The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 13, May 1943



The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 13, May 1943


Includes: editorial matters; all in a day's work; life in a Japanese prison camp; fun and games; letters they write home; official reports from the camps; group photographs from the camps; how next of kin are helping (including knitting pattern for sleeveless pullover) and any questions? Includes photographs throughout.



Temporal Coverage




Sixteen page printed document


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The Prisoner of War

The official journal of the prisoner of war department of the red cross and st. John war organisation, St. James palace, London, S.W.1

Vol. 2. No. 13. Free to Next of Kin May, 1943.

The Editor Writes -

In view of the allegations which have been made in Parliament and elsewhere about conditions in Italian camps, and especially in Campo P.G.5. I am glad to be able to print some reassuring first-hand statements about prison camp life in Italy. The first is from Commander L.M. Brown, R.N., D.S.C., repatriated direct from P.G.5.

Prison Life in Italy
“The Italians,” he says “are always in my experience, kindly and well-disposed, but they are terrified of escapes. Their good intentions are not, however, always carried out in practise. When attempts are made to escape, it is the prison authorities rather than the prisoners who are most severely punished. That is why they limit the exercise space and remove many hobbies which would otherwise keep the prisoners amused. My only complaint is that they do not provide anything by way of recreational facilities – particularly at P.G.5. where everybody who had been punished was sent. Other complaints about this camp are mainly exaggerations.” (See also page 13.)

A Signal from the C.-in-C.
By way of postscript to Commander Brown I may refer to a signal from the Commander-in-Chief Levant to the Admiralty saying that the recently repatriated naval prisoners of war from Italy “unanimously express their sincere gratitude” for the food and comforts parcels sent out by the British Red Cross and distributed through the International Red Cross Committee.

From the Model Camp
Writing to his father in Hull from “the model camp of Italy” a denizen of Campo P.G.52 testifies: “Everything is done for our comfort and convenience. The Camp Commander is a perfect gentleman. We get a Red Cross parcel between two of us twice a week.” A gunner in Campo P.G.54 reports that his camp is situated in quite a pleasant spot not far from Rome, green countryside all around and a range of mountains in the distance. “Our enclosure,” he says, “does not allow much room for exercise but we are allowed out for walks at frequent intervals.”

Fine New Huts
And here is yet further good news from an Italian camp – P.G.73 – contained in a letter to a Reigate reader from her husband. “We are now housed in our new huts,” he writes,

Red Cross parcels arriving at Stalag 383, formerly known as Oflag III C – drawn by an inmate!

“Which are really fine places and 100 per cent. improvement on the tents, really modern and, above all, considerably warmer. There seems nothing to worry about on this side, so please keep smiling.” His wife says that her letters to Italy are getting through much more quickly than replies from there. From P.G.82 comes a message that next-of-kin parcels and cigarette parcels are arriving daily. Red Cross parcels every week. Main items wanted are “books, cigs, chocs, socks and hankies.”

Happy Returns!
This is our Birthday Number. It is a year ago since we appeared for the first time and I am happy to say that we have made friends all over the world. My birthday wish to our readers can only be “Speedy happy returns of your menfolk!” And I should like to quote from two letters that have reached me. One – from Redcar – says: “Keep on editing, editor. You’re doing a grand job and we know it. So do the chaps behind the wire. So keep up the good work till they’re home again.” The other: “I imagine every single copy of your magazine is more widely circulated and shared than any other paper.”

Photostat Journalism
Special arrangements, unique in the history of journalism, have now been made for the publication of [italic] The Prisoner of War [/italic] in Canada within a few days of its appearance in this country. One of the first copies printed in London is sent off by air mail to Ottawa, where some 15,000 copies are reproduced by Photostat with certain modifications and additions conveying suitable information for Canadian readers. I have just seen
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2 The Prisoner of War May, 1943

a grateful letter from a lady living in Edmonton, Alberta, expressing appreciation of an article we published about Otlag IVC where her son has been prisoner for nearly two years.

Adventures in Kriegieland
A flying officer thus sets down his fantastic first impressions of Stalag Luft 111:
“An ardent individual clothed in a pair of pyjama trousers and an old scout’s hat, perched on a tree stump in the midday heat, a little way from the wire, diligently executing the chromatic scale on a saxophone. I was amazed at the indifference of the sentry in the box a few yards off and of the ‘Kriegies’ [sic] (prisoners of war), marching round the perimeter track, busily, quickly, in little knots of two or three, as if they had somewhere to go, a train to catch perhaps – or an important meeting to attend.
“Then there were the dozen or so yachtsmen, skilfully navigating homemade sailing boats round the fire squad’s 12 feet square reservoir. Some wore old socks on their heads, cut down R.A.F. trousers served as shorts, pyjama jackets, shawls and other quaint swathings [sic] abounded....
“I’m sure that only the season prevented the March Hare turning up at tea-time. Kriegieland — A land stranger much than fiction.”

Up-to-date Lantern Lectures
Red Cross lantern slides are now obtainable on loan, free of charge by schools, clubs and associations. These are in two sets, (1) “Red Cross and St Johns – Past and Present,” and (2) “Work of Red Cross and St. John for Prisoners of War.” Written lectures are issued with each collection and posters and leaflets can be obtained on request. Apply three weeks in advance of your date fixture to: Lantern Slides, Red Cross and St. John War Organisation, 24, Carlton House Terrace, London, S.W.1.

Examination Success
Since the inception of the scheme for holding examinations in prisoners of war camps, there have been more than 2,000 applications from candidates. Another 2,000 are working for exams, and about 400 have already sat for them in 13 different camps. In the results published up to date, 212 out of 262 passed, some with distinction. Subjects studied range from Banking and Economics to Gasfitting [sic] and there are now more than seventy examining bodies, including universities, professional societies and technical institutions.
Some prisoners are particularly interested in modern languages, and not all confine themselves to the European. Some want certificates in Malay, Swahili and Chinese!

Settling In
When prisoners are moved from one camp to another they are apt to feel a little uprooted. Other parents and friends may have read words like these: “I cannot say too much at present. Like everything else that is new, it seems a bit strange. We are still busy settling in.” But the letter continues cheerfully: “We are all living in a large house, just one big happy family.” And the surroundings strike a familiar note. This P.O.W. in Campo P.G.122 has seen scenery like this before. It is “very similar to the Great West Road round about Osterley.”

A gift from Italy
News has only just reached me of a most remarkable Christmas present. It appears that every man in Campo P.G.82 wrote home to his next of kin with instructions to send to the Red Cross a Christmas contribution on his behalf – “as a token of appreciation of the great work that Red Cross is doing for us.” A major in this camp who writes to inform us of this touching spontaneous tribute says that the total achieved was £1,344 sterling.

Am I downhearted? No
“Twenty-three to-day and my fourth birthday away from Blighty,” writes her brother in a Stalag to Elsie Morris, in Bolton. “Am I downhearted? No, far from it, for during these three years I’ve learnt more than in all the previous ones put together. I realise the real value of things. I get a kick out of doing something I detest, knowing that in doing so I am climbing one rung nearer the top of the ladder and not slipping the entire length to the mud beneath.”

Pain from Over-eating
A Westbury-on-Trym [sic] reader is anxious that I should print an extract from a letter from his brother Jim in Stalag XXB, because it will ease the minds of some who have relatives there. “I am really and truthfully O.K.” writes Jim.

Bathing at Stalag XVIII A.

“At present I have a pain in my stomach through over-eating! Seems funny to you, perhaps, but it’s God’s truth. The Red Cross food I’ve knocked back to-day would last a camel a week.”

So Very Tasty
Some prisoners show considerable ingenuity in the way they use the contents of the Red Cross parcels. Here is a “lovely breakfast” recipe from a Lincolnshire man in Campo P.G.70. “I mixed the Yorkshire pudding powder with grated cheese, and sliced some dates, and had it cooked in the cookhouse.” Rather a queer concoction, but its inventor says it was marvellous. He also says that he is in the pink of condition and has had “quite a lot of mail” from home.

Thanks from overseas.
Malta, Palestine, Trinidad and Southern India — readers in all those countries are represented in my mailbag this month. “In our village (Tel-mond, Palestine) are many families of P/W,” writes Mrs. Glezer, “and all of them are glad to read the journal for which I send the greatest of thanks.” Mrs. Ortensia Stafrace writes to St. James’s Palace from Valetta: “I wish to renew my thanks to you and your staff for what you are doing for me and many others and for keeping me in touch with my dear husband ... and I assure you I will remain obliged to you till death.”

“It Brings Them Nearer”
“In the last issue there is a bit about Ian’s new camp. It seems to bring our boys nearer to us.” Ian is the flying officer son of Mrs Bourne, who writes from Trinidad to express her appreciation of [italic] The Prisoner of War [/italic]. Mrs Barker, writing from Bangalore, is no less enthusiastic, and says that she is justly proud of her husband who, is [sic] spite of his 30 years’ service, seems to bear the ordeal of an exile’s life very well. He had been Camp Sergeant Major at Campo P.G.65 until he was transferred to another camp.

Red Cross Sunday
Sunday, May 2nd, will be celebrated in churches throughout the country as Red Cross and St. John Sunday. Special prayers recommended for the occasion include the prayer for Prisoners of War which was specially written by the Dean of York (Dr. Milner White) and published in our January issue.

The Editor Regrets
To those who have asked whether they can be put in touch with other next of kin I must regretfully announce that it is impossible for this journal to undertake that responsibility. Introductions must be made direct by your men in the camps.
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May, 1943, The Prisoner of War, 3.

