation to a fine art.
Thanks to the Red Cross, we are fed adequately. The best meal we get is the “wizard” fruit pudding.

Pantry from Tins
[italics] Campo P.G.78. [/italics] 21.6.43.
HERE’S another interesting thing about life out here. I will give you an account of our crockery: Plates are made by joining together three cocoa tins. My drinking vessel is a Canadian butter tin, complete with handles of own design. Tea jug (made two days ago) is two powdered milk tins joined together and packed with wool (“doesn’t leak”) complete with handle, lid and thumb-rest for lifting lid whilst held in one hand (someone else’s design, but my own make). Bread and cheese grater is an oval fish tin punctured with a nail; tea strainer is a replica of same only smaller. To finish off with, there is a cupboard which I made from cocoa and biscuit tins. It also serves as a pantry.

His Boss’s Wedding
[italics] Stalag XXB(192). [/italics] 23.6.43.
I HAD a lovely job yesterday. I drove my boss to his fiancée’s house and then drove for their wedding. It was a lovely turn-out, just like home. I was up early to clean my nags and coach. The horses, dapple greys, had brand new harness and a sprig of lilac on their heads and some lilies of the valley and lilac on the coach. My own idea; it looked very nice, and I was congratulated on the turn-out and photographed.
After all the driving was done I was invited to eat and drink, which I did for the rest of the day and drove home at night quite contented. I have been driving guests all day to-day.

In Good Heart
[italics] Oflag IXA/H. [/italics] 6.6.43.
HERE we are all fit, well and in good heart, but feeling a little flat after the marvellous clean-up in Tunisia and waiting impatiently for the next big show to start.
As you can imagine, terrific arguments on the future occur and all kinds of theories are put forward.
I belong to the school of thought that believes Turkey will very soon be in on our side.

Brenner Pass to West
[italics] Campo P.G.118. [/italics] 1.6.43.
WE don’t start work till to-morrow so I can’t tell what it is like. But it is farm work of some description. I think it will be fruit-picking, as there are a lot of orchards round here. So your little lad is certainly going to town when he gets picking those pears, peaches, etc.
This camp is right in the valley formed by the Apennines and the Alps. To the north of us over the Alps lies Switzerland, and to the west lies, I believe, the Brenner Pass. So you see we are right on the borders of two or three countries.

Civilian internees at Vittel.

Much Better than Last Camp
[italics] Campo P.G.49. [/italics] 4.6.43.
WENT for a very pleasant six-mile walk to-day. We start at 8 a.m. and get back at 10 a.m. before it gets hot. Hope to go for another on Thursday. I am putting on weight again here as the feeding and whole atmosphere is very much better than last camp.

From a Channel Islander
[italics] Wurzach [/italics] 26.7.43.
MY husband, the children and myself are all very well indeed. We enjoy walks twice a week, and just now the children are bringing home wood anemones and primulas.
We have one of the Jersey vicars and a Methodist preacher, so the two combine to make Sunday a real Sunday for us. The Red Cross have been so good, and everyone here realises what a truly wonderful organisation it is.

A Parcel Per Week
[italics] Oflag VIIB. [/italics] 29.6.43.
WE have had a parcel per week since February 1st.
The health of the camp is very good; we have been extremely fortunate in avoiding epidemics during the past three years.

Rooms Have Personal Touches
[italics] Biberach. [/italics] 3.6.43.
NEXT week we expect a visit by representatives of the International Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. You can tell everyone that these two organisations are doing a [italics] wonderful [/italics] job here. They have sent so many gifts to make life more pleasant for us.
After seven months here the camp looks very different with flowers and vegetables, and the rooms, too, all have their personal touches; in fact, some are quite homely.

Real Convalescent Camp
[italics] Oflag 64Z. [/italics] 25.6.43.
WE have arrived in our new camp and I hope the last camp. You can take it from me it is A1.
Except for two roll calls a day we are not troubled. We have a nice dining hall and concert hall and the divided wounded band is together once more.
We have very clean two-tier beds with sheets and

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8 The Prisoner of War September, 1943

“We’ve just received our Red Cross Parcels.” A group at Stalag XVIIIA.

pillow cases. We are about a thousand strong. Of course, owing to the move the mail is not coming through, but we are hoping.
It is a real convalescent camp, so you can bet we are just getting ourselves fit now. We have been issued to-day with nice white mugs and bowls, jugs and spoons, etc.

Garden-Minded Blokes
[italics] Campo P.G.53. [/italics] 10.6.43.
THIS week I shall endeavour to give you more “griff” about our camp life here in “53.” I think I told you in my last letter that we have a band. Loudspeakers have been erected and musical programmes are broadcast.
Lots of the fellows have gone to other camps and new ones have arrived in their place.
We have a stretch of ground behind the cookhouse, which some of the garden-minded “blokes” have cultivated.

Library of 4,000 Books
[italics] Campo P.G.52. [/italics] 1.6.43.
I AM in new surroundings. Although the journey was long, it was interesting seeing new scenery. We passed Vesuvius on the way, with its feathery plume drifting away from the peak.
The camp is all huts and very well organised. There are plenty of games.
Further, we have a library of four thousand books, which is just as well as all my books have been taken from me, together with all letters, to be recensored.
Food here is a lot better, and the general spirit of the fellows most noticeably better.

He Does the Shopping
[italics] Stalag XVIIIA. [/italics] 14.6.43.
YESTERDAY we went for a ramble and ended up at a lake where some of the chaps went swimming. Actually, I go out quite a lot – I usually go up to the town to the post office to collect our parcels and mail each morning, and I also do all the “shopping” for the chaps here – am getting quite expert with the language. If I can’t make the shopkeeper understand I draw what I went with a pencil!

Camp Barber
[italics] Stalag XXB(363). [/italics] 13.6.43.
I AM getting all the exercise I can. I am at present working in camp and also doing duty as “camp barber,” which is keeping my hand in for my job at home. We also have sport such as basket ball, football and boxing, also a few indoor games, so we are all pretty fit.

English Films
[italics] Campo P.G.21. [/italics] 5.7.43.
I AM well set up now in the clothes line and there is nothing else I want.
This afternoon we are going to watch the first cricket match played in the camp. The ground is not very good, being mostly gravel and concrete. Most of the kit came through the Red Cross.
The cinema is improving. The films are all English with an Italian sound track and tend to be fairly old. Still, it provides a very welcome diversion.

They’ve just unloaded their parcels – at Oflag VIIB.

Derby Day
[italics] Stalag 383. [/italics] 19.6.43.
TO-DAY is Derby Day and we have a big sweepstake on the race; also you can bet with the bookies, Simple Simon and Co. They’re grand. Real London boys; all the back chat, sharp as razors, dressed up in bowler hats, collars and ties, quite the real thing. Anyway, I had ten fags on Nasrullah and five fags on Booby Trap. It is the first time I’ve ever gambled.

