Les Rutherford's prisoner of war diary

SRutherfordRL146342v1.pdf

Title

Les Rutherford's prisoner of war diary
F/O R.L. RUTHERFORD. R.A.F. 146342 P.O.W. 3276
A WARTIME LOG

Description

Prisoner of war diary of Les Rutherford, captured the 20 December 1943 and then detained at Stalag Luft 3 (Belaria). It consists mostly of sketches and cartoons but also information on camp life, photographs and German newspaper cuttings.

The diary includes the crests of Sagan, Stalag Luft 3, Belaria camp; 50 Squadron. Cartoons of various events and characters. Drawings of Lancaster; Spitfire; Halifax; Wellington; Mustang I aircraft. Selection of poems by different authors about Bomber Command, Escape and Luckenwalde. Memorial to those shot after escaping from Stalag Luft 3, Sagan. Drawings of the camp and its accommodation. Details, photos and programmes of shows held at the prison camp. Details of the contents of the Red cross parcels from Great Britain, Canada, the United States and New Zealand, including German rations for one week. Menus for several meals including Christmas Day. Description of a typical day at Belaria and Luckenwalde. Extracts from POW’s letters. Day to day diary of life in the camps including the march from Sagan to Luckenwalde, passing through Sagan, Surau, Muskau and Spremberg thence by train to Luckenwalde. Maps showing the river Rhine and its tributaries and maps showing Berlin area and the rivers flowing around it and also shows the American and Russian fronts prior to liberation. Name and address of several fellow prisoners of War. Autograph pages of fellow prisoners.

Pasted newspaper cuttings are about V-1, death notices, photos of British airborne troops that had landed behind German lines but been captured, two titles of German newspapers both dated 3 September 1944 but with no editorial or news content, a report of the best performances from 1944 Swedish Swimming Championship. There is a cartoon showing the Grim Reaper advancing on top of an American Tank with the word ‘Famine’ across his chest: while another cartoon shows a brutish USSR in the form of a gorilla destroying four men representing East European countries while Churchill and Roosevelt look on and comment on the beast’s playfulness. A clipping exhorts Germans not to gossip because it helps the Allied bombing raids.

The diary was kept at the Lincolnshire Archives until August 1987, when it was withdrawn by the owner.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Alan Pinchbeck
Dianne Kinsella
Sally Des Forges
Jon-Paul Jones
Jan Morgan
Emily Jennings
Laura Morgan
Ashley Jacobs

Rights

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

Format

One booklet

Language

Identifier

SRutherfordRL146342v1

Conforms To

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

[front cover]
[picture of a red maple leaf]
A WARTIME LOG
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
R. L. Rutherford.
P.O.W. 3276
Captured 20.12.43
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
A WARTIME LOG
A REMEMBRANCE FROM HOME THROUGH THE CANADIAN Y.M.C.A.
[underlined] F/O R.L. RUTHERFORD. R.A.F. 146342 P.O.W. 3276 [/underlined]
Published by
THE WAR PRISONERS’ AID OF THE Y.M.C.A.
37 Quai Wilson
GENEVA - SWITZERLAND
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
CONTENTS
[underlined] PAGE [/underlined]
1 SAGEN CREST BY SELF
3 ALL TALK-NO FLY “ “
5 P/O PRUNE “ “
7 I WANTED WINGS “ “
9 LANCASTER “ “
11 SPITFIRE “ “
13 HALIFAX “ “
15 WELLINGTON “ “
17 GOON UP “ “
19 KITCHEN TROUBLE “ “
21 TUNNELLING “ “
23 GERMAN FILM ACTRESS “ A. E.ADAMS
27 BOMBER COMMAND “ SELF
29 MUSTANG 1. “ M. WILSON
31 CANNY TOON “ SELF
33 KRIEGIE VISION BY BOB HAMILTON
35 KRIEGIE’S ON THE LOOSE? “ D. CODD
37 NO REST FOR THE DEVIL “ T. HUGHES
39 ESCAPE “ SELF
41 COTTAGE NEAR DORCHESTER “ J. RUSSELL
43 IN MEMORIAM “ SELF
45 SQUADRON CREST “ “
47 THE CAMP “ J. RILEY
49 SWING IT “ SELF
53 WATER COLOUR “ D ATTWOOD
PAGE
55 PRISONER OF WAR BY SELF.
58 LUCKENWALDE “ REV BENNETT
60 CAPTAIN OH MY CAPTAIN - GLAN EVANS
63 ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS. J.D.HILL
65 PORTRAIT “ KAWALERSKI
67 CARICATURE “ A.L. ROSS.
97 HEBREWS 13X8 J. REID V.C.
110 DIARY
106 SBO’S LETTER TO RUSSIANS
[page break]
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[page break]
[row of leaves] 1 [row of leaves]
[hand drawn picture of the Sagan crest]
[page break]
[blank page]
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3
[hand drawn picture of the Stalag Luft 111 Belaria crest]
[underlined] RLR 9/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
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5
[hand drawn picture of a prisoner of war, P/O Prune}
By Les. Rutherford.8/44
[page break]
[blank page]
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7
[hand drawn picture of Donald Duck in flying gear behind a barred window.]
[underlined] I WANTED WINGS
RLR 8/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
9
_ _ _ _ OUT OF THE NIGHT _ _ _ _ _
[hand drawn picture of a Lancaster bomber]
[underlined] LANCASTER
RLR 8/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
11
_ _ _ INTO THE SUN _ _ _ _ _
[hand drawn picture of a Spitfire]
[underlined] SPITFIRE
RLR 8/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
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13
[hand drawn picture of a Halifax bomber]
[underlined] HALIFAX RLR 8/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
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15
[hand drawn picture of a Wellington bomber]
[underlined] WELLINGTON] RLR 8/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
16
[underlined] GOON :- [/underlined] was the P.O.W. slang for a German. Some of the guards used to walk round the camp looking for trouble - trying to catch P.O.Ws. doing things they shouldn’t i.e. making tunnels, forging passports, listening to radio etc.etc.
[page break]
17
[hand drawn picture of a P.O.W. at an open window holding a piece of wood with a nail in it, whilst a prison guard lies on the floor below him.
[underlined] GOON UP!!
RLR 8/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
18
[underlined] The Kitchen [/underlined] was a small room at the end of each hut containing a stove and a washing - up sink. Each room was allowed two periods of half - an - hour each day to be shared with another room. In other words room 18 shared with our room (17) and we cooked our grub at 11.30 - 1200 and 6.30 - 7.00 PM each day normally the stove was always rather crowded especially when we made to have 18 to a room instead of [underlined] 12. [/underlined]
[page break]
19
[hand drawn picture of a P.O.W. at a very overused stove}
[underlined] KITCHEN TROUBLE
RLR {/underlined] 8/44
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
21
[hand drawn picture of a prison guard walking in the rain whilst under his feet a prisoner is tunnelling.
[underlined RLR [/underlined] 8/44
[page break]
[blank page]
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23
[hand drawn picture of a German actress]
WINNIE MARKUS
A GERMAN FILM ACTRESS
[underlined] A E Adams [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
27
[underlined] BOMBER COMMAND [/underlined]
[Various R.A.F. sketches around the poem “Lie In the dark and listen” by Noel Coward.]

Lie in the dark and listen,
It's clear tonight so they're flying high
Hundreds of them, thousands perhaps
Riding the icy, moonlight sky
Men, machinery, bombs and maps
Coffee, sandwiches, fleece lined boots
Bones and muscles and minds and hearts
English saplings with English roots
Deep in the earth they've left behind
Lie in the dark and let them go
Lie in the dark and listen…..

Lie in the dark and listen
They're going over in waves and waves
High above villages, hills and streams
Country churches and little graves
And little citizens worried dreams
Very soon they'll have reached the sea
And far below them will lie the bays
And cliffs and sands where they used to be
Taken for summer holidays
Lie in the dark and let them go
Their’s is a world you’ll never know
Lie in the dark and listen…..

Lie in the dark and listen
City magnates and steel contractors
Factory workers and politicians
Soft hysterical little actors
Ballet dancers, reserved musicians
Safe in your warm civilian beds
Count your profits and count your sheep
Life is passing above your heads
Just turn over and try to sleep
Lie in the dark and let them go
Theirs is a debt you’ll forever owe
Lie in the dark and listen….