“...still something to lean on.”

Many and Varied are the Jobs Done by Members of Working Parties

“....caught bricks, carried bricks and cursed bricks.”

Prisoners who are members of working parties often write home to say that they are putting on weight. “It’s not fat either, but good hard muscle,” writes one of the men at a German Stalag.
They are the happiest prisoners, for usually work carries with it certain extra privileges and extra rations, and the men get a small rate of pay.
Most of the labour is out-of-doors, which explains the good health which prisoners proudly report to their people at home.
Under International Law it was agreed that P.O.W.s who are physically fit can be employed on work not directly connected with the operations of war. Officers cannot be compelled to work, but may volunteer to do so.

Types of work
The types of labour vary and include plumbing, bricklaying, quarrying and factory work. A few prisoners work in coal and salt mines, some do clerical work, and a considerable number work on the land, and are billeted with the farmer or in one of his cottages. Some, however, live in a special camp near the farm.
The following description of “home conditions” in a farm cottage comes from Germany. The writer has christened his billet “Chez Nous.”
“We have two rooms, one large, one small. The small one we use as a washroom. The larger one is our bedroom, dining-room, ballroom – to suit the occasion.
“The bedsteads are two-tier bunks. The beds are palliasses [sic] filled with straw. WE have two fires – that is, one fireplace which we use for heating water and preparing our little Red Cross dishes, and an oven for heating purposes.
“We have a cupboard with shelves where we keep our belongings, on top of which is a small bookcase, which I made out of Red Cross boxes. Then we have a table and chairs, of course. Various photographs are hung around the room, and, naturally, I consider my collection on the wall above my bed to be the finest on show.”
Prisoners working on farms often get a certain amount of liberty. One of them, describing his working day, says: “’Aufstehen’ is at 5 o’clock. I wash and clean my teeth, and then six of us start our daily walk to the farm. I leave Mervyn and his mate about half a kilometre along the road, then another half-kilometre and we leave the other two ‘gefangeners.’ That leaves Dick Holt and myself to find our way along a canal bank for another kilometre to our farm. Then till 7.30 I help get green fodder for the horses, after which I get the horse and van ready and take the milk to the milk lorry. I come back, have ‘Fruhstuck’ and do a bit of threshing until dinner-time.

Threshing Until Vesper
“In the afternoon I do more threshing until ‘Vesper’ at 4 o’clock, after which we do various odd jobs till 7 o’clock, have a wash, then supper, and a walk back to the billet.”
However they are employed, the men seem to be glad to have the work to do.
One of them writes: “The work I do varies quite often, and at the moment I am working in a machine and blacksmith’s shop. Can you imagine me wielding a hammer on an anvil?”
Another comments: “We have a variety of jobs, such as digging, road-building and work connected with the building trade.”
And from another comes the following:
“This week quite a large gang went out on a working-party – plumbers, bricklayers, carpenters, labourers, and there is hope of plenty of work soon. I should like to get out as it entails extra rations.”
A prisoner who works in a quarry insists, rather surprisingly, that his work is easy. “The best job is running the stones to the station so as to unload it – about twenty minutes’ work and an hour and a half riding about on the lorry. We manage to see a bit of the town this way.”
Here is the wide experience with bricks gained by a prisoner who in other days was a bank clerk, recounted to his sister: ‘I have been putting up blocks of flats. As to my methods – Heath Robinson hasn’t a look in! I’ve handled bricks, stacked bricks, thrown bricks, caught bricks, carried bricks and cursed bricks. In fact, what I haven’t done to a brick has never been done.”

Relegated to a Shovel
Another joker remarks that he has been “sacked from the constructional job and relegated to a shovel . . . still something to lean on!”
A P.O.W. in Stalag VIIIB is quite sure that a regular job is a good means of keeping well. He writes: “I am now with my third working party and feeling very pleased and contented with life in general. We return from work by three in the afternoon with a healthy glow and feeling as fit as we have ever felt.” This prisoner mentions that there are sixty in his present camp and that they are “a grand crowd of fellows.”
In one camp the pay is quoted as “70 pfennig, that is, about 9d. a day. But we can’t spend it on much, so some of us will be millionaires when the war’s over!”
No chance of that, perhaps! Rather let us say that when the war is over, these men will come home in better health and spirits than would have been possible if they had been confined to their camps without any occupation.

Members of a working party attached to Stalag VIII B/E 373. In the background is the cottage in which they live.
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4 The Prisoner of War May, 1943

[Underlined] The Far East [/Underlined] [Underlined] A Broadcast from Java [/Underlined]
[italic] Lieutenant J. Lambert, a young Artillery officer, is a prisoner of war in Java, and on March 6th he was allowed by the Japanese authorities to broadcast on the Batavian Service to Australia. Lieutenant Lambert, who was formerly a journalist in Preston and Nottingham, gave an interesting account of the daily life in the Javanese prison camp, and we reprint some extracts from his account. It should be borne in mind that the script of the broadcast was censored by the Japanese authorities.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT had been a prisoner for two days short of one year when he spoke. After being captured the men were assembled at a railway head and then, leaving the terminus, they marched at night loaded with all the gear they could carry to the camp itself.
For a week afterwards there was furious activity, “scrubbing, hammering, digging, grading, counting, sorting out mixed units, until the place was roughly organised. It was soon obvious that there was going to be a job of work for everybody in the task of preserving a reasonably healthy and cheerful community in a prison camp within six degrees of the Equator.
“The necessary organisation included just as much administrative work as though we had been living a normal garrison life, plus the establishment of hygiene and sanitation squads, anti-malaria service, engineers’ workshop, central cookhouse, kitchen garden squad, facilities for religious worship, entertainments and, above all, our own medical service.
“Living accommodation in general consists of sound buildings, plentifully ventilated. There is at all times plenty of freedom to move about in the open, within the boundary wife of the camp area. The traditional genius of the British soldier for making himself comfortable was never more obvious than it is here. We brought in a good many tools with us and any sort of available wood soon become primitive furniture.
“Officers have exactly the same type of quarters as the men. Meals are based on the steamed rice which is the staple diet of the Eastern Asiatic races. It is accompanied by soup or stew, made of plentiful green vegetables with a certain amount of meat and there is enough flour for a bread ration once a day. To supplement these rations we have our own shop, buying, under Japanese supervision from local sources, and one can get eggs, fruit, sugar, peanuts, onions, potatoes, cigarettes and native tobacco.
“The Japanese employ large numbers of men on work outside the camps, and for each day’s work the men are paid. In

A group of prisoners at Zentsuji camp, Shikoku Island, Japan.

addition, camp maintenance staffs are paid. A fit man can earn a small but regular income, and we have started contributory schemes of unemployment insurance and sickness benefit.
“It must be remembered, too, that most of us came here completely unacclimatised [sic], but, luckily, we had medical officers with long experience of the tropics. They certainly needed all their experience and all their energies from time to time, especially in the early months. But hospital accommodation and the supply of medical materials has greatly improved during the year. After a year of this life the men have learned a great deal about taking care of themselves in this climate, and the situation has shown steady improvement recently.
“There is any amount of recreation. Soccer and Rugby, limited to fifteen or twenty minutes each way, are played regularly, and inter-unit league games produce ‘needle’ matches with roaring crowds on the touchline. Basketball, deck-tennis and badminton supply milder forms of exercise. Chess and bridge have become absolute favourites among the indoor pastimes. Contract bridge has certainly not been reckoned among the ordinary soldier’s favourite card games as a rule, but it certainly has become one in the prison camps at Java.
“The standard of stage and concert-party entertainment is really amazing. In my own camp we have seen three colourful Shakespearean productions. We have a first-class dance band, and at the moment we are revelling in a series of shows of the light musical comedy type. We even possess a startling pair of synthetic female beauties. Two R.A.F. boys transform themselves into a dazzling blonde and a skittish redhead. At a range of five yards you’d never dream that the blonde’s crowning glory consists of the combed-out fibres of a bleached sandbag, cunningly waved and set.”
Lieutenant Lambert concludes:
“For the time being at least, and maybe until the end, we are out of the fight. We have had a year of captivity and we fully realise that we may have another year or more to face. But my own feeling is that the message to you all from prisoners of war in the Far East is this: “We can take it. Please don’t let any anxiety for us distract you from the job in hand.”

Official Reports on Camps
SIR JAMES GRIGG, secretary of State for War, stated in the House of Commons last month that the Delegate of the International Red Cross Committee in Tokio [sic] had recently visited six camps in the Osaka group and seven in the Fukuoka group. The following reports have been received from Geneva:-
Nine camps in the neighbourhood of Osaka and Kobe are administered as one group. The principle camp is in Osaka and another is in Kobe, and two others, Amagasaki and Sakurajima are near these two adjoining cities. These four camps contain British prisoners of war from Hong Kong. The camps are described as clean and tidy.
At Kobe a four-storey brick warehouse is used to accommodate the prisoners. The buildings in the other camps have wooden frames and plastered walls. They are heated during the coldest weather with braziers. The men have five blankets each and sleep in two-tiered bunks. Each officer has a cubicle. There appear to be no recreation rooms.
The toilet arrangements are adequate. As is the custom in Japan, all the men bathe together in a large warm bath.
The rations are said to be satisfactory in quality, and to be superior to those issued to Japanese troops. The Camp Leaders are satisfied with the food.
The camps had all received a share of the Red Cross relief supplies sent on
(Continued on Page 14)
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May, 1943 The Prisoner of War 5

K.G.F. B.A.B.21
Groups from the Camps
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6 The Prisoner of War May, 1943

Fun And Games

This model of friendly old “Big Ben” was made by a member of Stalag XXA.