Double Rations
[italics] Campo P.G.82. [/italics] 16.6.43.
I AM now working in the vineyards with quite a number of other chaps. It is certainly 100 per cent. better here, as we get double ration of everything now. Some of the chaps work in the vino (wine) factory itself, making it.
All the land about here belongs to a countess. Sometimes I work in her gardens weeding the flower beds and tidying up the paths in the garden. It is certainly a great change to be doing a bit of work again.

[italics] Campo P.G.66. [/italics] 27.6.43.
I am writing this in hospital, and it is very clean and comfortable; all the lads in the hut have been busy doing embroidery parts towards a counterpane, and they are all putting their initials in the corner. The medical sergeant is coming home on repatriation, so he is going to send it back to the Red Cross to be raffled. I have done my piece, too.

News of Exchanging Prisoners
[italics] Marlag und Milag. [/italics] 24.6.43.
I GO over eleven stone now; must be this “strength through joy” country. The news is rather good here lately; a lot of talk about changing prisoners. Might get home yet before the finish, if lucky.

Haymaking Days
[italics] Camp Base P.G.M. 133/IX. 3.6.43.
AND now for the new job. We are quite a small party, living in an empty house on a farm. Our time so far has been occupied haymaking. It raised a few blisters on the hands, otherwise it is not too hard. The food is a great improvement, as we

Four smiling faces at Campo P.G.59.
A letter headed “we carried a wreath” in the August issue was not from this camp but from Stalag XVIIIA.

POSTAL orders for 10s. will be awarded each month to the senders of the first three letters printed. We should be very much obliged if readers would send us COPIES of their prisoners’ letters, instead of the original ones, and on a separate sheet of paper.
Photographs, preferably of prisoners at work or recreation, will also be welcomed. Payments of 10s. will be made for every photograph reproduced across two columns, and 5s. for every photograph across one column. The name of the subject, the position of any known P.O.W. in photograph, and also the name and address of sender must be written in block letters on the back. All letters and photographs will be returned as soon as possible.
The cost of these prizes and fees is defrayed by a generous friend of the Red Cross and St. John War Organisation. [/inserted]

The Barber’s Shop at B.A.B.21.

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September, 1943 The Prisoner of War 9

are now on double rations. As soon as we get our strength back it will be almost enjoyable here compared with the last two years. To-day (Sunday) being free from work, we were taken down to the river for a bathe – my first for 29 months.

Good Hut to Sleep In
[italics] Campo P.G.65. [/italics] 3.6.43.
I HEAR there are letters in the papers saying this camp is very bad. Personally, I do not think we are badly treated. The camp is run by our own R.S.M.s and the Italians practically leave us on our own. I can always get myself and clothes washed, get plenty to eat and have a good hut to sleep in. One can’t expect prisoners to have the same conditions as at home.

Their Market
[italics] Campo P.G.82. [/italics] 29.6.43.
ONE feature of this camp is the “Market”; as soon as parcels are drawn the chaps sort out what they like or dislike and are off to the square. Marmalade for jam, sardines for cheese, and so it goes on, with much haggling.

Fit as a Fiddle
[italics] Stalag XVIIIA. [/italics] 27.6.43.
I’VE left my old shoe-repairing job and once more I’m a Lumber Jack. There are only twelve of us here and we have our own cook – and believe me, he can cook! We are living in a little cottage high up in the mountains. The scenery is the most beautiful I have ever seen, the air seems to be very bracing. I’m as fit as a fiddle and can eat like a horse.

A Family of Swallows
[italics] Stalag VIIIB. [/italics] 22.6.43.
IN our billet there is a family of swallows; the parents nested here last year and came again this year, but the board had been removed on which they built their nest, so we fixed up another one and they immediately began building. They now have four fledglings and are kept constantly on the move feeding the youngsters. Hope I have not made this letter sound like a natural history lesson.

Who’s – Whose?
[italics] Campo P.G.29. [/italics] 21.6.43.
I ORGANISED a party the other day of fathers who had children they had never seen; it was very successful and there was an attendance of 14. I got a photograph from each, stuck them into a sheet of stiff cardboard, numbered each one and ran a guessing competition to say who was the father of whom.

Boys of the Same Bridge
[italics] Stalag IIID. [/italics] 4.7.43.
THIS camp beats all others I have been in, all the lads are from my regiment, including Andy and all the lads who were in the same billet as myself in England. We have three good football pitches and we get football every day. We have a cabaret on to-night, with dancing, fancy dress, stage turns; we also have a bar, with plenty of beer.

A group at Campo P.G.78.

Forty American Officers
[italics] Oflag VIIB. [/italics] 19.6.43.
MY three years were up on 12th inst. but I even forgot to mention it in my last letter. The forty-odd American officers left us some weeks ago, presumably to go to an American camp. It was very interesting to meet them and also very instructive. They were great baseball players. I have been doing botany and ecology, which as you have said is very interesting. Though I miss the practical side with the limited flora inside the camp and instruments.
Luckily, a hut has been opened for recreational purposes with three silence rooms, of which I make use, and three other rooms for cards, gramophones, etc.

Three Weeks’ Holiday
[italics] Stalag VIIIB (E535). [/italics] 3.7.43.
YOU will be surprised to know that I, together with 13 other lads, have been given a holiday for three weeks; we are back in camp now. This is a new scheme by the German authorities, the idea being to see a little bit of Germany after three years’ work and confinement. It is a grand change for us and has done us the world of good; we have had a grand time. The German officer in charge of us is doing all he can to see that we get a good time and is very successful; we even get beer.

The Doctors are Wonderful Fellows
[italics] Marlag und Milag. [/italics] 13.6.43.
I AM writing this letter to you from the hospital. I have been in for a week now. I am undergoing treatment for my stomach. I get just as good treatment in the camp hospital as I did in E.R.I. (Edinburgh Royal Infirmary); it is just like civvy street. The doctors cannot do enough for us – what wonderful fellows they are. I think it would be nice if they could put in your Red Cross magazine what Major H–– and his fellow doctors have done in this camp.

A London Club
[italics] Stalag 383. [/italics] 5.7.43.
THE Empire Games took place last week, and nine nations took part; events were athletics, Rugby, soccer, boxing, wrestling and hockey. The championship trophy was won by England by a good margin from New Zealand and Scotland.
On August Bank Holiday Monday we are having a Happy Hampstead here; there are over 600 Londoners and we have formed a London club which gives its own entertainment to the camp, and we thought “ ‘Appy ‘Ampstead,” with its side-shows, Pearly King and Queen, would be a good thing for the boys from way over.

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10 The Prisoner of War September, 1943


WHEN I was very young, I went to a dance. In an interval between waltzes I was sitting on the stairs with my partner, a girl as shy and tongue-tied as myself. I thought of all the usual things to say: “Have you been to many dances lately? . . . It’s a very good floor, don’t you think? . . . Do you ever go to Switzerland in the winter?” But each opening seemed more futile than the one before.
We sat there dumbly. And then she made her great effort: Heaven knows how long she had been preparing it.
She said, quite suddenly, “Do you like reading?”
I said (reasonably, I thought), “It depends on the book.”
She said, “Yes, I suppose it does.”
After this, silence settled upon us again, and we sat there waiting for the next dance to begin.
Since then I have not been so sure. To ask a starving man, “Do you like dinner?” is not to get the answer, “It depends on the dinner”; and one may starve for want of reading matter as well as of food. Most of us know what it is, prisoned on a long railway journey, to read every word of a newspaper, advertisements and closing prices included, even though our freedom is but a matter of hours away, and we can look at the scenery as we go along.