Noel Coward

[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
29
[hand drawn picture of a Mustang aircraft]
[underlined] MUSTANG 1 [/underlined]
With best wishes to R.L.R.
[underlined] from Maurice Wilson [/underlined]
11 AUG 44
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
31
[hand drawn Newcastle coat of arms]
[underlined] CANNY TOON [/underlined]
[hand drawn picture of the Tyne bridge in Newcastle]
NEW TYNE BRIDGE. NEWCASTLE - ON - TYNE
[page break]
[blank page]
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33
[hand drawn picture of a young lady in a seductive pose]
All the best Ginger - Bob Hamilton
Bilaria [sic] 1944
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
35
[had drawn picture of two bloodhounds on a leash]
[underlined] KRIEGIES ON THE LOOSE? [/underlined]
All the luck & keep those guitar strings twanging! [underlined] David A Codd 8/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
37
[hand drawn sketch of two men with one recklessly clearing a table of pots while the other has a speech bubble saying “CLEAR THE TABLE GINGER”]
[underlined] NO REST FOR THE DEVIL [/underlined]
Best of luck Ginger.
Tommy Hughes
Belaria
Aug 1944.
[page break]
[blank page]
39
[underlined] ESCAPE [/underlined]
[drawing of a lookout tower]
[drawing of a lorry]
IF YOU CAN LEAVE THE COMPOUND UNDETECTED AND CLEAR YOUR TRACKS NOR [sic] LEAVE THE SLIGHTEST TRACE AND FOLLOW OUT THE PROGRAMME YOU’VE SELECTED NOR LOSE YOUR GRASP OF DISTANCE, TIME AND PLACE…
[drawing of train carriages]
IF YOU CAN WALK AT NIGHT BY COMPASS BEARING AND RIDE THE RAILWAYS IN THE LIGHT OF DAY AND TEMPER YOUR ELUSIVENESS WITH DARING TRUSTING THAT SOMETIMES BLUFF WILL FIND A WAY…
[drawing of an escape attempt]
IF YOU CAN SWALLOW SUDDEN SOUR FRUSTRATION AND GAZE UNMOVED AT FAILURE’S UGLY SHAPE REMEMBER AS FURTHER INSPIRATION IT WAS AND IS YOUR DUTY TO ESCAPE…
[drawing of a German officer]
IF YOU CAN KEEP THE GREAT GESTAPO GUESSING WITH EXPLANATIONS ONLY PARTLY TRUE AND LEAVE THEM IN THEIR HEART OF HEARTS CONFESSING THEY DIDN’T GET THE WHOLE TRUTH OUT OF YOU…
[drawing of a prison cell]
IF YOU CAN USE YOUR “COOLER” [SIC] FORTNIGHT CLEARLY FOR PLANNING METHODS WISER THAN BEFORE AND TREAT YOUR FIRST CALCULATIONS MERELY AS HINTS LET FALL BY FATE TO TEACH YOU MORE…
[drawing of a sign pointing to England]
IF YOU SCHEME ON WITH PATIENCE AND PRECISION IT WASN’T IN A DAY THEY BUILDED [sic] AND MAKE ESCAPE YOUR SINGLE SOLE AMBITION [underlined] THE NEXT TIME YOU ATTEMPT IT YOU’LL GET HOME. [/underlined]
COMPOSED BY: - FLIGHT LIEUTENANT E. GORDON BRETTEL R.A.F. WHILST IN DETENTION AT GROS HARTSMANNDORF THIS OFFICER WAS ONE OF THE 52 RAF OFFICERS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES AFTER ESCAPING FROM STALAG-LUFT III (SAGAN) IN APRIL 1944.
[underlined] RLR [/underlined]
[underlined] 9/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
41
[hand drawn picture of a thatched cottage by a stream with a man with bicycle looking on]
Cottage near Dorchester
Best wishes Les - Jim Russell.
[page break]
42
DESIGNED BY R. L. RUTHERFORD.
IN MEMORY OF THE R.A.F. OFFICERS WHO WERE SHOT AFTER ESCAPING FROM NORTH COMPOUND, STALAG LUFT 111, SAGAN, ON MARCH 24 1944. 4 OTHERS WERE KILLED LATER.
[page break]
43
[an elaborately decorated, colourful page including the R.A.F. crest]
ihs
He giveth them wings that they might fly on high and breathe a purer air.
St Francis
In Memoriam
BERKLAND P/O CAN — BRETEL E.G. F/L ENG — BULL L.G. F/L ENG — BUSHEL R.J. S/L ENG — CASEY M.J. F/L ENG — CATANACH J. S/L AUS — CHRISTENSEN P/O N.Z. — COCHRAN D.H. P/O ENG — CROSS T.H.D. S/L ENG — ESPELICH H P/O NOR — EVANS B. P/O WELSH — FUGLESANG P/O NOR — GOUWS LT. S. A. — GRISMAN F/L WELSH — GINN A. P/O SCOTS — MADE A.M. P/O AUS — MAYTER M. F/L ENG — HUMPHRIES P/O CAN — KIERATH R.V. F/O AUS — KIRWNARSKI F/O POL — KIRBY-GREEN S/L ENG — KOLANDOSKI F/O POL — LANGFORD F/L CAN HALL C. P. LEIGH T.B. P/O ENG — Mc FARR C. LT. S.A. — Mc TILL G. P/L CAN — MARCINKAS F/L LITH — MILFORD H. P/O ENG — MONDSHEIN J. P/O POL — PICARD H. P/O BEL. — POKE P.P.J. P/O MAORI — SHEIDHAVER P/O FR — SKOMSYIKAS P/O GR — SWAN C.D. F/L ENG — STEVENS R. L.T. S.A. — STOWERS G. F/O ARG — STEWART C. P/O ENG — STREET O. F/O ENG — VALENTA E. F/L CZECH — WALENN G. F/O ENG — WILEY G. F/O ENG — WERNHAM J. F/O CAN — WILLIAMS S/L AUS — WILLIAMS J. F/O ENG
[underlined] RLR 10/44 [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
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45
[hand drawn picture of R.A.F. 50 squadron crest]
[underlined] RLR [/underlined] 1944
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
47
“THE CAMP”
[hand drawn picture of the P.O.W. camp]
“All the Best Kid - Hoping this does not revive to many bad memories J. W. REILLY. 11/11/44
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
49
[hand drawn sketch of a couple dancing with music notes around them]
SWING IT
TO LEN WHITELEY AND HIS BELARIA ORCHESTRA
50
[sketch]
[page break]
[missing pages]
53
[hand drawn coloured drawing of coast road with church in the background]
D. Attwood
[page break]
55
[underlined] Prisoner of War [/underlined]
IT IS A MELANCHOLY STATE. YOU ARE IN THE POWER OF YOUR ENEMIES. YOU OWE YOUR LIFE TO HIS HUMANITY, YOUR DAILY BREAD TO HIS COMPASSION. YOU MUST OBEY HIS ORDERS, AWAIT HIS PLEASURES, POSSESS YOUR SOUL IN PATIENCE. THE DAYS ARE LONG, HOURS CRAWL BY LIKE PARALYTIC CENTIPEDES. MOREOVER, THE WHOLE ATMOSPHERE OF PRISON, EVEN THE BEST AND MOST REGULATE OF PRISONS, IS ODIOUS. COMPANIONS QUARREL ABOUT NOTHING AT ALL AND GET THE LEAST POSSIBLE ENJOYMENT FROM
[page break]
54
EACH OTHER’S COMPANY. YOU FEEL A CONSTANT HUMILIATION AT BEING FENCED IN BY RAILINGS AND WIRE, WATCHED BY ARMED GUARDS AND WEBBED BY A TRIANGLE OF REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS.
WINSTON CHURCHILL
Written by Winston Churchill while P.O.W. in Boer hands during Boer War.
[Page break]]
[Missing pages]
58
[underlined] LUCKENWALDE [/underlined]
WERE EDGAR ALLEN POE ALIVE TO SEE THAT GRUESOME PLACE
WERE [sic] NOUGHT BUT EVIL VERMIN THRIVE
AND BREED AT FEARFUL PACE.
THEN EDGAR WOULD, WITH AWFULL [sic] SKILL
DESCRIBE THE FILTH THAT HAUNTS ME STILL
[underlined]
THE SORDID REEK AND STENCH THAT SEEPS
INTO ONES VERY SOUL
THE LOATHSOME BUGS THAT NIGHTLY CREEP.
FROM EVERY LITTLE HOLE
‘NEATH EDGARS PEN AND EDGARS BRAIN
WOULD COME TO LIFE AND LIVE AGAIN
[underlined]
THE SORDID REEK AND STENCH THAT SEEPS
INTO ONES VERY SOUL
THE LOATHSOME BUGS THAT NIGHTLY CREEP.
FROM EVERY LITTLE HOLE
‘NEATH EDGARS PEN AND EDGARS BRAIN
WOULD COME TO LIFE AND LIVE AGAIN
[underlined]
[underlined] AG LANG. [/underlined]
AND YET MUSIC THRIVED. THANKS FOR THE GIT’ GEN GINGER. KEEP JUMPING WHERE EVER YOU ARE. ALL THE BEST
[underlined] REX. [inserted] musical note [/inserted] BENNETT [/underlined]
[page break]
59
[transferred ink from page 58]
[page break]
60
[underlined] WITH APOLOGIES TO WALT WHITMAN AND OF COURSE [/underlined] R. RIPLEY.
OH CAPTAIN, OH MY CAPTAIN OUR FEARFUL TRIP IS DONE,
WE’VE STALLED AND DIVED, TURNED AND CLIMBED,
BUT I THINK THE FLAK HAS WON.
THEY’VE HIT US LEFT AND CENTRE,
AND I THINK YOU’LL SEE OUR PLIGHT
IF WE KEEP ON FLYING LONGER, THEY’LL HIT US IN THE RIGHT
THE PORT ENGINE’S BURNING BRIGHTLY,
THE STARBOARD’S POPPING LOUD,
THE TAILPLANE LOOKS LIKE FALLING OFF,
AND WE’RE DOWN BELOW THE CLOUD.
THERE ARE SEARCHLIGHTS ALL AROUND US,
FLAK, BOTH FRONT AND REAR,
AND EVEN WHEN THEY MISS US
THEY’RE STILL TOO BLOODY NEAR.
TWO FIGHTERS COMING AT US,
ONE ON EITHER BEAM.
AND IF THIS IS NOT A NIGHTMARE,
IT’S A BLOODY AWFUL DREAM!
By D. R. Greig
[inserted] All the best Ginger Glam Evans. F. A. [indecipherable letters] Luckenwalde March 30 th ’45 [/inserted]
[page break]
61
[blank page]
62
[blank page]
63
[sketch of a prisoner of war pulling a sledge in the snow]
“Onward Christian Soldier – The March, Jan. 1945”
James [indecipherable word] – Luckenswalde – March. ‘45
76
[double underlined] THE BAND [/underlined]
[underlined] LEADER [/underlined] - - - [underlined] F/O LEN WHITELEY [/underlined]
[double underlined] DANCE AND THEATRE ORCHESTRA [/underlined]
[underlined] 1ST TRUMPET F/O L. WHITELEY [/underlined] [underlined 1ST ALTO SAX. F/O R. RYDER [/underlined
[underlined] 2ND “ F/O MCPHERSON [/underlined] [underlined] 2ND “ “ F/O J. HUNT [/underlined]
[underlined] 3RD “ F/O W. GROGAN [/underlined] [underlined] 1ST TENOR SAX F/O J. MOSS [/underlined]
[underlined] 4TH “ F/O SMITH [/underlined] [underlined] 2ND “ “ F/LT P. VALLIANCE [/underlined]
[underlined] 1ST GUITAR F/O R.L. RUTHERFORD [/underlined] [underlined] BASS. F/LT H. HANLON [/underlined]
[underlined] 2ND GUITAR W/O A.E. ADAMS. [/underlined] [underlined] PIANO F/LT D. CODD [/underlined]
[underlined] DRUMS J. JAGGER. [/underlined]
[double underlined] CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA [/underlined]
[underlined] 1ST VIOLINN [sic] F/O P. PADDOCK [/underlined] [underlined] 1ST CLARINET F/L D. MILMINE [/underlined]
[underlined] 2ND “ F/O E. DOBIE. [/underlined] [underlined] 2ND “ F/O J. MOSS. [/underlined]
[underlined] 3RD “ F/L J. BATTLE [/underlined] [underlined] CELLO F/L J. HILL [/underlined]
[underlined] 4TH “ F/O R. RYDER [/underlined] [underlined] FLUTE F/O G MACCRAE. [/underlined]
[underlined] 5TH “ F/LT. J. HALL [/underlined] [underlined] BASS F/L H. HANLON [/underlined]
[underlined] TRUMPET F/O L. WHITELEY [/underlined] [underlined] PIANO F/L D. CODD [/underlined]
[double underlined] SWING OCTETTE [/underlined]
[underlined] TRUMPET F/O LEN WHITELEY [/underlined] [underlined] PIANO F/L J. HILL [/underlined]
[underlined] CLARINET F/O REG RYDER [/underlined] [underlined] TENOR SAX F/O J. MOSS [/underlined]
[underlined] GUITARS F/O R.L. RUTHERFORD [/underlined] [underlined] & [/underlined] [underlined] W/O A.E ADAMS [/underlined]
[underlined] BASS F/L H. HANLON [/underlined] [underlined] DRUMS F/O J. JAGGER [/underlined]
[double underlined] TANGO SECTION [/underlined]
[underlined] ACCORDION. F/O REG RYDER [/underlined] [underlined] TENOR SAX. F/O J. MOSS [/underlined]
[underlined] GUITARS. F/O R.L. RUTHERFORD [/underlined] & [underlined] W/O A.E. ADAMS [/underlined]
[underlined] BASS. F/L H. HANLON [/underlined] [underlined] DRUMS F/O J. JAGGER. [/underlined]
[page break]
77
[double underlined] THE THEATRE. [/underlined]
[diagram showing theatre layout]
[underlined] ENTERTAINMENTS OFFICER [/underlined] [underlined] WING COMMANDER W.B. MEHARG. [/underlined]
[underlined] SETS DESIGNED BY [/underlined] [underlined] F/O D. BLACK AND F/O F. ALLEN. [/underlined]
[underlined] SETS BUILT BY [/underlined] [underlined] F/0 T.W.E. HUGHES AND [blank] [/underlined]
[underlined] LIGHTING BY [/underlined] [underlined] S/L DESTERIDGE [/underlined]
[underlined] MUSICAL DIRECTOR [/underlined] [underlined] F/O L. WHITELEY [/underlined]