Arts and Crafts at Stalag XXA
At a recent Exhibition of Arts and Crafts held at Stalag XXA one of the exhibits was the striking portrait of His Majesty King George VI. The exhibition included other clever portraits, copies of old masters and studies of animals and still life. In the modelling section friendly old “Big Ben” –reproduced on this page – was outstanding. One exhibitor, using materials to hand, arranged regimental medals against a backcloth to form the Union Jack and express the indomitable British spirit of the artists and craftsmen.

Dream Boat at Stalag XXB
“Dear Mum and Dad,” wrote a private from Stalag XXB, “we had a jolly good Christmas here; plenty of grub, thanks to the Red Cross. We also had a play called ‘Crazy Gefangeners,’ and did we enjoy it!
“ One item was a boat we had made pulled on pulleys in the dark with the light on the boat while the band played ‘When my dream boat comes home,’ ‘All ashore,’ ‘We are sailing on the crest of a wave,’ and ‘Red Sails in the Sunset.’”

“London Pride”
The camp commandant and other German officers attended a recent concert at an Oflag. It was a “roaring success,” with the Canadian Art Crighton and his Boys (Including Little Oscar on the Sousaphone) playing all the latest tunes. A New Zealander, Lee Humphries, sang hill-billies in a Canadian Rockie scene, Bruce Organ gave comedy numbers, and a grand pantomime, “Dick Whittington,” formed the finale.
In One stirring scene a cockney figure stood silhouetted against a background of the Embankment and the House of Parliament at night as he sang “London Pride.”

“Night Club” at P.G.21
Officers in the Italian camp P.G.21 (Chieti) have rigged up a large room as a “Little Theatre” where plays and variety shows are held regularly. The camp has a dance orchestra, described by a prisoner as “easily up to professional standards.” Recently the “Little Theatre” was turned into a London night club and cabaret, and a “customer” who dined at the “21 Supper and Grill” described it as “unreal and unbelievable.”

How Many Buttons?
A novel competition formed an added attraction to the ambitious revue. “London Calling,” recently produced at Stalag XXA by “The Cockneys” Concert Party. Included in the programme was a short notice inviting playgoers to guess the number of buttons on the jacket of the Pearly King — a

“Excuse me – but does Mrs. Jones live about here?”
“Yes. Er – as a matter of fact, I’m her daughter.”
“Dear me. Very pleased to meet you. I’m your father.”
(From a member of Oflag IX A/H)

member of the cast. Answers were to be written on the removable slip provided and dropped in a special box at the exit when the play was over. Meanwhile a piece of paper showing the true figure was being kept in a sealed envelope to be opened on the third night of the performance.
Valuable prizes, the audience was told, awaited those competitors whose estimates came nearest to the correct number.

Two Stalag Shows
“Tulip Time” is the charming name for a musical fairy tale presented at Stalag XXIA. One of the men at this camp recently sent the artistic printed programme, and a most professional programme it is, too. Songs, lyrics and music were all written by the prisoners themselves.
Another excellent programme has been received from Stalag XXA. This was for a revue called “Come in, Ma,” presented by the “Fort Concert Party.”

Books are Reaching Italy
Good news is reaching the Red Cross Indoor Recreations Section about the arrival of books in Italian camps. So far definite acknowledgments of books have been received from ten officers’ camps, sixteen men’s camps, and from six hospitals, as follows: Officers’ camp: P.G. Nos. 5, 12, 17, 21, 29, 35, 38, 41, and 47. Men’s camps: P.G. Nos. 51, 52, 54, 57, 59, 65, 66, 73, 75, 77, 78, 82, 85, 91, 95 and 129. Hospitals: P.G. Nos. 201 and 202. Military Hospitals: Pari, Parma, Morigi di Piacenza and Caserta.
Next of kin and friends of prisoners of war are asked to continue sending book parcels through permit-holding retailers to individual prisoners, as these books, when read are usually passed on to the Camp Librarian for the general benefit of prisoners.

Penguin Books have informed us that the following ten books have been chosen as the April selection for prisoners in camps in Germany and Italy:
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons; William Cook; Antique Dealer, Richard Keverne; Cut Throat, Christopher Bush: The Old Road from Spain, Constance Holme; Selected Modern Short Stories, Vol 1, Ed. By Alan Steele; Farewell Victoria, T.H. White; A life of Shakespeare, Hesketh Pearson; South Latitude, F.D. Ommanney; The Growth of Science, A.P. Rossiter; European Painting and Sculpture, Eric Newton.
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May, 1943 The Prisoner of War 7

The Letters They Write Home

A world in Miniature
Campo P.G.78. 17.2.43.
“THERE is nothing that would indicate that we have been prisoners for two years. We have settled down to it as if it were our normal life and accept things as they are. We are not in the slightest degree crushed, cranky or depressed. It is a world in miniature with normal gossip and joking, with nothing more exciting than heated arguments occasionally about the constitution of the bands, concert party, etc., just as in ‘Civyy’ [sic] Street.”

The Simple Philosophy
Stalag XXID. 23.2.43.
“SATURDAY afternoons and all day Sunday we have to ourselves. The rest of the week we are working from seven in the morning to four in the afternoon. Lights go out at ten. The Red Cross have sent us all kinds of things – musical instruments, books, cards, games and drawing paper. I have taken up sketching. My special line is portraits – gave me a photograph of a man, woman or child and I will turn out a beautiful replica in pencil. It is curious how many of the chaps here have perfectly good photos of their relatives and young ladies and are not content until they have been reproduced in pencil. Conditions are a lot different now than in the early days. We have got our second wind back and settled down to the simple philosophy of ‘There’s a good time coming.’”

To His Daughter
Oflag IXA/H. Undated.
“AFTER the war won’t it be funny to hear the chink of silver money, to go for a walk without a guard, to sit on a chair that isn’t hard, to eat off a plate that isn’t iron, to have a comfortable bed to lie on, to go to a flick, to drive a car, with no one wondering where you are, to talk to people you really like, to sit in a bath or ride a bike, to wear clean clothes, to speak by ‘phone, to have a room of your very own, to send a letter away by post and get a reply In a week at most, to sit by a fire when it’s grey and ‘parky’, to wear a suit that isn’t khaki, to turn from a plate of good plum duff and say ‘No, thank you, I’ve had enough’!
“Won’t it be funny (won’t it be bliss!) to have you and Mum again after this?”

News of Blighty
Stalag IXC. 15.2.43.
“WE have here now some fellows who were recently captured in Africa who were able to give us very cheering news about ‘Blighty.’ As they were home as recently as last November, you can bet they had plenty to tell us. For the past few months I have been working in the mill, where all the salt from the mine has to be crushed to powder.”

Variety Turn
Stalag XXB. 14.2.43.
“I HAVE plenty to write about this week, for you see for the first time in our district we have had a concert, or rather a variety show. Organised by one of our lads, the show was put on in the village assembly hall and the lads taking part were from the surrounding farms, the cheese ‘joint’ and black-

Sports Day at Stalag VIIA – the bookmakers
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 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 generation friend of the Red Cross and St. John War Organisation. [/inserted]

smith’s. Our modest band consisted of an ancient piano, guitar, piano accordion, drums and home-made bass, i.e., an old inner tube stretched over a soap box. Nevertheless, it did marvellously well. I composed a humorous monologue concerning a ladies v. gents cricket match, and I was besieged with requests for copies afterwards. In the last act I appeared as one of the Western Brothers in company with a West End garage proprietor. Together we recited my own composition, ‘It Was Agony.’ Our ‘toppers’ were made from our Red Cross parcel boxes and blacked over with tar. Exactly 160 of our lads enjoyed the show. Three German officers attended.”

Summer’s Coming.
Campo P.G.53. 6.3.43.
“LIFE isn’t too bad. . . . We brew up the tea from our Red Cross parcels several times a day so as not to waste a drop. What I look forward to most is chocolate and cigarettes. Am looking forward to your next of kin parcels. . . . Will you please send in your next parcel khaki shirts and shorts, as the weather in summer is just as hot as in the Middle East.”

Dear Old London.
Oflag VIIB. 9.3.43.
“WE spend hours talking about dear old London. It usually starts after supper with something like this: ‘Have you ever had oysters in one of those bars by the Helvetia – ?’ ‘Oh, yes,’ says someone else ‘and just round the corner, in Rupert Street, is Pinolis,’ and so it goes on.
A week or so ago three American Colonels arrived from Tunisia, so we do get a bit of late news from occasional people. Those things which three years ago one took for granted now seem to be the absolute essence of luxury, such as hot water running from a tap, or even gazing into a shop window. You know at times this seems almost worth it all, just for the unique experience it will be when it comes to an end and we return home.”

Looking Ahead.
Stalag Luft 3. 5.3.43.
“I AM wondering what it will feel like to be free again, just to be able to walk miles and miles out into the country and no barbed wire or guards to stop me. I want to stand on Rivock edge and look out over the valleys as far as the eye can see.
“We are entirely surrounded by woods and I haven’t seen anything except trees for ten months. It doesn’t matter though, my time isn’t entirely wasted and I know the gates
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8 The Prisoner of War May,1943

P.O.W. attached to Stalag XXB 258.

will soon be open, and I hope it will be this year as you and I seem to think.
“I have done a lot of thinking since I have been here, and I think I have got things more or less weighed up now as regards life and the way of it and I hope to get somewhere when I get back. I have been permanently impressed by the work of the International Red Cross,

Parcels Office at Stalag Luft 3.

particularly (in our case) the British Red Cross. I wonder if you at home fully realise how much we owe to them? It is more than we can ever hope to repay.”