A Haven of Escape
To a prisoner of war, shut up for an indefinite time in an enemy country, any book must be a haven of escape from his thoughts; any book must be better than no book.
But “any book” is only the second best, and we must do better for our prisoners than that. They have a right to the best. So the Prisoner of War Department of the British Red Cross and St. John War Organisation have been helping to see that they get and shall continue to get the books which they want, the books which they ask for, the books which will bring them most comfort. For what may be called “lesson books” they go (and where better?) to the Educational Books Section, New Bodleian Library, Oxford; but I am writing now of those other less rigorous books which the Indoor Recreations Section, St. James’s Palace, provide.

. . bring the exile for a little while in the sight of his homeland.

The Common Need
What do they want? The pattern is always much the same. They begin by asking for the sort of thing which they would read at home; books, that is, to interest and amuse in an idle hour; wild westerns, detective stories, popular novels. But in the end they all find themselves with the same longings – a longing to transport themselves, not to the exiting corners of the earth, not to the great open spaces where sheriffs are sheriffs, nor to the tortuous alleys where crooks are crooks; but, quite simply, back to their own country. For each of them is making, or seeking to make, the same discovery, the discovery of his native land. It is only now when he has lost it that he needs, and is able, to find it.
There is a series of small books called [italics] Britain in Pictures [/italics] to be found in every camp library. Here are some of the titles: “English Villages,” “The Birds of Britain,” “Wild Life of Britain,” “British Sport,” “English Farms,” “English Country Houses,” “The Story of Scotland (of Ireland, of Wales),” “English Children.” It is easy to understand the call of such books to the exile, bringing him for a little while in the sight of the homeland.
[italics]From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides. [/italics]

Books About Home
For the sake of these dreams, books about home are perhaps the most desired. But plays are very popular, for plays go a long way. They can be enjoyed in solitude; they can be read in company, each man taking a part; they can be performed. If our exiles want plays, they shall have plays, and such accessories as are necessary for their performance. For the simple motto of the Red Cross is “What they want, they get.” if it is possible for the Red Cross to provide it.
How? By request. What they want they ask for.
The demand comes through two main channels; direct from the camp librarian to the Prisoner of War Department at St. James’s Palace, or indirectly from the individual through his next of kin. Each camp has a librarian who asks for books as he needs them.

She said, “Do you like reading?” I said, “It depends on the book.”

Asking For It
If a man wants a particular book which is not in the camp library, he should ask his librarian to include it in his next request. If the librarian doesn’t take kindly to the idea, having many other books on his priority list, then a “letter home” will bring the writer’s need to the notice of the Red Cross, and afford some packer a new outlet for her paper and string.
But two things must be remembered. First, that many books nowadays are out of print; and, secondly, that there is a censorship at each end – for security reasons here, for political reasons there – which limits the books available. It is indeed as useless to ask for an Admiralty Chart as for [italics] The Truth About Hitler. [/italics]
One last word. If your man wants a particular book, [italics] and you can afford to pay for it, [/italics] don’t put an unnecessary burden on the Red Cross. Give the order and the address (and money) to a bookseller, and he will see that the book is sent there. And when your man has read it, and passed it on to his camp library, then you will have taken a small part in the work which the Red Cross is doing for the less fortunate.
“Do you like reading?”
Well, after all, you know, it does depend on the book.

THE British Government have received a preliminary report from the Swiss Government, the Protecting Power, stating that they have no confirmation that any British prisoners of war in Italian hands have been transferred to Germany since Mussolini fell. The Swiss Government is still closely investigating the situation.

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September, 1943 The Prisoner of War 11

Official Reports on Camps in Japan

FORMOSA, bisected by the Tropic of Cancer, enjoys a sub-tropical climate, similar to that of the West Indies, with a heavy rainfall. The interior of the island is mountainous, but the camps lie in the fertile plain near the coast.
The following features are common to all the prisoner of war camps.
Heating is not required. Ventilation, lighting, sanitation and drainage are good. All the prisoners can enjoy a hot bath twice a week and cold showers whenever they like.
The kitchens are staffed by prisoners of war. Rations vary from time to time, and are stated to be the same as the civilian ration.
Workers are given extra quantities of rice and barley. A little meat and fish are issued and a fair amount of vegetables. They do not get any butter, margarine or cheese. Soya bean oil is issued for cooking. The prisoners are raising cattle and poultry to provide more meat and eggs. All camps have ice-boxes.
All the prisoners get 150 cigarettes a month, and some are given a larger number.

Health is Improving
Last year there were a considerable number of cases of sickness in the camps; they were partly caused by the exhausting journey to the island, and the sudden change of food and climate. However, now that the prisoners of war are getting used to the climate, health is improving.
They have been inoculated against dysentery, typhoid fever, cholera and smallpox. Cases of beri-beri have been treated with yeast preparations and “rice polish.” Malaria cases have been treated with quinine, and other suitable drugs are being sent to Formosa by the International Red Cross.
Mosquito nets are provided, and the barracks are fumigated. There is a daily medical inspection and attendance as required.
The canteens sell cigarettes (in addition to the issue), sweets, fruit, tea, salt, flavourings and stationery.

Pay for Workers
Money is deposited in a savings bank, and canteen tickets are issued against the prisoners’ accounts. Pay is issued to workers.
Prisoners may write one postcard per month. Only a few mails have reached the camp so far. The prisoners of war expressed warm gratitude for the small amount of Red Cross relief supplies that have been sent.
Reveille is at 6 or 6.30 a.m., and lights out is at 9 p.m. Recreations are gardening, reading, music and athletics.
Treatment is said to be generally satisfactory.
There are five camps in Formosa.
Taihoku Camp is on the northern outskirts of the principal town of the island, at the foot of forest-clad hills in beautiful scenery. The climate is healthy. This is the principal camp of the Taiwan group, and was opened in September, 1942. It is a wooden seven-storied barrack and contained, on the date of the visit, 52 British officers (one is a chaplain) and 512 Canadian other ranks. The British have come from Malaya.
The prisoners are in 56 rooms, they sleep on low platforms raised ten inches above the floor on which are placed mats, palliasses stuffed with straw, four blankets, two sheets, a pillow and a pillow case. When they are sick they are given a mattress and more blankets.
Sanitation is adequate. There are two large baths, holding 70 and 30 men at a time, and two shower baths. Each prisoner may have two baths a week, and showers as often as he wishes.
There is one six-foot table with two benches for every six prisoners.
The prisoners cultivate a vegetable garden and have eighty ducks and sixteen pigs. One hundred chickens are expected to arrive shortly.
Boots have been supplied by the International Red Cross to those who need them. Some prisoners wear clogs. Officers have several suits of clothes each; other ranks one or two. The Japanese have provided winter clothes and working clothes.
There have been ten deaths since the camp was opened last September. On the day of the inspection there were 37 patients, mostly suffering from intestinal disorders and beri-beri. They are cared for by one Japanese and two British doctors with ten orderlies in the camp infirmary. Serious cases are sent to Taihoka Military Hospital; where dental treatment is provided. Twenty pairs of spectacles have been purchased for prisoners.