[underlined] MAKE-UP BY [/underlined] [underlined] F/LT. C. BUCKLEY. [/underlined]
[line]
[underlined] MARCH. 24TH [/underlined] [underlined] PRODUCTIONS [/underlined]
[underlined] “SPRINGTIME FOR HENRY” [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY [/underlined] [underlined] F/O P. JACOBS AND W/O LAWRENCE [/underlined]
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O P. JACOBS. [/underlined] [underlined] F/O J. FREEMANTLE [/underlined]
[underlined] W/O W. LAWRENCE [/underlined] [underlined] F/O R. ENGLAND. [/underlined]
[5 lines]
[underlined] 27TH MARCH. 44. [/underlined] [double underlined] “ROPE” [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCER [/underlined] [underlined] F/L J. HALL. [/underlined]
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
[underlined] F/L J. HALL. [/underlined] [underlined] S/L PESTERIDGE [/underlined]
[underlined] W/O LEES. [/underlined] [underlined] F/L P. VALLIANCE [/underlined]
[underlined] D. BLACK. [/underlined] [line]
[7 lines]
[underlined] 2ND MAY. [/underlined] [double underlined] “HAYFEVER” [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY :- [/underlined] - - - - - - [underlined] W/O. LAWRENCE. [/underlined]
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
[underlined] B. KENNEDY [/underlined] [underlined] S/L PESTERIDGE [/underlined]
[underlined] F/L G. SPROATES [/underlined] [underlined] J. FREEMANTLE. [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O P. CORYTON. [/underlined] [underlined] LT. T. MAYS.
[underlined] S/L ANDERSON [/underlined] [underlined] F/O J. JAGGER [/underlined]
[underlined] W/O H. THORNE [/underlined]
[page break]
78
[underlined] 24TH MAY [/underlined] [underlined] ARSENIC AND OLD LACE [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY [/underlined] [underlined] F/L J. HALL.
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
[underlined] F/L C. BUCKLEY [/underlined] [underlined] F/L NICHOLSON [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O P. DAULBY [/underlined] [underlined] S/L BELL [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O J. RUSSELL [/underlined] [underlined] S/L HUGHES. [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O S. GRAHAM [/underlined] [underlined] F/O J. LAUNDER [/underlined]
[2 lines]
[2 lines]
[underlined] 12TH JUNE [/underlined] [double underlined] REVUE [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY [/underlined] [underlined] F/L J. HILL. [/underlined]
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
[underlined] S/L ANDERSON. [/underlined] [underlined] F/O B. KENNEDDY. [sic] [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O WHITELEY [/underlined] [underlined] F/O R. RYDER [/underlined]
[underlined] W/O WAINWRIGHT [/underlined] [underlined] F/L C. BUCKLEY. [/underlined]
[underlined] W/O T. LAWRENCE [/underlined] [underlined] F/O J. FREEMANTLE. [/underlined]
[underlined] F/L D. BLACK. [/underlined] AND [underlined] F/L A. LONGILLE. [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O C. PITCHFORD [/underlined] CHORUS [underlined] W/O R WAGSTAFFE. [/underlined]
[underlined] 28TH AUGUST [/underlined] [double underlined] SOMEONE AT THE DOOR [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY :- [/underlined] [underlined] F/O. P JACOBS. & W/O T. LAWRENCE [/underlined]
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O P. JACOBS. [/underlined] [underlined] F/O T. GRIFFITHS [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O P. DAULBY [/underlined] [underlined] F/L C. BUCKLEY [/underlined]
[underlined] T. LAWRENCE [/underlined] [underlined] W/O RYDER [/underlined]
[line]
[underlined] 11TH SEPTEMBER [/underlined] [double underlined] BAND SHOW [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY :- [/underlined] [underlined] LEN WHITELEY. [/underlined]
[underlined] WITH [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O P. JACOBS. [/underlined] [underlined] F/O J. ROSS [/underlined] [underlined] W/O R. WAGSTAFFE [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O J KENNEDY [/underlined] [underlined] F/O R. RYDER [/underlined] [underlined] F/L A. LONGILLE. [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O A. DARLOW. [/underlined] [underlined] F/O L. WHITELEY. [/underlined] [blank line]
[underlined] 3RD OCTOBER [/underlined] [double underlined] FRENCH WITHOUT TEARS. [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY:- [/underlined] [blank line]
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
[underlined] F/O J. FREEMANTLE [/underlined] [underlined] S/L ANDERSON [/underlined]
[underlined] S/L J. PESTERIDGE [/underlined] [underlined] F/O J. LAUNDER [/underlined]
[underlined] F/L J. AYR [/underlined] [blank line]
[2 blank lines]
[double underlined] MAJOR BARBARA [/underlined]
[underlined] PRODUCED BY:- [/underlined] [underlined] F/L P. VALLIANCE [/underlined]
[blank line] [underlined] 21ST OCTOBER [/underlined] [blank line]
[3 blank lines]
[3 blank lines]
[page break]
79
[underlined] RECORDS [/underlined]
[page divided into two columns]
[first column] [underlined] HEARD [/underlined]
RECORD SESSION. BY HARRY JAMES.
PRINCE CHARMING. BY HARRY JAMES.
ANVIL CHORUS BY GLENN MILLER.
YES INDEED “ TOMMY DORSEY.
STRING OF PEARLS “ GLENN MILLER.
THE WORLD IS WAITING “ GOODMAN QUARTETTE
AFTER YOU’VE GONE “ BENNY GOODMAN
WHY DON’T YOU DO RIGHT “ BENNY GOODMAN
STORY OF A STARRY NIGHT “ GLENN MILLER
[second column] [underlined] RECOMMENDED [/underlined]
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME BY GOODMAN [deleted] QUARTETTE [/deleted]
ST LOUIS BLUES. BY GLENN MILLER
MOONLIGHT SONATA BY GLENN MILLER
ROYAL GARDEN BLUES “ GOODMAN [deleted] QUAR [/deleted] SEXTETTE
JAZZ ME BLUES “ KRUPA’S ALL STAR BAND
TRUMPET CONCERTO “ HARRY JAMES
SLIPHORN JIVE “ GLENN MILLER
CLARINET CONCERTO “ ARTIE SHAW
BENNY RIDES AGAIN “ GOODMAN ORCHESTRA
SMO-O-O-TH ONE “ GOODMAN SEXTETTE
THINGS AREN’T WHAT “ JOHNNY HODGES
WHERE OR WHEN “ GOODMAN 6 WITH PEGGY LEE.
SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET “ LIONEL HAMPTON
YOU’R’E [sic] BLASÈ [sic] “ SUNNY DUNHAM
LET’S DO IT. “ GOODMAN WITH PEGGY LEE
IF I HAD YOU “ GOODMAN SEXTETTE
[page divided into 4 columns]
[underlined] THE THEATRE (CTD.) [/underlined]
[across first and second columns] THE ASTONISHED OSTRICH
PRODUCED BY F/O P. JACOBS & W/O LAWRENCE
[underlined] CAST [/underlined]
F/O T. GRIFFITHS F/O B. KENNEDY
W/O T. LAWRENCE F/O J. NORMANDALE
F/O J. FREEMANTLE.
[line]
GEORGE AND MARGARET.
[line]
MR. CORN COMES TO TOWN
[line]
THE FIRST MRS FRASER
[line]
[underlined] DEC 26TH [/underlined] FANFARE.
[line]
TONY DRAWS A HORSE
[line]
[across third and fourth columns] [underlined] FILMS. [/underlined]
DIXIE DUGAN
80
[underlined]RED CROSS PARCELS CONTENTS[/underlined]
[underlined]BRITISH[/underlined]
1 tin CORNED BEEF 1/2Lb
1 tin MEAT GALANTINE
1 tin POWDERED EGG EQUIVALENT 2 EGGS
1 tin NESTLES CONDENSED MILK
1 TIN MARGARINE 1/4Lb
1 PKT SUGAR 1/2Lb
1 BAR CHOCOLATE 1/4Lb
1 tin BISCUITS
1 tin PROCESSED CHEESE 2ozs
1 tin COCOA
1 tin SALMON
1 tin JAM
1 PKT TEA 2ozs
[underlined]CANADIAN[/underlined]
1 TIN POWDERED MILK
1 tin SPAM
1 tin CORNED BEEF 1/2Lb
1 tin [deleted]BUTTER[/deleted]JAM 1/2Lb
1 PKT COFFEE
1 PKT SUGAR 1/2Lb
1 tin SALMON
1 tin SARDINES
1 tin BUTTER 1/2Lb
1 PKT BISCUITS
1 PKT CHOCOLATE 1/4Lb
1 PKT CHEESE 2ozs
[underlined]AMERICAN[/underlined]
1 tin POWDERED MILK
1 tin CORNED BEEF 1/2Lb
1 tin MEAT PATÉ
1 tin MARGARINE 1/2Lb
1 PKT BISCUITS
1 tin JAM 1/4Lb
1 PKT CHEESE 1/2Lb
1 tin SPAM
1 tin SALMON
1 tin SOLUBLE COFFEE
1 PKT SUGAR 1/2Lb
1 BAR CHOCOLATE 1/4Lb
60 CIGARETTES
[underlined]NEW ZEALAND[/underlined]
1 tin CONDENSED MILK
1 tin HONEY
1 PKT PEAS
1 PKT SUGAR 1/2Lb
1 tin CHEESE 1/2Lb
1 tin CORNED BEEF.
1 tin BUTTER 1/2Lb
1 tin JAM 1/2Lb
1 tin CAFÉ-AU-LAIT
1 PKT TEA. 1/4Lb
1 BAR CHOCOLATE 1/4Lb
[underlined]GERMAN RATIONS FOR 1 WEEK[/underlined]
1/4Lb SUGAR
2ozs JAM
2ozs CHEESE
2ozs MEAT
1oz. SAUSAGE
POTATOES
VEGETABLES
1/4LB BARLEY
1/4Lb MARGARINE
1 1/5 LVS. BREAD
[page break]
81
[underlined]TYPICAL P.O.W. RECIPES: SWEETS.[/underlined]
[underlined]CAKE[/underlined]
INGREDIENTS:-
4 tins ENGLISH BISCUITS
1 tin 1/2Lb MARGARINE
1 tin EGG POWDER
5 TABLESPOONS SUGAR
SALT
Crush BISCUITS to a fine powder and place into a bowl. MELT MARGARINE and mix into flour adding SUGAR and a pinch of SALT. MIX the powdered egg and add to mixture. KNEAD thoroughly Line baking tin [deleted]and[/deleted] with greased paper and place mixture INSIDE BAKE in a moderate OVEN for 25-30 mins. RAISINS may be included in mixture if required. When cool, ICE with a mixture of 1 BAR CHOCOLATE and 1 TABLESPOON MARGARINE WHICH has been melted to a smooth paste.
[underlined]PANCAKES[/underlined]
INGREDIENTS:-
1 PKT CANADIAN BISCUITS
1 tin POWDERED EGG.
MILK.
Crush BISCUITS to a fine powder and place into a bowl. ADD MILK [deleted]and mix[/deleted] gradually, stirring until you have a fine paste. MIX EGG and add to mixture. Place a little cooking fat in a frying pan and melt. Pour in 3 Tablespoons of mixture. FRY UNTIL Golden brown. ENOUGH FOR 20 PANCAKES.
[underlined]FRIED BISCUITS[/underlined]
Place Canadian biscuits (one biscuit per man0 into a bowl of water and soak for 10-11 hours. WHen[sic] thoroughly SOAKED slice[deleted]d[/deleted] biscuits and spread inside with jam. Place in a well greased tin and bake in moderate oven for 20 mins. Serve with milk sauce. The biscuits can also be fried individually as for PANCAKES.
[underlined]BREAD PUDDING[/underlined]
There are many varieties of this dish but the following is most common:- GRATE GERMAN BREAD into crumbs and place into a bowl. Melt 1/2 of MARGARINE and add to crumbs. ADD 1/2 PKT RAISINS or Prunes (or both) and 2 or 3 tablespoons SUGAR. Mix thoroughly. IF MIXTURE is still too dry add MILK. Place into a grease tin and bake for 25-20 mins in a a moderate oven. SERVE with MILK SAUCE.
82
[underlined]TYPICAL P.O.W. RECIPES: SPREADS.[/underlined]
[underlined]CHEESE SPREAD[/underlined]
INGREDIENTS:-
1 PKT AMERICAN CHEESE
1/4Lb MARGARINE
MILK
CUT Cheese into small pieces and place into saucepan with a small amount of milk. Heat until cheese is melted. then[sic] add MARGARINE. STIR continuously until mixture is nicely smooth. Add more milk making mixture fairly liquid. Empty into a tin to cool and set. IF tomatoes are available skin about 4 or 5 and add to mixture before adding MARGARINE.
[underlined]MEAT SPREAD[/underlined]
INGREDIENTS:-
1 tin Rose Mill Pate.
1 tin MEAT GALANTINE.
1 CHOPPED ONION.
1 TABLESPOON MARGARINE
CHOP the PATÉ and GALANTINE into small pieces and place together with ONIONS and MARGARINE INTO SAUCE PAN. HEAT UNTIL a think paste is made. Stirring continuously. PLACE INTO A Tin to cool or serve hot as required.
[underlined]PRUNE SPREAD[/underlined]
INGREDIENTS:-
BOILED PRUNES
SUGAR
MILK.