Fair Shares
Stalag IXC. 5.2.43
“FOR our parcels we split up into ‘syndicates’ of two, three or four men. These groups share everything – food, cigarettes, money. I’m in a syndicate with B---- M----, an ex-Army cook who, of course, does the cooking. ‘Tommy,’ who acts as the ‘quarter-bloke, is a London Terrier, and a

Boxing bout at Stalag XX A/110.

gardener from Kent is general factotum. I’m scrounger-in-chief, and Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

Bridge Player
Campo P.G.65 24.2.43.
“I KEEP very fit and cheerful and play a lot of bridge. Have so far won four competitions and have taught nearly fifty fellows to play, including four sergeant-majors. To-day for the first time I went on an organised route march, under escort, of course, about three miles or so. It was a real treat to get out of camp.”

Kept Him Awake
Llag VII. 3.2.43.
“TO me in England. ‘Red Cross’ meant mainly ambulance and stretchers: in Jersey it was the message bureau. Here it means parcels! On issuing days you line up by rooms to collect dry goods and whatever tins you want. These are opened and examined for contraband. We had such a parcel yesterday. It raised spirits from zero to such a pitch that sleep was out of the question till 1 a.m.”

Oflag VIIB. 20.1.43.
“I AM extremely well mentally and physically. I did not happen to get picked for the handcuffing, and even if I had been it is really not the sort of thing which need give rise to any alarm.
“I suppose it is difficult to imagine at home how we live here, but there is one thing that ought to be realised that things which would be intolerably irksome, if one were alone, lose a great deal of their sting when they are shared by two thousand extremely cheerful companions.”

Post-war Bureaux
[italic] From a Camp Leader, Stalag VIIIB. [/italic]
“WE received a rude shock last week when I was notified that the Post-war Advice Bureau would cease to exist, that being the order of the German High Command. Unfortunately, there appears to be little hope that an appeal against the ruling will be upheld. What a disappointment, and just when the fruits were being borne!”

Exchange on Points
Oflag IX A/Z. 12.2.43.
“WE have an exchange market here which works on points instead of money. If any one has too much of one particular thing, into the market it goes and he is credited with so many points when it is sold. For instance, I wanted two suits of summer underwear, which I got, finest material. This cost me one tin brown polish. 80 points; four pair laces, 120 points; one pair socks, 50 points; one razor blade, 10 points.”

Brown as Berries
Campo P.G. 21. 6.3.43.
“AM enjoying the book [italic] Gone to Earth [/italic] very much and have only just finished [italic] The Sun Is My Undoing. [/italic] The weather is now doing its best to cheer us up, and sunbathing is all the rage. We shall all return as brown as berries ‘even though the belt has been tightened up considerably.”

Monuments to Patience
Oflag IIIC. 23.2.43.
“IF the weather with you is anything like ours, you will be wondering where the winter has gone. We have already started sunbathing, and shorts have begun to make their appearance.
“Recently we held our Arts and Crafts Exhibition, and some of the exhibits were really amazing, particularly when tools are limited to penknives and the material is all plywood. Most of these exhibits could be called ‘Monuments to Patience,’ that great but very necessary virtue acquired in P.O.W. camp.”

Dramatic Talent
Stalag XXA. 7.3.43.
“THERE were fifty men when I came here, now there are ninety. I have worked every day this last two weeks but to-day I have a break. The talent of our club put on a play called ‘The Monkey’s Paw,’ and it was a success and I enjoyed it.”

Stage Properties
Marlag und Milag Nord.
“WE had three Americans in the cast of ‘On the Spot.’ We are very nice clothes for the shows and make female wigs from string off the Red Cross parcels. You would be surprised if you saw our efforts on the stage! Everything done as you would at home. We use real ‘make-up,’ dresses are made by the camp tailors, shoes are hand-made. The stage is properly equipped with lighting, spot-lights, dimmers.”

Maths Master
Campo P.G.70. 27.2.43.
“I AM starting a class in mathematics. Although I know quite a bit about maths, teaching men is a new experience. I have got over the spell of shortage of Red Cross parcels. They are giving us one a week again now. I am really glad that delay occurred as it makes me appreciate all the more what the Red Cross are doing for us. I shall never grudge helping them when I regain my freedom.”
[italic] The letter quoted below was found in the kit-bag of an eighteen-year-old Commando. It was written to his mother the afternoon before he left on the Dieppe raid, in which he was wounded and taken prisoner. [/italic]
“My Own Dearest Mother,
“By now you will probably have heard what has happened to me. I hardly know just what to say to comfort you, but I am sure that you know that I do not want you to fret or worry over me. . . .
“I have only one regret I parting from you from as far back as the day I joined the Army, I wish I could have provided for you, or at least, helped to support you, better than I have done in the past. . . .
“. . . My love to all at home and away, and please tell them all that they were constantly in my mind, and I wish them all happiness and luck.
“Mother dear, I would just like to say that if I should be taken prisoner, please trust and believe in God that some day I will be home to work for you and comfort you. . . So don’t forget, darling, to try and smile and be brave. . . . God bless you.
“With everlasting love,
Your Son,
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May, 1943 The Prisoner of War 9

His Half Day
Campo P.G.54. 5.3.43.
“WE’VE been having some lovely weather with clear blue skies and sunshine, and Sunday was just like a midsummer’s day back home. I had a cold shower, put my clean underwear on and sat reading in the sun all the afternoon. The ‘working man’ enjoys his half day now!”

Hot Showers
Oflag 55 (VD). 1.2.43.
“THE best thing in this camp (built as a Youth Hostel) is the lovely hot shower baths which we enjoy every Thursday. We do not work, except to do what is necessary for the maintenance of the camp, but I find plenty to do. I get up first, at 7 a.m., and get the fire going, and boil hot water and make tea for as many as have it, and prefer it to German tea.”

Stalag IIID. 14.2.43.
“I AM working on the railway with a pick. It is pretty heavy but we get extra rations for it, so the work will not do me any harm. At home I would be called a plate-layer. I will be a Jack-of-all-trades when I get back.”

The “Stooge” Day
Stalag Luft III.
“DURING the long evening, broken by brew and biscuits at 9.30, there is a lot of talking, but it is O.K, for working until bedtime just after 10 p.m., lights out at 10.30 p.m. Odd jobs, especially washing, take a lot of time, and the weekly ‘stooge’ day is nothing but preparing meals and washing up. Of course, we do a little talking, too! Our long discussions, the give and take spirit, and the little work I manage to do are doing me a lot of good.”

Special Security Camp
Oflag IVC. 15.3.43.
“THIS is a weird and boring life. This is my seventh camp and is probably my last, as it is a special security camp for people who cause trouble or who have tried to escape. There are Dutch, Poles, Belgians and French here, too, and a wonderful, cheery spirit pervades.
“We do most of our own cooking, but everyone is relieved when my turn is passed! My best dish is a plain raw onion salad! Also discovered it’s remarkable how long a bed will go unmade before becoming a complete cat’s cradle. Our beds are built in tiers and can go up to three, top one is awkward to scale and painful for the bottom two!”

Expert Translation
Marlag und Milag Nord. 3.3.43.
“THE new theatre which we have built was opened the other day by having a film show. We have a 16 mm. projector and hire the films for it. The apparatus is excellent and we put over quite a good performance. I stand behind and yell out the translations.”

His Music
Stalag VIIIB. 14.2.43.
“WE have a lot of musical instruments, too, piano accordions, guitars, etc., but immediately I start to practice about seventeen of the lads descend on me till I promise to stop. I’ve ordered a saxophone, and the fact that I don’t know the first thing about one won’t make the least difference.”

Keeping our Chaps Amused
Campo P.G.73. 23.2.43.
“OUR day starts about 7.30 a.m. when a drink of black coffee is brought round. When the weather was very cold we did not get up till 9 or 10 a.m., but as the weather gets warmer we rise earlier. About 10.30 we are issued with a small loaf and about 2oz. of cheese and an orange every other day. Then Ted and I do drawings or crosswords and sometimes we make up questions and quizzes to ask the hut of an evening.
“A lot of our time is spent in arranging talks and debates, as Ted and I have more or less accepted the responsibility of keeping our chaps amused.”

Talking Italian
Campo P.G.70. 2.2.43.
“WE still continue to get the Red Cross parcels. I am now well set up for external clothing, but await your personal parcel. I am in the Civilian Hospital and doing well. It’s very good in here. The food is fine and we have fun trying to talk Italian. Doctors and nurses are kind and treat us well.”

Weekly Treat
Campo P.G.75. 24.2.43.
“THIS evening I started off with the usual issue of soup, but I only had the liquid and saved the vegetables, i.e., cabbage and onions, and had them with some salmon afterwards. I followed with meat roll and biscuits and finished with dried peaches as a sweet. Of course, a meal like this only comes once a week, but we are very grateful for them and to the [italic] marvellous, stupendous, colossal [/italic] British Red Cross Society.”