Sports Ground
There is a sports ground of 3,850 square metres, where football, volley-ball and rope-skipping are enjoyed. There are some books, including Bibles, supplied partly by the Japanese and partly by the Y.M.C.A., which has also given playing cards to all the camps. The chaplain conducts Sunday services and funerals.
Work, which is paid, is voluntary for officers and compulsory for other ranks who are fit. Some were digging a large pond for the Temple; others were breaking up ground for vegetables.
Only 13 letters had reached the camp.
The prisoners’ representatives asked for a more varied diet, recreational and sports equipment, medicines and soap.
Karenko Camp is park-like in scenery near the port of Karenko on the east coast of the island. It contains 248 officers, of whom 22 are British, 30 are Dutch, and 60 are Americans. The 60 other ranks include 12 British and 11 Dutch.
The two-storied wooden barrack contains 32 rooms and is enclosed by a brick wall.
The bedding is similar to that provided at Taihoku. There are ten large baths and good drinking water.
The principle food is rice. Bread is issued sometimes. Soya beans, fish and a little meat are regularly provided. The sick get an egg and some milk every day; others sometimes get smoked duck, eggs and coffee. All are issued with tea.
The average weight has increased since arrival. There is a vegetable garden, goats, pigs, rabbits and chickens.
Warm clothes were issued for winter.
There have been five deaths

A view of Stanley Civilian Internment Camp, Hong Kong before the occupation by the Japanese.

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12 The Prisoner of War September, 1943

since the camp was opened in July, 1942. On the date of the visit there were seven patients in the camp infirmary, who are cared for by one Japanese doctor, two prisoner of war doctors, and a prisoner of war dentist. The optical service is insufficient.
There are a few books. Chess and cards are played indoors; and football out-of-doors. The gramophone is played for two hours after supper. Services are held on Sunday.
Tobacco may be purchased; agricultural work is voluntary, and those who work receive a little pay.
Only 78 letters have been received; most of the prisoners have had no news from home since 1941. The prisoners come from the Philippines, Malaya, Java, Sumatra and Guam.
The prisoners’ representatives asked for more food (especially for workers), clothing, soap, scientific and technical books, and sports equipment.
Tamazo Camp is about ten miles from the east coast of the island, farther south than Karenko. It is described as being situated among tropical garden scenery. It was opened on April 2nd, 1943, and contains 117 prisoners of war, officers of high rank with senior Dutch and American officers with their batmen. The average age is 45.
These senior officers and their batmen are crowded into only seven rooms. This was a subject of complaint to the inspector. A later telegram informs us that more buildings were under construction and that great improvements were about to take place.
Rations are smaller than those issued at Karenko, and the prisoners of war have lost weight since their arrival. Poultry and goats are kept. There was one patient in the large infirmary.
Books and Relief Supplies
The inspector found that the prisoners had few books, and arranged for several hundred books to be sent by the Y.M.C.A. committee. There is a gramophone. Services are held on Sundays.
The officers can arrange to purchase clothes. Some wear their own boots, some have clogs. The canteen sells black tea, fruits, syrup and coffee.
Work is voluntary and paid. So far only 4 letters have been received.
The senior British officer pointed out that the prisoners had lost weight since arrival, but stated that the Red Cross relief supplies had “saved the situation.” The relief supplies consisted of 225 packages of beef, cocoa, sugar, etc., and some shoes.
A dental service is badly needed.
Medicines, food, clothing, pipe-tobacco and razor blades are required, and are being despatched.
Heito and Taichu Camps are being moved to other parts of the island. [italics] (Visited May and June, 1943.) [/italics]

“Sectional Camp 3, Hiraka.” – The address of the camp is Tokyo Prisoner of War Camps, Tokyo. In another telegram it is spelt “Hiroaka.” It is part of the Tokyo group (which includes Kawasaki, Shinagawa, Kanagawa and Yokohama Central Park), but lies at some distance from the other camps in the Nagano prefecture, in a woody gorge of the Tenryu River near a town called Mirushima.
Its strength at the date of the visit was eight British, one Canadian and one Dutch officer, and 211 other ranks, of whom 148 were British from Java.
There are five newly constructed wooden barracks, divided into six upper and six lower cubicles, measuring 9 1/2 by 2 1/2 metres, each of which holds ten men. The camp is enclosed by a wooden fence about 10ft. high. The barracks are lit by electricity and warmed by two stoves each from November to March. Each man has five blankets in summer and six in winter, and two sheets.
There is a wash-house with nineteen taps and a Japanese hot bath, which holds fifty men; this is available twice a week. Sanitation and drainage are satisfactory. Drinking water is boiled.
There are two Japanese Army cooks and six P.o.W. cooks. The rations have not been reported, but it is noted that the average weight of the prisoners of war has substantially increased since their arrival at the camp.

[inserted] Readers are asked to bear in mind that any information regarding prisoners of war received by the War Office is communicated immediately to next of kin. [/inserted]

There is a vegetable garden, in which tomatoes and turnips are grown, five rabbits and four pigs. P.O.W.s receive 3 cigarettes per day.
All the prisoners have uniforms and greatcoats, straw hats and two sets of underwear, which were supplied by the detaining Power. They use rubber shoes for work and wear clogs in camp. Leather shoes are kept in reserve.
The state of health on arrival was very bad; there have been 48 deaths since the opening of the camp. There were ten cases of sickness in the infirmary at the date of visit; they are attended by one Dutch and one Japanese doctor. The prisoners of war have petitioned for a British doctor owing to language difficulties. A dentist from the village attends the camp. There are regular medical inspections and health is now steadily improving. Convalescent patients may take walks.
Basket-ball, volley-ball, chess and ping-pong are played. There are thirty packs of cards, about sixty books and some musical instruments. The “Nippon Times” is delivered regularly but late. The canteen sells toothbrushes, tooth powder, toilet-paper and sweets.
Work is compulsory for N.C.O.s and private soldiers. They are correcting a river bed for a hydro-electric plant, and do not work on rainy days. There is one rest day weekly. Reveille is at 5.50 a.m. on fine days, lights out is at 8 p.m. and there is 1 1/2 hours break at mid-day.
The outgoing mail has been restricted to one postcard each at Christmas, one letter in January, and one post-card in June. Nine letters have been received.
Red Cross relief has been distributed.
The representatives of the P.O.W.s state that the situation is improving. Morale is good. [italics](Visited June.) [/italics]