Stone PRUNES AND PLACE INTO A SAUCEPAN. ADD Sugar and a little MILK. IF ORANGE POWDER IS AVAILABLE THIS MAY BE ADDED TOO. BOIL FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES THEN LEAVE TO COOL.
[page break]
83
[underlined]TYPICAL P.O.W. RECIPES.[/underlined]
INGREDIENTS:-
POTATOES
CORNED BEEF
BOIL and Mash the potatoes. Add 3 tablespoons of POWDERED MILK and a little MARGARINE. TURN INTO A Greased baking dish and mould into shape of a box. Shred the corned beef and mix with a little milk tomatoes may be added if available. Place meat with potatoes and bake in a moderate oven until potatoes are golden brown.
[underlined]HOT-POT[/underlined]
INGREDIENTS:-
POTATOES
MEAT (SPAM or CORNED BEEF
Cut the meat into small pieces and lay in the bottom of a baking tin. Peel potatoes and slice into thin Fritters and lay over the meat. Poor in enough water to cover the meat and place on top of stove unit water boils then place in oven for about 30 mins until potatoes are browned.
84
[underlined] Menu for Christmas Dinner
Belaria 1944
Room 17 Block 15. [/underlined]
[missing] inserted menu is missing [/missing]
[page break]
[two missing pages]
87
[double underlined] Christmas Day Belaria 1944. [/double underlined]
For some two or three months before Christmas food was laid aside so that on Christmas day we could have a day of reasonably good meals. Unfortunately on November 17 the Germans ordered that all food stores must be liquidated and so we were given three days to eat our existing store. They allowed us however to keep a large Red Cross box (Container for 8 ordinary Red Cross parcels) in the Vorlager, to be drawn out 1 week before Christmas. The issue 51 Christmas parcels (American) came on 23RD DEC. and a list of contents the [sic] recipes for the cakes and puddings, and menu for the day follows.
[double underlined] American Christmas Parcel [/double underlined]
[underlined] Issue:- 2/3 of Parcel per Man
Contents [/underlined]
1 Tin Christmas Pudding 16oz
1 Pkt Dates 16oz
50 Cigarettes
1 Tin Turkey 14 oz
1 Tin Cherries 9 oz
1 Pkt Playing Cards
1 Tin Vienna Sausages 4oz
1 Tin Salted Nuts 7oz
1 Game (Chess, Checkers, etc.)
1 Tin Chopped Ham 4ox
1 Tin Mixed Sweets 12oz
1 Face Cloth.
1 Tin Cheese 4oz
4 Pkts Chewing Gum
1 Tin Jam 6oz
1 Pkt Tea 1 1/2 oz
2 Fruit Bars
1 Tin Honey 8oz.
12 Soup Cubes
1 Pipe + 2oz Tobacco
1 Tin Butter 4oz.
[double underlined] Recipes [/double underlined]
[underlined] Christmas Cake
Ingredients:- [/underlined]
10 Pkts American Biscuits
1/2 Loaf German Bread
1 Lb Sugar
1/2 Lb Turkish Fruit
1/2 Lb Prunes
1 Lb Raisins
Nuts from Prune Stones
Milk : Salt
1/2 Lb Margarine
[underlined] Directions: [/underlined]
CRUSH the biscuits into a fine flour and grate up the bread. Place into mixing bowl. Melt the margarine and add to flour. Mix thoroughly. Add the sugar, fruit, and raisins. The prunes should be boiled beforehand, chopped and stoned. The stones should then be cracked and the nut taken from inside. These should be chopped and added to the cake mixture. Add a pinch of salt and if the mixture is too dry, add milk. Mix thoroughly. Grease two large baking tins of equal size and turn mixture into them. Bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours. Make an icing by melting down 1/4 chocolate and 1/2 tablespoon of margarine, and a little water. Ice one of the cakes with this icing and when almost set, place the other cake on top. Make a white icing by taking 1/2 sugar, and enough very thick klim to cover the cake. Mix up into a very thick paste and boil for a short while. (2-3 minutes) Lay the icing smoothly over the cake.
WEIGHT approx 12-14 lbs.
[page break]
88
[underlined] Christmas Pudding
Ingredients:- [/underlined]
10 Pkts American Biscuits
1 Loaf German Bread
1 Lb Sugar
1/2 Lb Margarine
1 Lb Raisins
1/2 Lb Prunes
Salt : Klim.
[underlined] Directions:- [/underlined]
Crush the biscuits and grate up the loaf and place in mixing bowl. Melt down margarine and add to flour. Add sugar and mix well. Boil the prunes and stone and chop finely. Add Raisins and Prunes and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If mixture is too dry add fairly thick Klim. Mix thoroughly. Grease 4 bowls and turn mixture into these. Cover with cloth and boil for 4 1/2 – 5 hours.
[underlined] Angel Cakes
Ingredients:- [/underlined]
4 Pkts American Biscuits
1/4 Lb Margarine
1/4 Lb Sugar
Salt : Klim
[underlined] Directions:- [/underlined]
Crush the biscuits down to a fine flour and place in mixing bowl. Melt margarine and add to flour. Add sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly. Grease an individual cake tin and turn mixture into [indecipherable word]. Bake in moderate oven for 30 minutes. When finished allow to cool. Make a mixture of very thick Klim and sugar. Slice the top off each cake in such a manner as to leave a hollow in the cake. Fill the hollow with the Klim mixture. Cut the top into two pieces and stick into the Klim so that it gives the appearance of wings. Enough for 12 cakes.
[underlined] Mince Pies [/underlined]
Make the same mixture as for Angel cakes, but bake in the form of a cup. Bake in moderate oven for 15-20 mins. Make the filling from Chopped date, Chopped Prunes, raisins, a little [deleted] chop [/deleted] grated carrot and sugar.
Boil in a saucepan with a little water and fill up cakes. Makes 12 pies.
[page break]
89
[blank page]
90
[underlined] A TYPICAL DAY AT BELARIA [/underlined]
[underlined] 9.00 AM [/underlined] First hot water issue. Hot brew in bed by cooks.
[underlined] 10.00 AM [/underlined] Appell. Parade outside to be counted by Goons. Usually lasts 15-20 mins. After Appell, the room was cleaned out generally and the cooks began to prepare lunch or peel potatoes in readiness for dinner. The rest of the chaps did odd jobs that needed doing. Usually spent reading or arguing. Hot water for “dobie” issued as 10.50. Usually wait for this water As shave.
[underlined] 12.30 P.M [/underlined] Hot brew water issue. Lunch (3 slices of toast, spreads & coffee). Afternoons usually spent in visiting libraries or visiting different people, or once again just sitting around reading or arguing.
[underlined] 4.00 P.M. [/underlined] Afternoon Appell. Immediately after appell, there was a hot water issue for tea. Tea was usually just that, although sometimes we had a slice of toast.
[underlined] 7.00 P.M. [/underlined] Evening period on above. Dinner prepared. Usually consisted of:- Potatoes, whatever vegetables the goons gave us, and either Spam or Corned Beef. A sweet was usually served – either barley or something prepared from biscuits.
[underlined] 10.00 P.M. [/underlined] Time on stove to boil water for evening brew. This was usually followed by a game of bridge. Lock-up was at 10.00 too.
[underlined] 12.00. [,underlined] Lights out.
[line]
[underlined] REVIEW OF LIFE AT BELARIA [/underlined]
As can be seen, the most of the day was spent reading, arguing, or doing odd jobs such as washing, shaving, bed-making, darning and sewing etc. I usually had band rehearsals for 1 hour during some part of the day, and immediately before a show sometimes four or even five times a day, (playing with different sections). The Red Cross parcels were issued on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, then when the goons brought in the order prohibiting stores of food, they were issued one each day. The food had to be turned out of the tins and the empty tins returned immediately. Bread was issued on Tuesday and Friday. Barley was issued already cooked on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The rest of the rations, sugar, jam, cheese etc came in on Saturday afternoon.
[page break]
91
[underlined] LIFE AT BELARIA CTD. [/underlined]
During the summer months, the weather was unusually good and there was lots of sunbathing. Sports played were, Cricket, basketball, hockey and six-a-side soccer. There were also a volley-ball court and two deck tennis courts.
During the winter months, the weather was very miserable and cold and most of the time was spent indoors. The main sport was skating and ice hockey.
A certain percentage of each officer’s pay was deducted each month, equivalent to what was paid us by the Goons. This money was used for canteen issues (tooth paste, soap, brushes, etc. bought from the Goon canteen. It was also used to buy theatrical equipment and hire costumes for the different plays. In the early spring a large amount of seeds were bought and a plot of ground allotted to each mess to be used as a garden. The resulting crop of tomatoes, onions, lettuce, parsnips, carrots etc. was most surprisingly good.
The food question was always very ticklish, no-one ever having food enough to say that he was happily satisfied, especially when the parcel issue was cut by half. The method of cooking and messing was as follows:- When we first arrived we were placed in rooms of eight. This later went up to 10 and later again to 12. Two of the mess did the cooking and everything concerned with cooking, (washing-up, preparing etc) for 2 days at a time. Two periods were allotted on the stove which was in the kitchen at the end of the block. Due particulars periods were 2.00 P.M - 2-45 P.M and 7.00 P.M. – 7.45 P.M. A light meal was served for lunch and the main meal was dinner at 7.45.
On the whole life at Belaria, although monotonous and boring could have been very much worse.
[page break]
92
[underlined] A TYPICAL DAY AT LUCKENWALDE [/underlined]
8.15 AM Hot mint tea. Rise, wash and breakfast (cup of mint tea and 1 slice of bread)
9.00 AM Appell. After appell there was nothing to do except be on our beds and talk, (usually of food).
1.00 P.M. Soup and Potatoes issue. 1 Cup of soup and about 4 medium potatoes.
4.30 P.M. Appell. Immediately following appell. another issue of mint tea.
7.00 P.M. Supper. Four slices of bread & butter.
10.00 P.M. Lights out.
[underlined] REVIEW OF LIFE AT LUCKENWALDE [/underlined]
Life at Luckenwalde was just one long, boring, miserable time. Food was short, quarters were bad & conditions were bad. Most of our time was spent lying on our beds playing cards or talking of what we would do and what we would eat when we got home. The food issue consisted of 1/5 of a loaf of bread per man 1 cup of soup, 4 medium sized potatoes, 2 cups of mint tea (one at 8.15 AM and the other at 4.45 P.M) approximately 1 oz of margarine [underlined] or [/underlined] a spread of some description and sugar and salt. It was a big day when the Norwegians from another compound sent us 250 parcels, enough for 1/5 of a parcel per man. The M.O. from across the wire (where the N.C.O’s from a camp on the Polish frontier are stationed} raised a scream and said that he had men dying on their feet over there. We offered him 30 parcels for his sick to which he replied that the sick couldn’t eat anyway that it was the others he was worried about, and he thought that all the parcels should go over there. After careful enquiries the Group Captain decided that they were no worse off than we were and so the parcels were issued to us. Each parcel contained 1/2 lb rolled oats, 1/2 lb sausage, 1/2 lb syrup, 50 biscuits; 1 lb sugar, 1/2 lb butter, 1/2 lb cheese.