Four cheerful faces at Campo P.G.59

Home Comforts
Campo P.G.53. 26.2.43.
“We have sheets and pillow cases and I can tell you it is marvellous to be between sheets again; it reminds me so much of home. . . . There are many kinds of lectures and classes one can attend, and just now we are running an Arts and Crafts exhibition for

Sports day at Stalag Luft 3.

which money prizes are to be given. As for sport, there’s practically every facility for it. There are also P.T. classes, for which they are getting complete equipment such as hobby horses, mattresses, parallel bars and such like. Then, of course, there is a canteen in which we can buy sweets, chocolate, fig bars, onions, oranges, and all kinds of miscellaneous articles such as notebooks, pens, ink, pencil sharpeners.”

Xmas dinner at Stalag VII A/2771.
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10 The Prisoner of War May, 1943

[inserted] [italic] In every case where the conditions call for remedy, the Protection 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. [/italic] [/inserted]

Reserve Lazaret Wasungen. – A lazaret for British patients suffering from infectious diseases. The buildings are of brick, two storeys high, and were once an old factory: a small hut has been added as an isolation room. The three buildings are described as old and in urgent need of repair. The beds have sheets (changed every four-six weeks though more often when necessary) a paillasse filled with wood shavings, and two blankets. There is said to be a scarcity of furniture. Lighting and ventilation are satisfactory. There is central heating, but the issue of coal is scarcely sufficient. The British staff stated that treatment was good, and there was quite a good stock of Red Cross parcels. Dental treatment is given at Reserve Lazaret Obermassfeld (Visited January.)

Reserve Lazaret Stadtroda. – Stadtroda is also in a factory building. Renovations and repairs have been promised, but so far have not been carried out, though one ceiling has been temporarily repaired. The Lazaret is

A scene at Stalag Luft I, an R.A.F. camp which was reopened for British prisoners in October,1942.

less crowded than it was, though it is feared that this is only a temporary state. Bathing and washing facilities have improved somewhat. Taps have been repaired and the water supply increased. Prisoners are now able to have at least one bath every week. Surgical cases are treated at this lazaret. The British doctors have complete freedom in their work. Dental treatment is given by a French dentist. Mail arrives regularly but slowly. Food is prepared by German women. (Visited January.)

Reserve Lazaret Hildburghausen. – Consists of two buildings about 400 yards from each other. The medical section – Karolinenburg – in one, and the surgical section – Frauenhaus – in the other. The buildings were formerly used as a private mental home. Beds and bed linen, light, ventilation and heating are said to be satisfactory. A common-room has been established at the Frauenhaus. Toilet facilities have been improved at Karolinenburg. Food is prepared by German civilian personnel and is normally satisfactory, but diets are only obtained with difficulty. The lazaret is visited monthly by a C. of E. chaplain. Mail has been somewhat irregular during the last few months. (Visited January.)

Reserve Lazaret Rottenmunster. – This lazaret was once a rest home and is in the centre of a large park near the edge of a river. It is a large stone building of four storeys. The British prisoners of war are on the ground floor. Single beds have mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets. Electric light, central heating and ventilation are described as entirely satisfactory. There was no complaint as regards food, and a milk diet is available. Clothing is good and parcels arrive regularly. Dental attention is given at a large German lazaret near by.[Sic] (Visited January.)

An R.A.F. camp. All British prisoners of war were evacuated from here in April, 1942, but in October, 1942, the camp again opened for British R.A.F. personnel, when 222 prisoners were transferred from Stalag Luft III. At the time of the visit there were four officers and 470 N.C.O.s and men. Three compounds compose the camp, though at present only one is occupied. It is the intention of the authorities to organise the camp into one large compound; consequently, all facilities can at present be considered as of a temporary nature. Heating and lighting are said to be satisfactory, but ventilation is bad at night when the shutters are closed. Each prisoner of war has three blankets. A German doctor, who speaks fluent English, is in charge of the infirmary. He is assisted by a British Army doctor and four orderlies. Dental treatment is given by a German military dentist, who visits the camp twice a week. Urgent cases are treated by a civilian dentist at Barthe. The clothing situation is described as satisfactory. Each prisoner of war does his own laundry. A C. of E. chaplain is in charge of religious activities.
The camp has a very large library and an extensive educational programme, though, unfortunately, the present study room is noisy and the common room rather small. There is a good sports field. (Visited February.)

The work camps of Stalag IVA are administered from Hohenstein. Red Cross parcels arrive at a small station near by [Sic] (Prossen), from where they are distributed. All the work camps are brown coal mines and the men work above ground.

Some improvements have been made at Grube Ostfeld. 97 men live in two barracks. There is also a kitchen shed, a special hut for sanitary installations and a wash-barrack. Four ventilation chimneys have been built into each barrack, so that air conditions are now reported to be satisfactory. A day room has also been built on to each barrack. Dirty blankets are to be replaced gradually by the employers. No overalls have been issued for work; the camp tailor was to prepare some that have arrived but needs repairs. The chaplain from Reserve Lazaret Konigswartha visits all the work camps and holds services about once in three weeks. The mail question over the whole area is not satisfactory, being both slow and irregular.

Conditions are much the same at Grube Brigitta, where there are about 103 men. A new shower room is to be
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May, 1943 The Prisoner of War 11

built for the use of the men on their return from work. A considerable amount of coal dust is raised from the coal briquettes. Sick prisoners from all these camps are sent to Krankenrevier Schwarzkollin (minor cases) and Reserve Lazaret Konigswartha (severe cases).

Revier Schwarzkollin is in the charge of a Polish doctor P.O.W. Two-tiered beds are used, with three blankets each. An iron stove heats the ward, which was formerly an operating theatre. Toilet and washing facilities are described as adequate, but ventilation is bad. It is lit by electricity.

Grube Heye III. – New stoves have been put into the barracks and the former sick room is now used as a drying room. Three blankets each are issued. A breakdown in the mine’s electricity has resulted in poor lighting in the camp. Hot water is available in the wash room, but there are no showers. Dental treatment is given by a civilian dentist, who is described as “rough and overworked.” There are no canteens in these camps, but necessary articles are bought in the town.
In this camp some prisoners of war have to work on Sundays, though often not for the whole eight-hour day. The works engineer was consulted in this matter.

Grube Erika. – A new recreation room is being built for the 199 men in this camp. The only complaint from here was the fact that the mine is some distance from the camp. In future, part of the journey will be done by train.

Work Camp Radebeul was visited for the first time. Prisoners of war here are only fit for light work. They live in a modern concrete building in the middle of a factory area. They have central heating, and the large dormitory is well lit and airy, furnished with two-tier beds Sanitary and washing installations are described as satisfactory. Food is brought in from the neighbouring inn and the prisoners are able to cook the food from their parcels in their own small kitchen. The decision whether a man may visit the doctor rests with the German N.C.O. The results are not always satisfactory, and it has been recommended that the medical service in this camp should be reorganised. Up to the time of the visit the chaplain had not visited this camp. The football field has been turned into a vegetable garden. Walks will be organised to take the place of football. Some Sunday work is asked of the prisoners of war. (Visited January.)

Handing out Red Cross parcels at Marlag und Milag Nord.

One British P.O.W. is at the main camp in charge of Red Cross supplies. There appears to be some difficulty over the distribution of parcels and clothing. At the time of the visit no parcels had been distributed among the work camps since Christmas, although a consignment was to go out on the following day. The Camp Leader does not appear to have sufficient control over the clothing. A new camp commander had been appointed only a week before the visit. There are about 2,800 prisoners of war in this area, and 34 work camps, dependent on Stalag IXC.

At Camp Molsdorf there are 350 prisoners of war. Lighting and heating are described as satisfactory and each prisoner of war has two blankets. Latrines are now emptied regularly every week. A British medical officer is in charge of the infirmary, and dental treatment is given by a civilian dentist. The clothing situation is not very satisfactory; clothing is to be provided temporarily by the detaining power. Beer is available at the canteen every week. The C. of E. chaplain at this camp is to be allowed to visit the work camps. Mail is reported to be slow and irregular over the whole Stalag, though it is believed that this may be partly due to heavy German Christmas and New Year mails. The general atmosphere at this camp is said to have improved.

Work Camps 26 and 35B – The prisoners of war in these camps work in seed factories. Their work is light (nine hours a day) and Sundays are free. They are well housed and treated. Food is served from civilian canteens, but 35B is to have its own kitchen. Football is played on a field in the town. Each camp has a Medical Orderly in charge of any sick prisoners of war. They are allowed to visit a military doctor and a civilian dentist.

Work Camps 42B, 92 and 16 are smaller camps averaging twenty prisoners in each. They work on car repairs, loading metal and preparing timber for a sawmill. Accommodation at 42B is not altogether satisfactory. The prisoners of war live over the workshops and the smell of paint and acetone is not healthy. It is hoped that the men will be moved to other premises. At 92 there was a complaint of bed bugs, mice and sometimes rats. The bugs had returned after disinfection; other vermin were kept down by the use of traps. It was reported that a new wooden barrack is to be erected for the prisoners of war. There were no complaints from Camp 16. In all these camps football is played at week-ends. Clothing conditions are fairly satisfactory, and overalls are in future to be supplied by the employers.

Work Camps 106 and 137 are both salt factories. There were complaints that many of the prisoners had to work on three Sundays out of four without compensation. Articles for the canteens were very difficult to obtain. At 106 a second stove was to be installed for heating, and at 137 German women cook the food, but the prisoners of war have asked for their own kitchens.
It was reported that the work camps of Stalag IXC give a fairly good impression as a whole, the main difficulty being distribution of Red Cross food and clothing parcels from the main Stalag. – (Visited January.)