A brief telegraphic report of the visit indicates that the number of prisoners of war now in Hong Kong is about 3,000. This figure is believed to include many Canadians and local volunteers. Health has been satisfactorily maintained at Argyle Street, the officers’ camp, and has improved at Sham Shui Po. The number of cases in Bowen Road Military Hospital and in the camp hospitals has been reduced since last winter, and mortality has been low. The prisoners look fit and cheerful and the camp leaders acknowledge that there had been general improvement in conditions.
The camps are reported to be clean and the hygienic arrangements adequate. Both maintain growing pig and poultry farms and can grow vegetables and flowers. Parcels are delivered weekly from local residents, and Red Cross supplies are still available.
There are opportunities for sport, reading and study. Sham Shui Po camp has a full band. [italics] (Visited June.) [/italics]

SOME postcards written by internees in Changi Camp have now reached this country. These cards were for the most part written in June and November of last year.
The health and morale of the internees seem to be very good. Health is frequently mentioned by the writers, who say: “We are well”; “Having no tummy trouble”; “Have not lost weight”; “I have not once been ill.”
It is satisfactory to note that there are books in the camps. Dickens, Shakespeare, and other classical writers are mentioned. One writer has Fisher’s “History of Europe,” and is giving lessons in history. Others are studying Dutch and French.
No mail has yet been received, but this would not be possible, as the first letters from England were posted at the end of June, 1942, and would take at least six months to reach Malaya.
One writer says how pleased he is to hear that Mrs. –– and Mrs. –– have reached home. It looks, therefore, as if the messages broadcast from this country have been passed on.
The various suggestions made by the writers for sending postcards through the International Red Cross, parcels through the South African Red Cross, etc., should be disregarded. It is not possible to send any individual parcels to the camp, and it is only possible to write by means of the “Prisoner of War Post.”

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September, 1943 The Prisoner of War 13


EVERYTHING possible is being done by the Government to help next of kin in their anxiety about prisoners in the Far East, and to provide for the prisoners’ welfare. But the real obstacle in the way of this service is the attitude of the Japanese, who have not yet fulfilled their obligations as belligerents to supply full lists of names.
The situation is explained very clearly in a joint statement issued by the War Office, the Colonial Office and the Post Office on August 16th. Here are some of the important points:-
Prisoners in Japanese hands are estimated to comprise about 40,000 to 50,000 British soldiers, sailors and airmen; 20,000 Australians and 2,000 Canadians; about 70,000 to 80,000 members of the Indian Army; 100,000 Dutch; and between 30,000 and 40,000 Americans.
Visits to Japan and occupied China have been made by Swiss representatives provided under the Prisoner of War Convention, but soon after the outbreak of war in the Far East they were told by the Japanese that such visits would be prohibited in any newly occupied territories.
No independent information, therefore, has been obtained about P.O.W.s or British internees in Malaya and adjacent territories, Burma, the Netherlands East Indies or Indo-China. Only in Hong Kong is an International Red Cross delegate being allowed to work and send back reports.
Red Cross supplies of food and medicine were sent out at the time of the civilian exchange during August and September last year and have been delivered in all areas. Much more could be sent if the Japanese would let ships used for this special purpose enter the waters under their control.
Letters from home have taken about six months to reach Tokyo, where they are known to have been distributed to the various camps.
Britain has been making proposals to Japan, through the Swiss Government, towards a settlement of the whole subject. Meanwhile, the names of P.O.W.s mentioned from time to time in Japanese broadcasts are being passed on officially, by the Government to the prisoners’ families.
Only 65 per cent. of the names of men missing and in Japanese hands have so far been received by the War Office. The Colonial Office knows only 20 per cent. of the civilian internees in Malaya. More names, however, are expected to be released by the Japanese, and next of kin should not give up hope.

A MEETING of London Next Of Kin of prisoners in the Far East will be held at the Central Hall, Westminster, S.W.1. on October 9th at 3 p.m. The Countess of Limerick, Deputy Chairman of the Joint War Organisation, will be in the chair and speakers will include members of the Far East Section of the Prisoners-of-War Department. Tickets for admission can be obtained from 43, Belgrave Square, S.W.1.

THE facilities offered to next of kin for having their letters typed by a well-known organisation in London have been welcomed throughout the country, and already many hundreds of letters are being daily received by the Far East Section of the Prisoners of War Department at 9, Park Place, and handed over to the organisation concerned.
We should like to impress upon relatives the necessity of attaching a slip to the letter they wish typed, giving FULL details of the name and address of the prisoner and the name and address of the writer. Will relatives, therefore, please write these details clearly, preferably in block capitals, so as to avoid errors in typing.
The Surrey Prisoners of War Department asks that any relatives of prisoners of war in Japanese hands who want their letters typed and prefer to hand them in to a Red Cross office rather than post them to 9, Park Place, S.W.1. should be sure to hand them to the local Prisoners of War Organiser or Visitor, whose address can always be supplied from the Prisoners of War Department, 119, High Street, Guildford.
Relatives in Wiltshire can hand in their letters personally at the places and times indicated below:
CHIPPENHAM: c/o Messrs. Tilley and Culverwell, Market Place, Chippenham. Tuesdays, 10- 4
DEVIZES: 55, Northgate Street, Devizes. Thursdays and Saturdays, 10-5
MARLBOROUGH: 35, High Street, Marlborough. Fridays.
SALISBURY: The Church House, Salisbury. Tuesdays and Saturdays.
TROWBRIDGE: Central Library Club Tuesdays, 10:30-4:30; Wednesdays, 2- 4:30.
SWINDON: Victoria Road, Swindon. Mondays, 10-12 and 2-4.
Alternatively, letters can be sent by post at any time to 33, Fore Street, Trowbridge.
Relatives living in Glamorganshire can, if they wish, hand their letters to the Prisoners of War Headquarters, Glamorgan Country Depot, 32, St Mary Street, Cardiff.

AT the invitation of the Canadian and American Red Cross Societies, delegates of the Red Cross and St. John War Organisation are leaving immediately for Washington to take part in an important conference. The object of the Conference is to find means of facilitating by joint action the organisation of supplies for prisoners of war in the Far East.
The delegates from Britain will be Sir Ernest Burdon, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of the War Organisation and Mr. J. Montague Eddy, Deputy Chairman of the Prisoners of War Department. They will represent all the Red Cross Societies of the British Empire.
Ever since the early days of the war with Japan unceasing efforts have been made by all the nations concerned to get supplies out of the prisoners of war who fell into Japanese hands, and thanks to the indefatigable work of the international Red Cross Commission, it has been found possible in various ways to supplement the rations they receive from the Japanese. But the difficulties have been very great and the enormous distances add considerably to these difficulties.
Now it is hoped that it may be possible to achieve more by establishing closer co-operation between the Red Cross organisations of the Allies and by making joint representations through the international Red Cross to the Japanese Red Cross.