This had to be shared among 5 men. It wasn’t much but it seemed terrific to us on the present rations.
There were very, very few books and these had to be carefully issued. The method was to give one book to 10 chaps to read. It had to be returned in 5 days so usually about 3-4 chaps read it and the rest did without.
We lived in a barrack block, containing 150 men. These were divided into messes of 20. There was very little room for moving about, and everything including eating was done on our beds.
Then came the great day. On March 7th a train-load of parcels arrived at the station and on the 8th we secured a full American parcel each. It was a terrific day. Chaps didn’t make allowance for the
[page break]
fact that they had been on such short rations and made themselves sick. It was really surprising for the first few days how little it took to fill us. However we soon settled down to it. Then came the Rhine crossing, and the terrific advances which followed. Optimism reached a new high in the camp as the Allies came nearer, and everyone waited expectantly for the expected Russian offensive to start.
On March 9th a rumour came in from a reliable source stating that we were moving to Munich on the 11th. We prepared to move. The rumour was confirmed the next day and we actually marched to the station and entrained on the 12th.. However the goons told us on the night of the 13th that we should be returning to camp the next day. They said that owing to the repeated objections of the SBO they had decided not to move us. We ourselves could think of lots of other reasons. However the experience was quite enjoyable. Most of the boys had brought along their blowers and smokies and cooking went on all along the siding. One chap in our box car kept a fire going all day with continuous supply of hot water for brews. A good effort. We moved on the morning after we arrived there to another siding along side a road, and despite the goon attempts to stop it, trading started immediately. Of course after a while, we had the usual set of fools who offered more cigarettes than anyone else and sent the prices rocketing. A loaf of bread was being bought for 100 cigarettes. (When we arrived we could get it for 20.)
On returning to camp we found most of the bed-boards missing but luckily I had slung my bed and had no bed board worries. Terrific rumours of how far the Americans were from us. During the week following everyone was tense & hanging on every
Ctd. on PAGE 98.
[page break]
94
[underlined] EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS RECEIVED BY P.O.W.’s. [/underlined]
1st Letter from Fianceè [sic] --- Dear Jack, - You were posted missing for a month so I got married –
- First party of repatriated prisoners arrived home badly maimed, praying you will be among the next -
- I hope you are not being extravagant with the pocket money you get –
Prisoner received a Red + sweater with name & address of donor. He wrote thanking donor. Following is part of reply – I am sorry that it went to you. I meant it for some-one [sic] on Active Service. –
We had 2 repatriated prisoners home last week --- At 8.30 they were under the table --- they were revived but were under another table at 9.30.
- I hope you are [crossed out] enjoying [/crossed out] behaving yourself at the dances and not drinking too much beer.
- P.O.W a year – received a letter congratulating him on joining the armed forces.
- Darling – I just had a baby, but don’t worry, the American officer is sending you cigarettes each week.
- Letter from mother of Canadian P.O.W. – “German P.O.W.’s in Canada are issued with flannels to play tennis – are you?
- Letter from fiancée of Air Crew P.O.W – “I would rather marry a 1943 hero that [sic] a 1940 coward.
- Take care of Andy when you are out drinking – He is so wild.
- Are the German girls good dancers.
- From fiancée to P.O.W:- “Darling – I married your father [symbol] mother.
- When your brother heard you were P.O.W he rushed right out and joined the Home Guard.
- Please do not write to Bill any more, he’s been dead 2 years.
- I wonder if you are as tired as I am of this war.
- On Jap war “You chaps will have plenty of opportunity to make up for wasted time.
- From nurse in M.E. “I am hoping to go on leave in March if this whole thing has blown over by then.
[page break]
95
- You were smart to get yourself parked in Germany for the duration. Look what wonderful stories you will have to tell your children
- You must n’t forget there’s a war on –
- From Fiancee [sic] to P.O.W. “Although I am now married I want you to know that I think the world of you and you will always be near and dear to me.
- By the way I am now a fully-blown engaged girl.
- I hope you are keeping fighting fit dear. I am saving some mistletoe and a couch for you so please come quick.
- It is very good of the Germans allowing their prisoners to correspond with their relatives. By the way, do you want me to send you any money or anything.
- Twinkle, Twinkle little star
Went for a ride in a motor car,
What I did, I aint admittin’
What I’m knittin’ aint for Britain.
[page break]
96
[blank page]
97
[double underlined] HEBREWS 13 v 8. [/underlined]
[picture of man with bowl, spoon and fork]
Best of luck – [underlined] ‘Ginge’ [/underlined]
Yours ‘Jock’
F/Lt. William Reid V.C.
Belaria Stalag Luft III
[underlined] Germany [/underlined] 25.1.45
[page break]
98
news item. Then came the big day. APRIL 21. At about 1.00 PM. All the guards left the camp, and the Russian prisoners just ran riot. They were running along outside with sacks of potatoes, clothing and all sorts of odds and ends. One defence scheme went into operation and was soon running smoothly. On the morning of the 22nd we saw our first Russian forces when tanks and lorries entered the camp and took away the Russian prisoners. Everyone was in high spirits and, of course, rumours were rife. The Americans were reported to be only 7 Kms away. However, on the 23rd we were told that we were to remain here until the Americans arrived which should be in about 4-5 days. The link up took longer than they expected however and in the meantime a terrific reaction set in. The chaps were all keen to be home and could talk of nothing else. The food situation improved tremendously and we received personal parcels from the unclaimed store. Wireless sets were requisitioned from town and every block had its own wireless set. Everything possible was done for our comfort during the remainder of our period at Luckenwalde.
The link up took place after what seemed like months of waiting on the 24th. We received the news on the 26th – 5 days which seemed as many months, after our liberation. 5 days of [indecipherable word], rumours, excitement and most important better food.
The Repatriation Committee, all Russian, arrived on the night of 28th. They brought with them 50 lorries, full of food, and on the staff were 20 women. This staff had handled other camps which had been freed but when they arrived here, they said that our position was unique, in that we were the first they had handled who may go home. West instead of by Odessa. They didn’t know when they arrived just how we would go, but they promised that there would be transport from the moment we left the camp, in other words, no more marching.
The on 3rd May two American War correspondents showed up in the camp and they said that they didn’t know we were here until some of our boys arrived at their H.Q. This browned us off no end. We were all sick of sitting around waiting to go home. Here we were two weeks after liberation and as far as we could see, no nearer home. Spirits in the camp were lower than ever they had been before. After the visit of the correspondents there was an
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almost mass evacuation of the camp. Everywhere chaps could be seen getting ready to leave the camp to make their own way to the American lines. It was so boring at the camp that this attitude of “anything to get out of here” was quite understandable. There was so much to lose by going that Frank & I decided not to go but to see the thing through to the end. Fortunately on the afternoon of the day following the Yank’s visit, two armoured cars and 3 jeeps came to the camp and told us we were to be taken out unofficially the day after and preparations were made to move out! Unfortunately the Russians refused to allow us to move as they had been given no authority to allow us to go. The SBO resigned his post as Officer 1/2 the whole camp and said that he would command the British troops only. (A copy of his letter will be found on Page 106). Stirring scenes were witnessed when the lorries left empty on the morning of May 7. The Russians refused to allow anyone to board the lorries and the few chaps who managed to get abroad as the lorries were passing were unloaded further down the road and brought back to camp. It was announced later in the day that when actually asked to show the official permission to evacuate us, the American officer admitted that they were doing it unofficially so once again we had to swallow our disappointment and settle down again to wait. The VE. day celebrations were heard over the wireless all day and we listened in silence broken occasionally by some caustic comment. We were a bunch of very disappointed ex-Kriegies. The war was over officially but from our point of view we were still prisoners.
On May 12 we were told we were to move to the [indecipherable word] the following day. We moved into a hut which had no beds, but managed to find enough double tier bunks for our room. It was certainly much brighter than our other accomodation [sic], but we had to put in quite a lot of work to get it cleaned up after the Frenchmen.
The at last came the great day, MAY 20th when we were taken out to the American lines across the River Elbe. On the night of the 19th the siren sounded the recall signal at 8.30 and it was announced that our repatriation papers had been signed and that we would probably move off the next day. The next day (which was Whit Sunday) saw the arrival of the lorries. We boarded the lorries at 12.30 and after a troublesome journey owing to road demolitions etc. we arrived at the Elbe and were transferred to American lorries and taken to a camp near HALLE.
And so ended a period of Kriegie life full of events. We experienced all the emotions of sheer misery, joy, expectancy, frustration, disappointment as never before. I have never, repeat never, been so glad to leave any place as I was to leave Luckenwalde.