This is a large camp for non-working N.C.O.s. It is a former officers’ camp and is composed of large numbers of small wooden barracks as dormitories, and several larger ones for use as a theatre, recreation room and sports hall. There are good football and rugby fields and ample space for walks. The N.C.O.s have been gathered here from almost every camp in Germany. The first batch arrived in September, 1942. Many of the prisoners of war are hand-
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12 The Prisoner of War May, 1943

cuffed. The handcuffs are made of iron circles linked together by chains about 50 cm long; the prisoners are able to use their hands quite freely to do almost anything.
Twelve to fourteen prisoners of war live in each hut and more seating accommodation is needed. The camp is lit by electricity, but larger bulbs are necessary to make the lighting adequate. Washing and toilet facilities are satisfactory.
A second kitchen will be available for the use of the prisoners of war soon and there were no complaints about food. The Camp Hospital consists of three barracks, and is run by four British medical officers under a German doctor. Dental treatment is given is given by a British dental officer. Dental material and instruments are on order. The hospital is described as adequate and well equipped. Laundry facilities have not yet been settled as a new wash barrack is being built. The prisoners of war exchange things among themselves, and the canteen acts as the “intermediary.” There is a C. of E. clergyman in the camp who holds the rank of corporal. The men would also like to have a Roman Catholic priest. The recreation room is very well equipped. (Visited January.)

Marlag-Milag are two entirely separate camps, each having their own administration.
Milag. – Over 3,000 officers and men of the Merchant Navy are interned here. The camp is on sandy ground, surrounded by pine trees. The buildings are well constructed and are divided into several rooms. Two-tier bungs with straw-filled paillasses are used, and each man has two blankets. Officers have one sheet a month issued to them. Ventilation and lighting are adequate though the light cannot be switched on until 6 p.m. Two new kitchens have been added in which are separate dining rooms for officers and men. The internees cook their own food. There are also three small kitchens where special dishes can be prepared, but there is a shortage of cooking utensils. Each man has one good suit.
A new delousing station has been installed for the whole camp, and the prisoners of war at Milag are able to use the shower baths three times a week, which results in each internee having one hot shower per month. Latrines have been modernised. The Camp Infirmary is to be enlarged to the status of a Lazaret with a capacity of 110 beds, and a British medical officer has been brought to the camp to take charge of it. The dental surgery is described as fairly well equipped. Some spectacles have been provided, though many of the men are still on the waiting list.
There are Roman Catholic and C. of E. Chaplains in the camp. Recreational and educational facilities are well organised, though the light in the study room is said to be inadequate. Theoretically these internees do not work, but over 400 of them work on camp maintenance and a few work on farms outside the camp.
Marlag is the Naval camp. It is subdivided into two separate sections, the officers’ camp and the men’s camp. It has been constructed recently of large well-built wooden huts. Ventilation and lighting are adequate and there is no overcrowding. Cast-iron stoves are in every room, but the ration of coal was reported as not enough to give sufficient warmth. Each man has three blankets and one good uniform. There are repair shops for clothing and shoes.
There is plenty of cold water, and hot showers are available once a fortnight. The infirmary and dental surgery are said to be well equipped, and there was a good stock of drugs. A C. of E. chaplain and a Roman Catholic priest are in the camp. There are theatrical groups and orchestras, as well as a good library. Mail at all the camps is reported as very slow and irregular. Parcels arrive by rail at a nearby station and are distributed from there to the three camps. – (Visited November.)

One floor of the hospital has been set aside for British prisoners of war. They are from Campos 68 and 54. There are three rooms. One of these rooms is at the disposal of convalescent patients. Mail service depends on the camps to which the prisoners of war belong. This sometimes causes some delay. Letter forms and parcels are sent in from the camps for the prisoners’ use. Rations are the same as those given to Italian patients and the men are able to prepare food from parcels. There had been no issue of tobacco up to the date of visit. The patients are given hospital clothing.
The Italian doctor and one nurse both speak English and two British patients have remained at the hospital after recovery to act as medical orderlies. Patients are normally returned to camp as soon as they are able to walk about. Eye specialists and dental surgeons are available. Italian Roman Catholic and Protestant priests visit the hospital. The patients are unable to go out of doors as there is very little space and a lack of guards. (Visited January.)

There are nearly 400 British patients in the hospital and the personnel has been increased by 41 medical orderlies. One hall has been cleared for use as a recreation room and a row of beds has been removed from the dormitories and replaced by tables.
Better furniture has been added to the medical officers’ rooms, which are now less crowded. The orderlies live in a barrack in a hospital yard. Accommodation is said to be very satisfactory and they are to have their own kitchen. All the sick wards are centrally heated. Delays in mail are caused by letters having to be sent on from the camps to which the prisoners of war belong. Tobacco ration has been issued regularly lately. Some clothing is issued by the camp authorities. Hot showers can be had every week. So far, no dental treatment is available.
A C. of E. Chaplain and a Roman Catholic Priest who speaks fluent English hold religious services. Exercise is taken on the terraces and in the courtyard. (Visited January.)

Campo 203 was originally planned for a National Military Hospital and has a capacity of about 650 patients. At the time of the visit there were 456 patients (some of them from Caserta Hospital) and 68 medical personnel. Reports on this hospital are exceedingly good. The rooms are, if anything, overheated and all the windows can be opened at night. Mail service was described as slow – particularly the outgoing mail and the distribution of parcels. The tobacco ration has not been regularly received of late, but back issues are to be granted when the next consignment arrives. Clothing is provided by the camp authorities when prisoners of war are discharged from hospital, though some of the uniforms were Italian. There is an Italian dentist, but as yet no surgery. Cold showers are always available. A radio set is being installed. (Visited January.)

Since this visit information has been received that many patients have been transferred to Military Hospitals 203 and 206, but at the time of the visit there were still nearly 1,300 British patients. The hospital is a large building of four wings, grouped round a large central courtyard. Three two-story houses have been added, each with a verandah [sic] overlooking the gardens. Five more bungalows are in the park. There were 15 British medical officers and several Italian doctors in charge. It is reported that relations between them are unfortunately not very cordial. Caserta is called a “Clearing Hospital,” and many patients remain only a few weeks, though some remain several months. There are no dental facilities at Caserta. Patients are given hospital clothing on arrival, and their own clothing is returned to them when they leave. (Visited November.)

There were about 200 prisoners of war in hospital at the time of visit. Three British doctors assist the Italian personnel. The patients are mostly wounded
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May, 1943 The Prisoner Of War 13

prisoners of war. Accommodation, toilet facilities, food and cooking are described as being in first-class order. Hospital clothing is issued to the patients, but some misunderstanding seems to have arisen over the distribution of clothing for discharged patients. It will come in future from the Central Hospital, Piacenza, on which this hospital depends. A C. of E. chaplain looks after the patients here and at Alberoni Hospital. Mail is said to be very slow. There is a recreation room, but, unfortunately, very few games. (Visited January.)

This was the first visit to this hospital, which is staffed by an entirely Italian staff. The Hospital is part of an old palace, in very good condition, with good accommodation and sanitary installations. Three Italian nuns help to care for the British patients, of whom there are 64. Food is well cooked, and special diets are available. All the patients are suffering from wounds, which sometimes take a long time to heal. The British chaplain from Morigi Hospital visits the patients regularly. Mail is reported to be very slow. (Visited January.)

Patients at this hospital come from Campo 73. Five rooms are at their disposal, well furnished, well heated, and well lit by electricity. One doctor and one nurse of the Italian personnel speak English. Mail is regular but slow. Red Cross parcels are distributed regularly. Up to the time of visit no cigarettes had been issued. Dental treatment is given at another camp and patients are conveyed by ambulance for treatment. There is an eye specialist attached to the hospital. Patients who are able to walk are allowed the use of the hospital garden. (Visited January.)

When the camp was visited there was snow on the ground, though the weather was fine. The walls of the old fortress are reported to have kept quite dry. Twelve kilos of wood are issued per stove per day and the rooms are described as sufficiently warm.
Parcels are distributed regularly and there were no complaints about food. This is an officers’ camp: at the time of the visit there were 165 officers and 54 other ranks. The men have had their cigarette ration regularly. A consignment of clothing was expected shortly. There are three medical officers, a British dental surgeon, and an oculist. As the fortress is built on a hill there

Insid: [sic] the cook-house at Reserve Lazaret Rottenmunster.

is some difficulty in finding room for the sports ground. Orders have been given that one shall be made. Walks are arranged occasionally and it has been recommended that they should be organised more frequently. (Visited January.)

One hundred and fifty-one officers and 42 other ranks are confined in this old castle. Some of these officers are from Campo 66, Capua, and some from Campo 75, Bari. Central heating has been installed and is reported as working satisfactorily. Officers and other ranks have their own messrooms. [sic] Hot showers are available every two weeks. Food is described as sufficient with Red Cross parcels. The Camp Infirmary is in the care of one Italian and five British doctors.
Clothing conditions were bad, particularly underclothes. Laundry is done outside
The Canteen is described as fairly well stocked. The profits are used for the benefit of other ranks. A C. of E. chaplain holds services every Sunday and the Catholic prisoners of war go to Mass in the village. There is sufficient space for exercise and games in the courtyard, and weekly walks are organised. There is a good library. Mail is very slow, though there appeared to be a slight improvement of late. Parcels had apparently not been sent on for the officers from Campo P.G.66. (Visited January.)