Revised Issue of G.P.O. Leaflet
THE leaflet detailing the instructions governing the dispatch of mail to prisoners of war and men missing in the Far East issued by the G.P.O. has recently been revised and copies of the amended addition can now be obtained at all principal post offices. The number of the leaflet is P.2327B, dated July, 1943.
Full particulars are given about the sending of letters and postcards and of the exact method of address, which must be strictly adhered to.
There have been important amendments in the wording of addresses, particularly where a camp address is not known, and relatives are urged to make themselves familiar with the revised regulations.
We would call the special attention of our readers to the article, “Don’t Forget the Censor,” on page 15 of this issue, and also to “Mail from Far East” on page 16.

[page break]

14 The Prisoner of War September, 1943

AS time goes on, more and more of our men are achieving, as prisoners of war, a very remarkable feat; they are proving that the odd informal hours of their captivity which they have managed to put aside for study could not – under any conditions, anywhere – have been spent with greater wisdom or to more useful effect.
Nearly 25,000 of them in Germany alone have asked for technical and reference books. Nearly 6,500 study courses have been sent out to them by the Red Cross since the beginning of the war, and more than 5,000 of them are now actually studying for examinations.
Restricted in other ways, they remain free – triumphantly free – in mind. From news received since our last report it seems that no subject, from physics to Oriental languages, need be beyond their reach and mastery.
The wide and varied knowledge attached to the secretarial profession, for instance, has been attracting many followers. From a dozen different camps officers and men have taken the recent Chartered Institute of Secretaries’ Examination: 36 have passed their full intermediates and 10 their full finals. One lieutenant, in gaining his final, carried off two special awards as well.
A group of young R.A.F. officers matriculated to the University of London. One of them tackled successfully the Russian language; and there are two lieutenants who have put well behind them the Japanese papers set by the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Engineering too, has come in for professional attention. Of the 10 prospective entrants to the Institution of Structural Engineers, 8 have won associate memberships and 2 have become graduates.
Church history, Scripture and Christian Morals have been mastered by 3 prisoners in passing the General Ordination Examination for the Church. Nor has law in its intricacies been over-looked. Nine students of the Inns of Court are now qualified by the General papers of the Legal Education Council.
In the various Royal Society of Arts Examinations, a successful proficiency has been shown by 2 sergeants, a corporal and 2 privates in shorthand (60 and 50 words per minute), by a driver and a sergeant in French (stage I), and by a corporal in book-keeping (stage II), while another corporal has distinguished himself by his performance in Company Law papers II and III (both first class).
Such a story, as it comes to us instalment by instalment, is surely one of the most encouraging ever to emerge from the P.O.W. camps. These wise and resolute men, who went away as soldiers, are now planning their return to post-war civilian life as effectively as can any of us here at home. All success to their future and praise to their present achievement.
[italics] We publish below a list of successful Candidates: [/italics]

V.R.D. Hellaby; H. Jasckson; J.A. Kelso.


General Examination of Students of the Inns of Court.
The following Students passed:-
Henry William Earnest Cleaver, Lincoln’s Inn’s Roman Law, and class; Elements of Contract and Text, 2nd class.
Frederick Vernon Coefield, Middle Temple: Constitutional Law (English, Dominion and Colonial) and Legal History, 3rd class; Elements of Contract and Text, 2nd class.
Philip Henry Charles Denison, Inner Temple: Roman Law, 1st class; Elements of Contract and Text, 2nd class.
Antony [indecipherable word], Inner Temple: Roman Law, 2nd class.
Fitzroy Thomas Grant Frank Conway Fletcher, Inner Temple: Elements of Contract and Text, 2nd class; Elements of Real Property, 2nd class.
Patrick George Thomas Lutyens, Middle Temple: Elements of Contract and Text, 2nd class.
John Wynne William Peyton, Inner Temple: Elements of Contract and Text, 3rd class; Elements of Real Property, 2nd class.
Robert Owen Forsyth Prichard, Inner Temple: Constitutional Law (Engish, Dominion and Colonial) and Legal History, 2nd class; Elements of Contract and Text, 3rd class.
Charles Hugh Willis Troughton, Inner Temple: Roman Law, 1st class; Elements of Real Property, 1st class.

[italics] Intermediate Examinations. [/italics]
E.C. Bell; R.H. Moon; C.T. Wilt; T.M. Carmichael; N.F. Trayler.
[italics] Final Examinations. [/italics]
T.M. Carmichael; P.M. Lamberth; J.H. Wilman; M.G. Wilset.

Major G. Betteley; Associate-Membership.
Major M.K. Constant; Associate-Membership.
Lieut. W. Downie; Associate-Membership.
Lieut. J. Mercer; Associate-Membership.
Lieut. R.N. Sanders; Associate-Membership.
Lieut. J.J. Teesdale; Associate-Membership.
Lieut. D.W. Waddell; Associate-Membership.
Capt. T.D. Thomas; Graduateship.
Capt. J. Shankley; Graduateship.

[italics] Written Examination in Japanese. [/italics]
Lieut. L.S. Deuchar; Lieut. F.J. Spackman.

F/Lt. A.C. Meigh; passed in Matriculation in the First Division.
F/Lt. Henry W. Lamond; passed Matriculation in the Second Division.
F/O Charles P. Hall; passed Part A (Elem. Maths. and English).
P/O Edward R. Hester; passed Part A (Elem. Maths. and English).
F/O Perry R. Ross; passed Part A (Elem. Maths. and English).
F/Lt. John B.J. Boardman; passed in Russian as a supplementary subject.