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[underlined] Highlights of Belaria [/underlined]
[sketches of camp life]
[underlined] “Lousy Communique [/underlined] [sketch of a large man and a small man walking away]
[underlined]’Shoot’ [/underlined] [sketch of man throwing a basketball at a basket behind the SBO’s back]
[underlined] Circuit Bashing [/underlined] [sketch of a soldier marching under a cloud in the rain]
[underlined] ‘Water Up’ [/underlined] [sketch of men walking towards a building with pitchers and pails of water]
[underlined] “The Cooler” [/underlined] [sketch of a guard pointing towards a door while a man with a bowed head walks towards a second guard]
[underlined] Belaria Air [/underlined] [sketch of a man with a sewage tank]
[underlined] SIX A-SIDE SOCCER?[/underlined] [sketch of a football match with a brawl in the centre of the pitch]
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[underlined] Highlights of Belaria Ctd[/underlined]
[sketches of camp life]
[underlined] Abort Equipment [/underlined] [sketch of man with a peg on his nose]
[underlined] Bed-time [/underlined] [sketch of man climbing into top bunk stepping on the head of the occupant of the bottom bunk]
[sketch of man asleep in bed dreaming of food]
[underlined] Bath-day [/underlined] [man singing in in bath tub]
[underlined] Wash-up Time [/underlined] [man standing at table full of crockery]
[underlined] “I’m only half the man I was – ruddy half parcels. [/underlined] [sketch of half a soldier]
[underlined] New Purge Arrival[/underlined] [sketch of rows of men]
[underlined] Two Hours Later [/underlined] [sketch of group of men gathered around asking questions of a seated man]
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102 Highlights of Belaria [underlined] Ctd [/underlined]
[sketches of camp life]
[underlined] APPEL THROUGH THE YEAR. [/underlined] [sketch of a man and the climate for each month of the year]
[underlined] RUMOURS [/underlined] [sketch of five men and the sequence of a rumour]
[underlined] Night School [/underlined] [sketch of three men at a table playing cards while another looks on]
[underlined] The Abort Serenaders [/underlined] [sketch of three men playing bagpipes, saxophone and clarinet]
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[blank page]
[page break]
[pages 104 and 105 missing]
106
Copy of the letter sent by the Senior British Officer to the Russian Commandant on the occasion of the latter refusing to allow the British and American Prisoners of War to be evacuated by American [indecipherable word].
FROM: Senior British Officer Stalag III A.
TO: Russian Commandant 1/2 Repatriation. Stalag III A.
MAY 7 1945.
In order to avoid misunderstanding I am putting into writing the principle statements which I made at our conference last night.
The situation of the British at this camp is now as follows. From 22nd of April, I, at the request of the Russian authorities, have been responsible for the administration and security of the entire camp of 16,000 mixed nationalities. The work of the camp during this time has been carried out mainly by British and American officers and men. It should however, be appreciated that owing to Russian orders, confinement to camp etc., we have had to continue to all intents and purposes, as prisoners. That these orders were a military necessity is, of course clear, but nevertheless, the result has been a lowering of the spirits of all ranks. It is important to understand and make allowances for the mental attitude of prisoners of war who have been liberated but are still denied their freedom.
The food situation up to yesterday, was precarious and the daily ration, even though assisted by American supplies, is still grossly inadequate. It is realized that the Russian authorities overcame great difficulties in providing food at all under harassing circumstances, but it will also be agreed that the supply organisation of this camp performed most of the work. Furthermore, the camp has become even more [inserted] over [/inserted] crowded owing to the influx of Italian refugees. The problems of sanitation are considerable and the general health is threatened.
In spite of all this, the Russian orders were obeyed, and control was maintained up to the 5th of May. On that day, an American officer representing supreme allied H.Q. arrived with instructions to evacuate the Americans and British in that order. His credentials were not accepted by the Russian authorities here, who stated that they could not allow such an evacuation to proceed since they had no order on the subject. An ambulance convoy which also arrived on this day was allowed to evacuate all American and a few British sick.
Yesterday, the American representative from Supreme Allied H.Q. returned with a convoy to carry out his orders. Capt Tehekarov, acting as deputy for Cap Medvedev, who was sick, refused to allow him to proceed with his duties. Later, when an attempt was made to proceed with the evacuation, armed force was used against American troops to prevent their leaving the camp.
No doubt this whole affair is due to a misunderstanding, but the situation created is extremely serious. In spite of continual assurances that we were to be repatriated with the least possible delay, we now see the Russians actively preventing such repatriation. It is impossible for me to explain or justify such action in the eyes of my officers and men. I warned Capt Medvedev on May 4th that such a situation was likely to arise, and that if it did, I could not be responsible for the circumstances.
Last night I was informed for the first time that the chief obstacle to our repatriation was that the registration was not complete. I have repeatedly offered to undertake the whole task of registration. I could have completed it by now if my offer had been accepted. In any case, I cannot believe that the Russians intend that vital interests should be threatened for the sake of a mere formality.
As SBO here, I am responsible above all else for the welfare of my officers and men. This welfare is seriously endangered by the present situation. I therefore demand that the position may be clarified without delay, and that our repatriation may be proceeded with immediately. Failing this I must ask to be enabled to communicate with my Government. Finally I must point out that the present situation renders my position as S.A.O. untenable. I therefore resign that position and from now on must be regarded as responsible only for the British [line]
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[Underlined] DIARY [/underlined]
[Underlined] 1943 DEC 20TH [/underlined] Shot down over target (Frankfurt-on-Main) at 7.35 by J.U.88. Aircraft exploded and nose was blown off. I lost consciousness for a short while and came to, to find myself in the nose on my own. Only one hook of parachute fastened but no time to fasten up second, so just pushed clear and pulled ripcord. Only in chute for about 1/2 minute so estimate that I fell from 20,000 to 2 – 3,000 feet before getting clear. Narrow squeak. Knee injured by explosion. Had no control over chute and landed in a wood, backwards. Damaged knee a little more. Lay for a short while to get breath back and then buried my equipment and parachute beneath some bushes. The raid was still in progress and incendiaries and shrapnel were falling all around. I could hear the “cookies” rushing down too. After burying everything I set out walking West. Walked all night without incident, passing through several small towns. Just as dawn was breaking found myself in fairly large town. Several people around but no-one took any notice of me. Wandered round for some time trying to find my way out of the town. One person spoke to me as he passed and I just grunted back “Guten Morgen”. Found my way out at last and found myself on the banks of a very large river. Lay down beneath some bushes and pulled branches over to cover myself. Camouflage effective. Several people passed close by and didn’t see me.
[Underlined] DEC 21ST [/underlined] Lay up all day. Took out my escape maps and discovered that the river was the Rhine and decided on my route for escape from Germany. Ate a Horlicks tablet every four hours. Few exciting moments when party of Germans came along with a dog and dog began sniffing around my hide-out, but some-one called it and it ran off.
When darkness fell, began to walk again. Walked until about 2.20 AM and then began to look for a barn or a haystack to sleep. Challenged suddenly by two sentries. Said Guten Morgen” [sic] and tried to pass. They let me go for a short while until one of them shouted something else. I didn’t know what he said so just carried on. They ran after me and shone a torch on me. After jabbering a few questions they realised suddenly that I was R.A.F. They shot back the bolts of their rifles and ordered me to put my hands up. I did so and they took me to their headquarters. I had been wondering what sentries were doing away out in the country. It transpired later that they were guarding a Halifax which had crashed there. After close questioning and a glass of beer and two slices of bread and cheese, my knee was bandaged and I was taken to bed, with an armed guard in the room beside me.
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[Underlined] DEC 22ND [/underlined] Wakened at about 7 A.M. and taken to “Gulag Luft” at Frankfurt-on-Main. Only incident en route was an old civilian who recognised me as R.A.F. and very kindly came up and spat in my face. There was nothing I could do so I just smiled and said “Danke” at which he flew into a terrific rage. I thought he would hit me but the guards moved him on. I didn’t blame this chap when I saw Frankfurt. It was a shambles. Arrived at “Gulag Luft” and placed in a small cell. 8 feet by 6 feet. Had to undress while all my clothes were searched. Had escape money tucked into toe of flying boot and it was not found. At 12.30 was given a bowl of soup. At 4.30 was given two slices of bread and butter and a cup of mint tea. Terrible stuff. Nothing further
[Underlined] DEC 23RD [/underlined] Wakened at 9. AM by guards and given 2 slices of bread and butter and a cup of mint tea. Bowl of soup at 12.30. Bread and butter and mint tea at 4.30. [deleted word]
Civilian came in during afternoon and said he was from the Red Cross and gave me a form to fill in saying that if I filled it in right away it would be sent off and the folks at home would receive news that I was a P.O.W. so much soon. [sic] The form required to know details such as target, squadron, station etc. so I just refused to fill it in. I signed my name, number and rank, and crossed the rest out.