Over 1,200 British prisoners of war live in one-storey stone buildings which were once army barracks. The camp is considered to be overcrowded, although 400 officers have been transferred to another camp. There are now a few tables and benches in each room. Heating stoves had arrived but were not yet installed. No vermin had been reported for some months. No hot water has been available since August and water is only turned on for 1 1/2 hours a day. It is reported that the camp will have to be moved unless the water supply can be altered. Food was stated to be sufficient with Red Cross parcels. Serious cases of illness are sent to an Army hospital; others are tended by the Italian medical officer and four British doctors. There is a British dentist, but there are at present no instruments. Treatment is given by an Italian dentist. Information was received that a few days after this visit a large consignment of clothing arrived at this camp. Incoming mail is described as regular, but outgoing mail is very slow (Visited January.)

Capua is a very large camp used as a quarantine and transit camp and the strength varies from day to day. At the time of the visit there were 127 officers and 5,800 other ranks. It is situated on flat ground in a mild climate.
A new officers’ section is almost complete. It will consist of stone bungalows with washrooms, showers, dining-room and common room. At present the officers are housed in wooden huts. Six out of eight sections for other ranks are complete. The men in the remaining two sections are still under canvas, but they should all be in huts by now. Sanitary installations are well constructed and there is an ample supply of water. Electricity is now satisfactory.
Each section has its own kitchen and the P.O.W.s prepare their own food.
Three Italian doctors and six prisoner of war doctors work in the camp infirmary. There is an excellent delousing plant. There are two C. of. E. chaplains, a Roman Catholic chaplain and an Italian priest in the camp.
Kitchen gardens extend between the barracks, and also outside the camp. Pigs and rabbits are kept in the camp. A football ground and tennis court are being made. Some clothing has been distributed by the detaining Power, but stocks are needed, as prisoners of war arriving at the camp must be fitted out. There is a good stock of Red Cross parcels. (Visited November.)

The following additions should be made. – ITALY: P.G.10, P.M.3300; P.G.148, P.M.3200; P.G.204, P.M.3450 (Hospital Camp). Location of above are unknown. Ospedale Militare, Teramo. Montalbano, Firenze (Civilian Internment Camp).

We have been asked by the G.P.O to remind relatives that greetings cards cannot be sent to prisoners of war.
[Page Break]

14 The Prisoner of War May, 1943


In Wolverhampton they have a Prisoners of War Families Club organised by Mr. and Mrs. Dumbell. Here next of kin meet to exchange information, seek advice, and discuss their problems. Last month the Chairman of the Prisoners of War Department of the Red Cross and St. John War Organisation visited the club and addressed the members. Before he left he was presented with a cheque for £100 as a gift to the Duke of Gloucester’s fund.
“Since January, 1942, my husband has collected £300 towwards [sic] prisoners’ parcels,” writes Mrs. Clift, of Rugby. “This is just from workmates and friends.”
Her prisoner son will be glad to hear of this splendid gift. Many P.O.W.s are writing home to next of kin asking that donations should be sent. Private John Dunbar, tells his mother: “If you have any money of mine, give the Red Cross a nice donation out of it.” Mrs. Williams, of Barry, Glamorgan, has had a request from her prisoner son to send £5: Mrs. Andrew, of Camberley, whose son is in an Italian Campo, sent 10s. on his behalf, and Mrs. Gardner, of Brixton Hill, bearing her son in mind, sends 5s., “the price of a seat at a musical show.”
The next of kin of P.O.W., W. Holland has sent £1 by his special request: P.O.W. Edward John Truscott. £2. 2s.

Organises Dances
Meanwhile, the energies of next of kin are unabated. “A year ago I made up my mind to see what I could do.” Writes Mrs Squires, of Emner Green., Reading, whose son is a prisoner in Germany. “I am too old to do other war work, but I try to make people happy by organising dances and whist drives.” She sent £55 15s.
Making and selling is earning its usual welcome sums. Mrs. Bernthal, of Abing-

Study at Stalag XXA. Your help can provide these men with educational material.

don, and her daughter raised £3 10s, by the sale of a cake and of toilet preparations; patchwork quilts, the work of Holy Trinity Mothers’ Meeting, Ipswich, brought in £5. Mrs. Stone, of Weymouth, sold a banana brought home by a soldier friend for £1 12s. 3d. Another banana made 10s. when sold by Selwy Morgan, of Cefn Coed Merthyr Tydfd.

Children Help
Children, too, are entering enthusiastically into the work of raising funds. Nine-year-old Joan Hughes, of Talybont, near Bangor, has contributed 11s., and hopes to send another 5s. soon. Norman Bennett, who is ten, also sent 11s., made by the sale of dishcloths, his own handiwork. Little Doreen Ayley sent 10s., which she earned by making and selling golliwogs. Betty Frosch, an eleven-year-old, of Stoke Newington, made 8s, from the sale of a tulip which she grew.
Mrs. Challinor, of Northfield, Birmingham, collected £7. 5s. for flowers for the funeral of a much-loved neighbour, but the widow, Mrs Hughes, who has a prisoner son “out East,” knew what her husband’s wishes would have been and sent the money to our Fund.
From far Rhodesia came the sum of £2 from Mrs. Rickards, who recently sent £40 raised by a dance.
“I pass round your magazine to my friends and collect 1d. for reading it,” writes Mrs. Shand, of Camberwell. “I hope to be able to send you quite a sum by the end of the year.”
Twenty guineas come from Mr. A Burrows, of Northampton, as the result of a whist drive organised at the suggestion of his son, a P.O.W. in Germany.
The model of a Spitfire, presented to Mrs. Garrett, of Hedge End, Southampton, with other prizes, resulted in a contribution of £30 10s. Mrs. Margaret Hayley, a member of the British Red Cross Society , Wilts. Sold a pair of silk stockings for 30s., and added 5s. collected in threepenny bits. A collection of “odd coppers” made by Miss Joan Lillywhite, Kirkstall, Leeds, among her workmates earned £2.
From Mrs. D. Pryor, of Enfield, comes a cheque for £2 11s, 6d.; the sum included 2s sent with the blessing of an old man of ninety-one. Mrs. Clarke, whose husband is a prisoner in Italy, has started collecting at her works.
Mrs. Edna Wells, whose husband S.Q.M.S Frank Wells, of the 12th Royal Lancers, is in an Italian prison camp, had a young baby to look after, but she could not rest until she had shown appreciation of the Red Cross is some tangible form. So she organised a private raffle among her friends in Roath, Cardiff, and raised £3.

Tribute to Journal
As a thank-offering for The Prisoner of War, Mrs. Bompas, of Broughton, near Stockbridge, sent us 10s., and Mr Clarkson, of Motherwell, who says that the Journal is “a mine of information,” sent 5s.
There is no limit to the ingenuity and generosity of our readers, and I need hardly say that the Red Cross is deeply appreciative of all these tokens of good will and practical recognition of the value of the work that is being done.

(Continued from page 4)
the diplomatic exchange ships: some of the prisoners had already received these supplies when in Hong Kong.
There is a P.O.W. doctor in each camp, and Japanese doctors also visit regularly. Any serious cases are taken to military hospitals. More medicines are needed.
The Japanese authorities have supplied the prisoners of war with some clothing. More clothing is required as the original garments are wearing out.
The men work in the docks and in factories. The officers, who are scattered among the different camps, are consulted about the work. The hours are reasonable and no complaint is made of work conditions. The workers receive a little pay. Sundays are free.
The canteens are not well stocked, but some sweets and tobacco can be bought. Each man also receives a ration of between 150 and 200 cigarettes monthly.
There are only a few books in the camps; the International Red Cross Committee delegate hopes to supply both books and games. The Japanese have confiscated playing-cards in order to prevent gambling. (Visited March.)

This group of seven camps is administered from Fukuoka, in Kyushu, the most southerly island of Japan. The names of the camps are Ube, Omine, Ohama, Motoyama, Higashimisone, Mukojima and Innoshima. They contain British prisoners of war from Hong Kong and Java, and some naval prisoners of war. Two of the camps are on Islands in the Inland Sea.
Although fewer details are available about this group of camps, it appears that in many respects they resemble the Osaka group. The Japanese have supplied clothing. The food is based on that given to Japanese troops, modified for European tastes, and includes bread and cereals. The prisoners, when not working, study languages, including Japanese, and read books. Work averages eight hours a day. The canteen supplies are limited. The prisoners get five or six cigarettes a day. No mail has yet been received or sent. The International Red Cross Committee delegate has still got a reserve of relief supplies and will send some to these camps. The morale is said to be good. (Visited March)

Further notes on these camps will appear in our next issue.
[Page Break]