Lieut. C.P. Allen; Intermediate.
Lieut. T.M. Carmichael; Intermediate.
Lieut. L.J. Dalch; Intermediate.
Lieut. C.G. Deighton; Intermediate.
Lieut. A.A. Dodds; Intermediate.
Lieut. L. Dominion; Intermediate (awarded Institute Prize for French).
Lieut. G.A. Donald; Intermediate.
Lieut. P.K. Entwisle; Intermediate.
Lieut. S.G. [indecipherable word]; Intermediate.
Capt. F. Hewitt; Intermediate.
Lieut. N.J. Hide; Intermediate.
Capt. J. Leighton-Royce; Intermediate.
Lieut. Sir H.J.L. Leslie, Bt.; Intermediate (awarded Institute Prize for French).
Capt. J. McDowell; Intermediate.
Lieut. R. MacKensie; Intermediate.
Lieut. J.L.M. Moss; Intermediate.
Lieut. S.D. Oxley; Intermediate.
Capt. H. Priestley; Intermediate.
Lieut. H.J. Radford; Intermediate.
Lieut. F.H. Renout; Intermediate.
Lieut.R.H.L. Russell; Intermediate.
Lieut. H.M. Sundey; Intermediate (awarded George Strachen Memorial Prize).
Lieut. D.H. Williams; Intermediate.
Lieut. F.H.M. Woodnutt; Intermediate.
Lieut. A.M. Baradell-Smith; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Capt. P.F. Haynes; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Lieut. M.C. Kennedy; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Lieut. P.H. Morton; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Lieut. B.R.T. Reid; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Capt. D.F. Todd; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Lieut. G.B. Byars; Final.
Lieut. A.H. Clarkson; Final (awarded George Strachen Memorial Prize; also Institute Prize for French).
Lieut. G.G. Cowen; Final.
Capt. J. Macmillan; Final (awarded Institute Prize for French).
Lieut. R.W. Snowdon; Final.
Lieut. H. Thomson; Final.
Lieut. A.R. Walter; Final.
Lieut. C.G. Foreman; Final (took one section only and passed).
Capt. H. Pumfrett; Final (took one section only and passed).
Capt. D.R.T. Reddropp; Final (took one section only and passed).
Capt. M.R. Young; Final (took one section only and passed).
Cpt. A.K. Brown; Intermediate.
Sgt. J. Fergeson; Intermediate.
L/Sgt. F.W. Malley; Final.
S/Sgt. A.W. Winship; Final (took one section only and passed).
Sergt. J.O. Badcock; Intermediate.
Sergt. W.M. Bradshaw; Intermediate.
Sergt. E.O. Jones; Intermediate.
Bdr. G.M. Lloyd-Smith; Intermediate.
Marine T. Mation; Intermediate.
Cpt. J. Wilkinson; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Sergt. L. Copland; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Marine T. Matson; Final (took one section only and passed).
Pte. R.T. Milethorpe; Final (took one section only and passed).
Sergt. H.J. Mullineaux; Final (took one section only and passed).
Sergt. F.W. Patmore; Final (took one section only and passed).
Sergt. R.F. Philips; Prelimirary.
M.F. [indecipherable word]; Intermediate.
Sergt. C.G. Staples; Intermediate.
Sergt. J.R. Staples; Intermediate.
A.R. Dickinson; Final (awarded Sir Earnest Clarke Prize).
Lieut. E.G.A. Roberts; Intermediate.
Lieut. W.J.A. Weir; Intermediate.
Lieut. G.G. [indecipherable word]; Intermediate (took one section only and passed).
Major F.V. [indecipherable word]; Final.
L/Cpl. E.F. Mitchell; Preliminary.

Results received June, 1943.
Cpl. A.F. Crawland; Shorthand 60 & 50 w.p.m.
Sergt. C.G. Llewellyn; Shorthand 60 & 50 w.p.m.
Sergt. D.F. Readman; Shorthand 60 & 50 w.p.m.
Pte. T.M. Schmidt; Shorthand 60 & 50 w.p.m.
Pte. C.B. Wilson; Shorthand 60 & 50 w.p.m.
Dvr. W.T. Hawkins; French, stage I.
Sergt. J. O’Neill; French, stage I.
Cpl. J.D. MacDonald; Book-keeping, stage II.
Cpl. R.J.E. Hawkins; Company Law, stage III, 1st class, Company Law, stage II, 1st class.

THE Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs recently stated in the House of Commons that negotiations for the exchange of badly wounded prisoners from Germany had been resumed.

[page break]

September, 1943 The Prisoner of War 15


WHY next of kin should restrict their letters to prisoners and internees is clearly explained in an interesting letter we have received from Mr. Frank E. Gates, the father of a P.O.W., who is an official at the G.P.O. with a knowledge of the difficulties that confront the authorities.
He points out that there are powerful reasons why the Post Office in its recent leaflet urges that “letters should not be send by the same family more than ONCE A WEEK.”
The reason is simple. It is lack of censors – not on this side but over there. The British censorship deals with all letters within a few days of getting them. But the German and Italian authorities naturally find it more difficult to get a sufficient number of reliable people with a good knowledge of English.
If, then, the number of letters posted is too great for the available enemy censors to handle, congestion results and the whole service becomes disorganised.
“We relatives, therefore,” says this father, “just have to restrict our letters, to ensure that those we do write get through in reasonable time, or else we shall overwhelm the enemy censors with more letters than they can cope with.”
To the relatives of prisoners in Japanese hands the Post Office advice is “not more than ONE LETTER A FORTNIGHT.”
Not only is the language difficulty greater, but the letters travel vast distances by transport services already overburdened.
Another absolutely vital point is – write very clearly and legibly, so that each word is recognisable at first glance. And avoid slang expressions or abbreviations. Some letters from prison camps bear a printed reminder: “Only legible letters will pass the censor.”
Remember that your letters are going to be read by Germans, Italians or Japanese who are not even accustomed to our style of handwriting. You are strongly advised to get your letters for the Far East typewritten (you can do this through your Red Cross “friend” or the typing service announced in the August issue) otherwise write them in block letters.
Any time that the enemy censor has to spend in deciphering your letter is delaying every other letter he has to deal with.
Most relatives, says our correspondent, are taking the official advice, but others are continuing to send several letters a week to the same prisoner. This is unfair to the boys whose relatives are playing the game and is apt to cause bitterness.
“I earnestly appeal,” he adds, “to all relatives not only to restrict their own letters but to support the authorities in discouraging the sending of letters by anyone outside the prisoner’s own intimate circle of relatives and friends.”
All these should take it in turns to write, each giving news about all the others, and the reason for the arrangement should be explained to the P.O.W. in such a way as not to annoy the enemy censor.
All next of kin should get from any Post Office a copy of the new leaflet and study it carefully – there is a separate one for Japan.

PRIDE of place here this month must go to a company of the Boys Brigade at Gorton, near Manchester. To a delighted audience of more than a thousand schoolchildren they presented a “Circus Burlesque” in sixteen acts – which ranged from snake-charming and lion-taming to a grand finale of Allied Nations! As a result Mr. J.P. Griffiths, who wrote and produced it, has been able to send the funds a cheque for £100.
Mrs. Hull, of Skegness, has collected another £8 17s. from neighbouring supporters and is now helping them to arrange a dance for the same good purpose. Here are some other profitable ideas which well-wishers have been turning to good effect:-
By saving up odd coppers, etc., like Mrs. Drake, of Roehampton (monthly), £1: Mrs. Green, of Islington, and Mrs. Petter, of Guildford, each 10s.
By selling things, – Home-made cakes, for instance – like Mrs. Thompson, of Morpeth, £5 12s., and Mrs. Reid, of Earlston, Berwick, £3; or lavender – like Mrs. Day, of Bexhill-on-Sea, £2 10s., and Miss Harris, of Plumstead (who made it into bags), £1; or hand-made slippers – like Mrs. Barlow, of Clerkenwell, in her factory, 10s.; or bananas and lemons (if you can get them !) – like Mrs. Chapman, of Ashton-under-Lyne, £2; Mrs. Wheatley, of Brighton, £1 6s. 8d.; the staff of the Beehive Café, Hoddesdon, Herts. £5 1s. 6d.; and the lucky owner of three bananas who raised £33 3s. out of them at a dance at Portstewart, Co. Derry.
By helping on the land on her week’s holiday from factory work and saving the little left over after her expenses were paid. Mrs. Turner, of Sutton, Surrey, has nobly managed to send us 10s.
One encouraging tip for war-workers everywhere; a fund started about six months ago at a North-East Ordnance Factory is now producing a weekly average in the neighbourhood of £200 in support of our funds.