[Underlined] DEC 24TH [/underlined] Wakened with the usual two slices of bread and mint tea at 9 AM. Soup at 12.30. Bread & mint tea at 4.30. German officer (I think) came in during [deleted word] [inserted] morning [/inserted] to ask for details of squadron and the raid etc. Told him my name and number and refused to say anything else. He almost pleaded with me saying that if I told him, I would be sent to another camp among my comrades for Christmas Day. In the afternoon was taken out to a big office to be interrogated. Chap there asked me for details again and once more I refused, upon which he said that they knew my squadron etc but just wanted to check that I wasn’t a spy. He asked me how Squadron Leader Parks was getting along on his second tour and why we were called the bullseye squadron and lots of other questions which I refused to answer. He then told me that our c.o. had been shot down the same night as I had and that some of the crew were there. I still said nothing. He said that if I would give them just a little information I would go into a camp where I would be among my own friends but I still kept quiet, and was eventually taken back to Cell 61. Brought
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From my cell at about 7.00 P.M and taken to a corridor where there were a lot of other chaps among them Tommy Hughes who I knew well and his “second dicky”, Peter Boyle Personal belongings were returned and we were taken to a separate place through the barbed wire. We went into a barrack block there and found places to sleep. Tommy and I slept together on the top of a double tier bed.
[Underlined] DEC 25. [/underlined] Taken this morning to the transit camp on the other side of Frankfurt. Christmas dinner waiting for us when we get there. A lovely meal including a small portion of Christmas Pudding and biscuits. Sing-song in the dining hall at night.
[Underlined] DEC 26. [/underlined] Reported sick after breakfast and admitted to hospital with water-on-the knee
[Underlined] DEC 31 [/underlined Saw New Year in on my own. Could hear the sing-song in the blocks but no-one in hospital.
[Underlined] 1944 [/underlined]
[Underlined] JAN 8 [/underlined] Left Frankfurt in cattle trucks en-route to Sagan. Stalag Luft III
[Underlined] JAN 10 [/underlined] Arrived Sagan. Taken to Belaria camp. Moved straight into hospital. The rest of the boys are saving my place in the room, Three of us from our room of eight in hospital.
[Underlined] MARCH 22. [/underlined] Left Hospital.
[Underlined] MARCH 29. [/underlined] First Bandshow. Played with Tango Section and swing section
[Underlined] MARCH [/underlined] 24 Big escape from North Camp. 81 escaped.
[Underlined] APRIL 10TH [/underlined] Germans announced that 50% of the officers who escaped had been shot. Intense indignation in camp. Germans sent to Coventry.