May, 1943 The Prisoner of War 15

MATERIALS: 11 oz. any double knitting wool. Two No. 7 and two No. 9 knitting needles.
ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS: Length, from top of shoulder, 24in. Width all round at under-arm, 36in.
Tension: 5 ½ st. to the inch in width, measured over the plain, smooth fabric.
RECIPE – THE FRONT: Using the No.9 needles, cast on 94 st.
1st row: K. 2, *P.1, K.1, repeat from * to end of row. Repeat this row twenty-three times. Using the No. 7 needles, proceed as follows: –
1st row: Knit Plain.
2nd Row: K.1, purl to last stitch, K.1. Repeat these two rows until work measures 15 1/2in. from the commencement, ending with the 2nd row. Proceed as follows: –
1st row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) five times, knit plain to the last 12 st., (K.1, P.1) five times, K.2.
2nd row: (K, 1, P.1) six times, purl to last 12 st., (P.1, K.1) six times. Repeat 1st and 2nd rows twice.
7th Row: Cast off 6 st., K.2, (P.1, K,1) twice, K.29. (K.1, P.1) five times, increase once in next st., K. 30, (K.1, P.1) five times, K.2.
8th row: Cast off 6 st., (K.1, P.1) three times. P.29 (P.1, K.1) six times. P.30 (P.1, K.1) three times.
9th row: K.2. (P.1, K.1) twice. K.2 tog, K.27. (K.1, P.1) six times, K.28, K.2 tog., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
10th row: (K.1, P.1) three times, P.28, (P.1, K.1) six times, P.29, (P.1, K.1) three times.
11th row: K.2 (P.1, K.1) twice, K.2 tog, K.26, (K. 1, P.1) six times, K. 27, K. 2 tog., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
12th tow: (K.1, P.1) three times, P.27, (P.1, K.1) six times, P.28, (P.1, K.1) three times.
13th row: K. 2, (P.1, K.1) twice, K.2 tog., K.25.(K. 1, P.1) twice, K.2, turn. Work on these 38 st. as follows: –
1st row: (K. 1, P. 1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times.
2nd tow: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, K.2 tog., K.22, K.2 tog., (K.1, P.1) twice, K. 2.
3rd row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times.
4th row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, K.2 tog., knit plain to the last 6 st., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
Repeat the 3rd and 4th rows twice, then the 3rd row once.
10th row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 8 st., K. 2 tog., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
Keeping a border of 6 st. in rib at each end of the needle, continue in plain, smooth fabric, decreasing once at the neck edge in every following 8th row until 28 st. remain. Work

11 oz. of any double knitting wool will make this useful garment

Sleeveless Pullover

4 rows without shaping. Proceed as follows: –
1st row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 7 st., turn.
2nd and 4th rows: Knit plain to the last 6 st., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
3rd row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 14 st., turn.
5th row: (K.1, P.1) three times, turn.
6th row: (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
7th row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) thee times.
8th tow: Cast off 22 st., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
Work 2in. in rib on the remaining 6 st. Cast off. Join in the wool at the neck edge and work on the remaining 40 st. as follows: –
1st row: K. 2 tog., (K.1, P.1) twice, knit plain to the last 8 st., K.2 tog., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
2nd row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times.
3rd row: K.2 (P.1, K.1) twice, K.2 tog., K.22, K.2 tog., (K. 1, P.1) twice, K.2.
4th row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times.
5th row: K.2 (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 8 st., K.2 tog., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
Repeat the 4th and 5th rows twice, then the 4th row once.
11th row: K. 2, (P.1, K.1) twice, K.2. tog. Knit plain to the last 6 st., (K.1, P.1.) twice, K.2.
Keeping a border of 6 st. in rib at each end of the needle, continue in plain, smooth fabric, decreasing once at the neck edge in every following 8th row until 28 st. remain.
Work 3 rows without shaping.
Shape for the shoulder as follows: –
1st row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 7 st., turn.
2nd and 4th rows: Purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times.
3rd row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 14 st., turn.
5th row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, turn.
6th row: (P.1, K.1) three times.
7th row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 6 st., (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
8th row: Cast off 22 st, (P.1, K.1) three times. Work 2in. in rib on the remaining 6 st. Cast off.
THE BACK: Using the No. 9 needles, cast on 94 st.
Work exactly as given for the Front, until the cast-off st. at the under-arm are reached. Proceed as follows: –
1st row: cast off 6 st., K.2. (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 12 st., (K.1, P.1) five times, K.2.
2nd row: Cast off 6 st., (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times.
3rd row: K.2, (P.1, K.1) twice, K.2 tog, knit plain to the last 8 st., K. 2 tog. (K.1, P.1) twice, K.2.
4th row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times. Repeat the 3rd and 4th rows six times.
17th row: K.2. (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 6 st., (K.1, P.1) twice. K.2.
18th row: (K.1, P.1) three times, purl to the last 6 st., (P.1, K.1) three times. Repeat the 17th and 18th rows seventeen times.
Shape for the shoulders as follows: –
1st row: K.2. (P.1, K.1) twice, knit plain to the last 7 st., turn.
2nd row: Purl to last 7 st., turn.
3rd row: Knit plain to the last 14 st., turn.
4th row: Purl to the last 14 st., turn.
5th row: Knit plain to the last 22 st., turn.
(Continued overleaf)
[Page Break]

[London Post Mark 24 May 1943]

16 The Prisoner of War May, 1943

The Next of Kin Packing Centre has always endeavoured to despatch parcels within two or three days of their receipt. But the number of next of kin parcels being sent has increased since January by a third, and under present conditions it is very difficult to obtain additional staff to handle the very detailed work connected with their examination and despatch from Finsbury Circus.
It is, therefore, regretted that there is a temporary delay of about three weeks in the despatch of parcels, which, however, may be sent as usual by the next of kin. The parcels are being despatched in strict rotation and every effort is being made to reduce the delay. It is hoped that arrangements will shortly be completed to clear the congestion.
Next of kin who have enclosed postcards in their parcels for our acknowledgement of receipt are advised not to expect them back as soon as they would have done under normal circumstances, and are asked not to make enquires until a reasonable time has been allowed for the delay.
The delay in despatch will not affect the date of the next parcel, [Indecipherable word] which labels will be sent as usual directly the current parcel has been despatched.

Very Important
THE new P.1 Instructions Leaflet, issued with the labels for N/K parcels, is now split into two sheets.
P.1B, containing lists of articles that may and may not be sent in parcels, will be issued with every label.
P.1A, which contains general instructions, will be issued only once – with the first label for a newly registered prisoner.
[italic] Be sure, therefore, to keep P.1A in a safe place for future reference. [/italic]
Any alterations to the leaflets will be published from time to time on this page.

Sleeveless Pullover
(continued from previous page)
6th row: Purl to the last 22 st., turn. 7th row: Knit plain to last 6 st., (K. 1, P.1) twice, K.2. Cast off.
TO MAKE UP THE PULL-OVER: With a damp cloth and hot iron press carefully. Sew up the side and shoulder seams. Sew together the first two ridges of the neck opening. Join together the bands from the fronts and sew to back of neck.

[inserted] NUMBER, PLEASE!
PLEASE be sure to mention your Red Cross reference number whenever you write to us [/inserted]

Any Questions?

Dyeing Difficulty
How can I get a permit for dyeing flannel trousers khaki to send in a P.O.W. parcel?
We do not think that you would be able to obtain such a permit.

News of his Brother
May I tell my son, a P.O.W. in Germany, the whereabouts of his brother, serving in the R.A.F.?
No information about the address of a unit of H.M. Forces, whether at home or abroad, may be sent to a prisoner of war; and no mention must be made of the movements of any members of the Forces.

Blue for the Army?
I have some navy blue wool to make a pullover for my son, a P.O.W. in Germany. May soldiers wear navy blue or must their pullovers be khaki?
It would be much safer to send your son a khaki pullover, as one could not be certain that he would be allowed to have a dark blue one. The regulations sometimes vary from camp to camp.

Marlag und Milag
Is Marlag und Milag a convalescent camp?
Marlag und Milag is not a convalescent camp, but is the camp in which the majority of Naval and Merchant Marine prisoners of war are interned, in the “Marlag” and “Milag” respectively. Each section has its own infirmary.

Comfortable Slippers
Can I send my husband, a P.O.W. in Italy, ordinary leather slippers?

Metal Clips
May braces and suspenders be sent in a P.O.W. parcel if they contain metal clips?

His Garden
How can I send seeds to my brother for his P.O.W. garden?
Seeds may no longer be sent to individual prisoners of war, but supplies are sent to each camp by the Royal Horticultural Society for general use.

Photo by Air Mail
Can I send my husband a photograph by air mail?
An unmounted photograph of a personal nature may be enclosed in an ordinary letter sent by air mail; but enclosures may not be sent in the special prisoner of war air-mail letter-cards.

Location Wanted
Can you tell me the location of Campo P.G.154?
This camp was in North Africa, but its exact location was unknown to us.

Canvas for Embroidery
Can I send a stencilled canvas in my next of kin parcel to my son, who is a prisoner in Germany?
No. Please refer to the leaflet sent each quarter with your label. You will see that only plain linen or canvas may be sent for embroidery.

From Friends and Relatives
May parcels other than next of kin parcels be sent to prisoners?
Tobacco, cigarettes, books and games may be sent direct to prisoners of war through shops which hold permits for this purpose.

Stalag IXC
Where is Stalag IXC situated? What is the meaning of Commando No. X39?
Stalag IXC is located at Bad Sulza. “Commando No.X39” is a working detachment number.

Everything New?
Can you tell me if I must send new articles only to my husband who is a prisoner in Italy? I have been told that this is so. Also, what is the location of P.G.98?
No. Clothes sent in quarterly parcels need not be new. The location of Campo P.G.98 is Ragusa, Sicily. According to our most recent information there are no longer any British prisoners in this camp.

No Food Parcels
Can I send my son who is a prisoner in an Italian camp food parcels through friends in South Africa?
No. Private food parcels may not sent 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 publisher THE RED CROSS AND ST. JON WAR ORGANISATION 14 Grosvenor Crescent, London S.W.1. by THE CORNWALL PRESS, LTD. Paris Garden, Stamford Street, London, S.E.1.



Great Britain. Red Cross and St John war organisation, “The prisoner of war, Vol 2, No. 13, May 1943

,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 22, 2024,

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