[italics] Let the children make this for his next parcel. [/italics]

THE best method for ascertaining the number of stitches required for making a cap muffler, 12in. wide (or 24in. in circumference) and 2 1/2 yds. long, is to take some of the wool and the needles you propose to use, and to knit a square about 2ins. each way of alternate plain and purl rows. Then, with a tape measure, see how many stitches go to an inch, multiply the number thus ascertained by 24 (the number of inches of the circumference required) and the number of stitches required to be cast on will be found.
EXAMPLE, – 4 st. to the inch multiplied by 24 equals 96 st.
With needles Number 6 and Beehive double-knitting wool (working out at 4 st. to the inch), 96 st. would be needed.
These mufflers can be knitted (a) [italics] in rounds [/italics] on four needles like a sock; (b) [italics] in rows [/italics] with two needles in [italics] double knitting. [/italics]
[italics] Double knitting [/italics] is worked as follows:-
Cast on the required number of st., turn, *, then k.1. pass the wool in front, and [italics] insert the needle as if to purl[/italics], but do not make a st., [italics] only slip it [/italics], pass the wool back again, and repeat from *.
Continue this for the length required and then cast off, taking 2 st. together in [italics] the ordinary way. [/italics]
The cap is formed by tucking in one end of the scarf.
This scarf can also be made by doing double knitting for only 18ins., and single knitting the rest of its length, thereby effecting a very considerable saving, both in wool and time.

[page break]

16 The Prisoner of War September, 1943

THE Postmaster General regrets to announce that on board the British Overseas Airways Corporation flying-boat which crashed in Eire on July 28th was a quantity of mail from British prisoners of war in Japanese hands, the greater part of which is reported to have been destroyed. Of an estimated total of some 30,000 letters and postcards from these prisoners only about 2,570 items have been salvaged. The salvaged correspondence is being put into course for delivery as soon as possible.
The Postmaster General desires to express his sincere sympathy with relatives, who, having waited anxiously for so long for news of men reported missing in the Far East theatres of war, have suffered disappointment through this unfortunate accident.
The Protecting Power will be asked to take such steps as are possible to expedite further consignments of mail from the Far East.

August Selection of Penguins
The following ten books were chosen as the August selection for prisoners in camps in Germany and Italy:-
PENGUINS: [italics] A Passage to India [/italics], E.M. Forster (Fiction); [italics] Silver Ley [/italics], Adrian Bell (Fiction); [italics] The Public School Murder [/italics], C. Woodthorpe (Crime); [italics] Siamese White [/italics], Maurice Collis (Travel); [italics] The Country House [/italics], John Galsworthy (Fiction); [italics] Scandinavian Short Stories [/italics], Selected by Estrid Bannister (Fiction); [italics] The Islandman [/italics], Tomas O. Crohan (Autobiography); [italics] The Nebuly Coat [/italics], John Meade Falkner (Crime); [italics] Brighton Rock [/italics], Graham Greene (Fiction).
PELICANS: [italics] Music in English [/italics], Eric Blom.

The Censorship requires that no price mark or ticket should remain on clothing sent to prisoners of war.
We should be grateful if next of kin would remove these when preparing their parcels.

We understand that Air Force personnel (both men and women) may not mention their connection with the Air Force in letters to prisoners of war and civilian internees, and that photographs of Air personnel in uniform may not be sent to them.

[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]

Any Questions?

New R.A.F. Camp
[italics] My son mentions that Stalag Luft III has moved to Stalag Luft 6. Also that all parcels should be addressed to the new camp but letters should still be addressed to Stalag Luft III as this is now a censoring depot. Could you give me some idea where the new camp is situated? [/italics]
Stalag Luft III has not been moved, but a new camp, Stalag Luft 6 has been opened, and a number of prisoners from Stalag Luft III have been sent there. The new camp is at Heydekrug, about 30 miles south of Memel, in East Prussia. Letters to prisoners of the R.A.F. and Fleet Air Arm in Germany should all be addressed to Stalag Luft III, with the address of the camp where the prisoner is actually interned in brackets after it. Parcels should be addressed direct to the prisoner’s camp.

Cooking Utensils
[italics] Are the prison camp authorities obliged to provide cooking utensils? [/italics]
The Detaining Power is responsible for providing cooking utensils for prisoners of war.

[italics] I want to send my son, a P.O.W. in Germany, cigarettes but my local village shop has not an export licence. What should I do? [/italics]
You should ask the shopkeeper to get into touch with his wholesale suppliers about this.

How Many Letters?
[italics] Is there any regulation about the number of letters a P.O.W. may send from his camp in Germany? [/italics]
Officer prisoners of war are usually allowed to write three letters and four postcards each month, and other ranks two letters and four postcards.

Repatriated P.O.W.
[italics] Will my son, recently repatriated from Italy, be invalided out of the Army? He has lost one eye and I am worried about his future. [/italics]
Your son will no doubt be informed direct as soon as practicable as to his future by the appropriate military authorities. Each case is understood to be specially considered on its merits.

Visits of Camps
[italics] How often are camps visited by representatives of the Protecting Power? [/italics]
We understand that visits are not necessarily made at fixed intervals.

Medical Care of P.O.W.s
[italics] Do British doctors look after the sick prisoners of war in the prison camp hospitals? [/italics]
In most cases, yes. They are usually assisted by British medical orderlies.

Repatriated P.O.W.
[italics] My son in Germany mentions that he hopes to be repatriated shortly. Can you give me any official news? [/italics]
If your son should be repatriated you would be informed by the Service Department concerned.

P.O.W.s “On Parole”
[italics] Are P.O.W.s allowed out of the camps on parole? [/italics]
Yes, at the discretion of the camp authorities.

Write Legibly
[italics] Should letters be typed to prisoners of war in Germany and Italy? [/italics]
Letters need not be typed, but should be written in ink and as legibly as possible.

Merchant Seamen
[italics] Is a merchant seaman a civilian internee or a prisoner of war? [/italics]
Merchant seamen are usually interned in special camps, in which they are accorded the rights and privileges of prisoners of war.

Campo P.G.29 and P.G.73
[italics] Can you tell me the location of Campo P.G.29 and P.G.73? [/italics]
P.G.29 P.M.3,200 is at Viano, about ten miles south-west of Reggio; P.G.73 P.M.3,200 is at Modena; both in northern Italy.

Books in Welsh
[italics] Can I send books in Welsh to my husband, a P.O.W. in Germany? [/italics]
Yes, through permit holders; but their censorship in Germany would probably considerably delay their delivery to the prisoner.

Photos for P.O.W.s
[italics] May I send my husband in a German camp a photograph of myself and my baby? [/italics]
Snapshots or unmounted photographs of a personal nature may be enclosed in letters (not in the air-mail letter-cards) to prisoners of war.

[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]

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. Park Garden, Stamford Street, London, S.E.1



Great Britain. Red Cross and St John war organisation, “The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 17, September 1943 ,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 18, 2024,

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