[Underlined] APRIL 13TH [/underlined] Memorial service for officers who were shot. Great excitement immediately following service when British tommies were seen to be patrolling the wire and manning sentry boxes. Union Jack flying in Vorlager. Turned out to be film show. Lots of fun messing up one of the scenes at main gate.
[Underlined] APRIL [/underlined] Received first mail from home.
[Underlined] [Deleted] MAY [/deleted] JUNE 4TH [/underlined] Leon and [indecipherable word] left the mess and Frank and Ken arrived.
[Underlined] JUNE 6TH [/underlined] Allied invasion of North France.
[Underlined] JUNE 7TH [/underlined] Room numbers went up to 10 with arrival of Ham and Chuck in new purge.
[Underlined] JUNE 30TH [/underlined] Room number up to 12 with arrival of Peter and Henry
News that Montgomery forecasts end of war in autumn and Churchill promises, lights in London for Christmas.
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[Underlined] JULY 20TH [/underlined] Attempted assassination of Hitler. Germans withheld news from Camp until 22ND. All Germans adopted “Heil Hitler” salute in place of military salute.
[Underlined] AUGUST 12TH [/underlined] First film in camp. “[indecipherable words]” – a third rate film. Heat terrific, though wearing only shorts.
New purge arrived in evening including Jock Reid V.C.
[Underlined] AUGUST 13TH [/underlined] Goon guard shot at one of boys who accidentally touched warning wire while walking round circuit. Bullet passed through his hand.
[Underlined] AUGUST 15TH [/underlined] New allied landings in South of France between TOULON and CANNES.
[Underlined] AUGUST 17TH [/underlined] Weighed on kitchen scales. Weight 11st 10lbs.
[Underlined] AUGUST 21ST [/underlined] New purge arrived and Jack Meek came into room to replace Peter Pearson who moved to Room 7.
[Underlined] AUGUST 24TH [/underlined] Weighed on kitchen scales. Weight 11st 8lbs.
[Underlined] AUGUST 30TH [/underlined] Saw Comedy thriller “The Man at the Door”. Very good acting.
[Underlined] AUGUST 31ST [/underlined] Weighed on kitchen scales. Weight 11st 7lbs.
[Underlined] SEPTEMBER 2ND [/underlined] Frank and I commenced messing on our own.
[Underlined] SEPTEMBER 11TH [/underlined] Owing to difficulties in supplying Red Cross parcels from Geneva, existing stock being issued at 1/2 parcel per man per week, instead of whole parcel.
Sports field closed from today. Extension to camp being built on it. Walks outside camp starting today. 30 men at 8 AM, 30 at 10.15, 30 at 2.15. Length of walk approx. 1 1/2 hours.
[Underlined] SEPTEMBER 12TH [/underlined] Chaps on one of todays [sic] walks raided orchard. Terrific “stink” kicked up by Goon farmer.
[Underlined] SEPTEMBER 13TH [/underlined] Another walk incident!! Note found addressed to Group Captain after afternoon walk had left saying that one of chaps intended to commit suicide, while on the walk. Goons chased after the walk on bicycles and recalled them before threatened suicide took place. Culprit taken to hospital.
[Underlined] OCTOBER 5TH [/underlined] “French Without Tears” at camp theatre in evening. Very good.
[Underlined] OCTOBER 18TH [/underlined] Received first personal parcel together with Steve & Pat. Lots of Chocolate. Couldn’t be better.
[Underlined] OCTOBER 27TH [/underlined] Birthday. Had a two tier cake. Saved 1lb chocolate
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from personal parcel to make icing. “Wizard” bash!
[Underlined] OCTOBER 29. [/underlined] New purge – general opinion that war will last till spring.
[Underlined] OCTOBER 31 [/underlined] “The Astonished Ostrich” at theatre in evening. – very good.
Jack Normandale astonished camp with his impersonation of a woman.
Extension to compound opened today.
[Underlined] NOVEMBER 4 [/underlined] First meeting of “The Music Society of Lower Silesia”. First performance of “Stringing Along”.
[Underlined] NOVEMBER 5 [/underlined] Received second personal parcel. Lots more chocolate. Big bash.
[Underlined] NOVEMBER 12. [/underlined] Second meeting of “Music Society”. No fires in theatre. Could hardly play for the cold.
[Underlined] NOVEMBER 17 [/underlined] Goons ordered that all food held in store by people in the camp must be eaten by 20TH otherwise it will be confiscated. Terrific meals with lovely “brews”
“George and Margaret” at theatre in evening – excellent.
[Underlined] NOVEMBER 18 [/underlined] Largest new purge in camp to date, mostly Americans, the first in Belaria. 72 Americans; 22 R.A.F. “Ham” went to new extension. Gordon arrived.
[Underlined] NOVEMBER 22. [/underlined] New purge – mostly American. Steve left room to work in hospital. Bill arrived.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 1 [/underlined] “Mr Corn comes to Town” – Canadian revue in theatre, good.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 7. [/underlined] Second film show in camp. Marlene Dietrich and Randolph Scott in “The Spoilers”.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 14. [/underlined] Frank’s wedding anniversary. He made a super cake consisting of a layer of cake, a layer of raisins, another layer of cake, layer of chocolate, layer of cake and chocolate and raisins on the top. A “Wizard” effort.
4 [indecipherable word deleted] three tier bunks in room to replace six two tiers.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 19 [/underlined] A new Christmas hamper of food from Vorlager. This hamper was food which we were allowed to store from the ‘bash’ of NOV 17. Made the Christmas Cake.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 20 [/underlined] Made one dozen Angel Cakes and one dozen mince pies.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 21 [/underlined] Made large tart to be filled later with chocolate.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 22. [/underlined] Iced the Christmas Cake.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 25. [/underlined] Breakfast before Appell. Porridge, bacon and sausages. Christmas Cake with tea. No-one ate their full portion. Much too large. Dinner at 7.30. Soup, Turkey, potatoes (roast and creamed) carrots, peas
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Christmas pudding with thick Klim sauce. The Christmas parcels (American were issued on the 23RD and contents will be found on page 80) “Fanfare” the Christmas show should have opened at 9.30. but owing to a misunderstanding we were locked in the barracks at the normal time (10.00) and so the show was postponed until tomorrow evening.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 26 [/underlined] Opening night of “Fanfare” 2 1/2 hour show.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 28 [/underlined] New Year’s Eve is to be a special night for the show with the start at 9.30 and finishing with the entry of the New Year. Three invitation seats given to each member of the band. Group Captain and Senior Officers decided that these should be withdrawn in favour of a list drawn up by them and so band say that if this happens, the show will go on at the normal time (7.00PM).
[Underlined] DECEMBER 30 [/underlined] Theatre now cleared up. Everyone will go and the band win their point.
[Underlined] DECEMBER 31 [/underlined] Fanfare at 9.30 carried on until 12.00. Not locked in barracks until 2.00 AM. Lots of fun and games, as far as possible.
[Underlined] 1945[/underlined]
[Underlined] JANUARY 1ST [/underlined] Last night of ‘Fanfare’.
[Underlined] JANUARY 17 [/underlined] “Tony draws a Horse” in theatre. Very Good.
[Underlined] JANUARY 20 [/underlined] Terrific surge in optimism in camp. New Russian offensive brings them today within 100 miles of Sagan. Lorries containing civilian refugees and luggage beginning to pass camp.
[Underlined] JANUARY 23 [/underlined] Refugees passing camp all day long. mostly [sic] in horse drawn carts.
Red Cross parcel issue back to one full parcel per man per week. Future supply of Goon rations-doubtful. Preparation for march in full swing in case we are moved out. Kit bags being converted to haversacks and packs. Special cake made from barley. Klim cocoa and sugar.
[Underlined] JANUARY 25 [/underlined] Nearest point of Russian advance now only 50 miles from us. Gunfire heard at frequent intervals during the day. Refugees still pouring along the road.
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[Underlined] JANUARY 26. [/underlined] 20 R.A.F. N.C.O.s arrived at 11 P.M. from camp on the Polish Czech frontier. They were among 1500 evacuated from there 8 days ago - had been on road since. Tonight’s [deleted] sick [/deleted] arrivals were sick who did last two days of trip to Belaria by rail. Rest of party still on road somewhere living on infrequent Goon rations and finding rough going through snow and ice.
[Underlined] JANUARY 27 [/underlined] At 9 P.M. given 1/2 hour’s notice to move. Packed all kit, available food (very little) change of clothing, shaving kit. 3 blankets. Paraded about 10 P.M. hung around in snow for nearly an hour then sent back to barracks. Big industrial effort on sleigh making. Surplus cigarettes burnt, gramophone records broken so that the Germans couldn’t use them.
[Underlined] JANUARY 28 [/underlined Paraded again at about 5.30 – snowing – finally moved out of camp at about 7 AM. – about 1100 of us. 80 sick left behind. One Red Cross parcel per man issued on leaving camp.
Passed through SAGAN where many civilian refugees on roads. Passed EAST and NORTH compounds which had been evacuated around 4AM. Marched [number missing] KMS and reached village of SORAV late in afternoon, where we were billeted in barn to sleep. Boots soaking wet from days [sic] march in snow – froze overnight. Learnt that total destination is 70 KMS.
[Underlined] JANUARY 29 [/underlined] Started marching again at 8AM. About mid-day Frank and I fell in with Jack and George who were dragging a sleigh. They wanted someone to share in the pulling so we were only too glad of the chance and put our kit on the sleigh. Going very much easier. Marched [number missing] KMS reaching village of [name missing] where we bedded down for the night in barns.
[Underlined] JANUARY 30 [/underlined] No marching today. Spent day repairing sleigh, cooking, bartering cigarettes for bread and resting. Reported sick. Blisters on feet and one chilblain. Rumour that we are entraining at SPREMBERG. Goons issued 1/2 cups of boiled barley per man in the morning.
[Underlined] JANUARY 31 [/underlined] On the road again. Pretty rough going over hills. Few minor calamities with sleigh. Covered [number missing] KMS. Arriving at MUSKAV in evening. In barns again. Had first wash since leaving BELARIA.
[Underlined] FEBRUARY 1ST [/underlined] No march today. Heavy thaw during night continued during day. Ground unfit for sleigh pulling tomorrow. Goons issued 1/2 cup of barley per man and 1/5 of a loaf per man.
[Underlined] FEBRUARY 2 [/underlined] Set out today on what is promised as last lap of journey to train. Americans taken separately to a different destination. Sleigh abandoned and kit carried on back. Goons provided a horse and wagon to carry Red ross parcels which were issued at BELARIA. Weather fine for walking. Walked [number missing] KMS. Spent night just outside SPREMBERG in barns. Goons issued 1/7 of a loaf per man.
[Underlined] FEBRUARY 3 [/underlined] Marched to Panzer training school barracks at SPREMBERG where we were given first respectable meal of march, a bowl of pig swill, refreshing if not appetizing. Joined by about 400 of the chaps from EAST COMPOUND. Left in
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afternoon for station. Entrained in cattle trucks, 45 men to a truck. Goons issued 1/5 of a loaf per man.
[Underlined] FEBRUARY 4 [/underlined] Train left SPREMBERG late last night and arrived at LUCKENWALDE about 6PM today. Most uncomfortable journey ever. Not enough room to stretch legs so spent the night in cramped position. Train stopped frequently during day often for 1/2 hour to 1 hour. During these stops scrounged hot water from engine driver for brews.
Marched from station to camp (5KMS) arriving about 7 P.M. waited outside in rain for 1/2 hour and finally taken in. Promised a hot meal which did not materialise. Goons insisted that all 1400 of us should have a hot “de-lousing” shower and a search before passing into compound. Air-raid delayed the proceedings somewhat, but managed along with Frank to be in first batch for showers. Following search was very slipshod. Finally got to bed at 3AM. the most uncomfortable I have ever been in. Bed-boards, a palliase and very, very little straw.
[Underlined] REVIEW OF THE MARCH [/underlined]
It was good to get away from barbed wire for a few days. Unfortunately my shoes were a little tight on the first day and I had a couple of blisters and a chilblain at the end of the day’s tack. I wore flying boots for the rest of the journey until the last day when it was dry and I managed to get my shoes on again. Sleeping in the barns was rather comfortable, and after a day on the march very welcome. The weight of kit to be carried, conditions underfoot, insufficient food and the low physical reserves of strength after 5 months on half parcels, were the main snags. The Doc’s main worries were, Chilblains, blisters, rheumatism and stomach troubles, the latter particularly after the 24 hours in the cattle truck. Frank and I usually ate 2 slices of bread for breakfast, 2 slices during the day and two in the evening. The evening slices were the big meal of the day, being spread with corned beef or pilchards whereas the others had cheese or jam. Luckily we managed to barter bread for cigarettes en route so that the bread lasted out. We usually managed two hot brews during the day. German civilians usually good-hearted enough to bring out buckets of water for us as we passed. On the whole we had our fair share of “hardships” and it left us in no condition to stand up to a further march particularly as we have no decent food to build up our strength again. There are no Red Cross parcels and we live entirely on German rations which consist of 1/5 of a loaf, 1 cup of soup, either margarine or spread enough for about 8 slices of bread – per day. Sugar is issued at infrequent intervals and we have hot mint tea twice per day. The bread ration works out at 5 slices per man.
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We also receive about 4 medium sized potatoes, boiled in their skins. So that our menu for the day is:- Breakfast. – 1 1/2 slices bread & marg. Cup of mint tea.
Lunch – 4 potatoes, and 1 cup of soup.
Tea - 1 1/2 slices bread & marg Cup of mint tea
Supper – 2 slices bread & marg
The chief pastime is to talk of food we will eat when we get home.
Every day is so alike that no-one ever knows what day it is without thinking hard first. Almost everyone in the camp has a cold and rheumatism [sic] coughs, colds etc., are common – a reaction from the march.
[Underlined] FEBRUARY 23 [/underlined] Big day today. Norwegians who are in a separate compound here made us a gift several days ago of 250 of their Red Cross parcels. After lots of discussion as to whether they should go to the N.C.O.s over the wire (who are supposed to be in a bad way but who can still exchange food for cigarettes over the wire) the parcels were finally issued to us today. We had 1/5 of a parcel per man, not much, but it helps out quite a bit. They contained Cheese, biscuits, sausage, honey, sugar, oats and butter.
[Underlined] MARCH 1ST [/underlined] Came in like proverbial lion with terrific wind and rumour of parcels
[Underlined] MARCH 2ND [/underlined] Wind up to gale force. Rumours of parcels all day long, ranging from 1/3 of a parcel to commence in 2 days time, to 1 whole parcel to commence next Monday. S.B.O. [Senior British Officer] had block commander’s meeting in evening and dispelled all rumours by saying that nothing of parcels was known at all.
[Underlined] MARCH 4 [/underlined] Frank’s birthday. Saved up a little bread so that for the evening meal we could have 4 bread & potato pancakes, and four slices of bread with Patè & marg spread.
Snowed heavily all morning and most of afternoon.
Have had sirens each of past 12 nights, regularly between 8 & 9 P.M. Sometimes after lights out too. Air raids every day, sometimes twice a day. Can see the evening raids, besides feeling the concussion and blast of bombs.
[Underlined] MARCH 6 [/underlined] Told that we were having an issue of 1/2 an American Red Cross parcel each, tomorrow.
[Underlined] MARCH 7 [/underlined Americans told on parade that there are 25 truck loads of parcels at the station addressed to them. Later in morning 1/2 parcel issue cancelled as they were just on loan from the French. Goons promised that 900 parcels would be delivered today so arrangements made for Americans to be issued first then the rest to us the issue being 1 full parcel per man. The Goons failed to fulfil their contract however, and only brought in 500 so that only the Americans got parcels. However we hope to get ours tomorrow.
[Underlined] MARCH 8 [/underlined] A Great Day. We received a full American parcel each in the afternoon. Terrific “bashes” all over. Frank & I had two slices of bread spread with jam & cheese for tea. For supper we cut the bread a little thinner so that we got seven slices. The supper menu was:- 1/2 the potato ration mashed & fried, and a whole tin of spam (between us,) then the bread spread as follows 1, jam: 2 Cheese 3. Cheese & jam, 4 Cheese & Rose Mill Patè; 5 Coffee cream (Klim, sugar, marg & coffee)
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then one biscuit spread thickly with chocolate cream (same as 5 with chocolate). So full that the biscuit had to be left until 1 hour later. So warm during night that I couldn’t sleep. (General complaint.) Lovely to feel absolutely full once again.
[Underlined] MARCH 9 [/underlined] Announced during morning that the next parcel issue is to be on Monday or Tuesday [underlined] if [/underlined] we get any co-operation from the Goons. Frank & I decided to go easy in case co-operation lacking, and make parcel last another week at least. Can always have another “bash” if we do get an early issue. The policy seems to be to get the food in as quickly as possible and build us all up again. Terrific rumours of more parcels arriving. No confirmation, but hoping. Norwegians have received some dried fish which they have shared with us. Being issued (cooked) on Monday or Tuesday.
[Underlined] MARCH 14 [/underlined] Second parcel issue. Should have been yesterday but Goons slipped up again. Photo check on Appell in morning. Kept us out there for 2 hours. Wizard trifle in evening. Filled me, completely
[Underlined] MARCH 15 [/underlined] Goons say that if we stop trading over wire we can have parcels every fifth day. American bombers over camp today on way to some target east of Berlin. Lovely sight.
[Underlined] MARCH 17 [/underlined] Another parcel issue. Frank & I are really having some good meals now. A firm favourite is the Whipped Cream Sundae for which we had to do some trading to get extra KLIM.
[Underlined] MARCH 19 [/underlined] Parcels spirits damped. Told that there are only 2 1/2 parcels each left in store and so issue now will be every 10 days.
[Underlined] MARCH 26 [/underlined] Another parcel issue today.
[Underlined] MARCH 28 [/underlined] G/C MACDONALD; W/C PARCELLE; S/L WILLIAMS and GEORGE from the cookhouse left for NUREMBERG to be repatriated to ENGLAND. This is an expression of gratitude from the Germans for our good behaviour on the march from Sagan.
[Underlined] MARCH 31 [/underlined] Parcel issue today instead of Monday owing to the fact that Monday is a holiday for the Germans. Frank and I have been saving a little food during the week so that we can have a “big bash” tomorrow (Easter Sunday) Spent today preparing. Iced three cakes and made a big whipped cream sundae each.
[Underlined] APRIL 1 [/underlined] EASTER SUNDAY. Frank & I had our “big bash”. For breakfast we had each:- 2 slices fried bread. 1/2 tin sardines, 1 slice Spam, and a small potato & Rose Mill Patè cake. This was followed by a cupful of boiled barley. For lunch we had 1 cup of soup followed by coffee and a piece of cake. We entertained Reg to tea when we had coffee & cake. For dinner we had 1 1/2 day’s potato ration, 1/2 tin Spam, four slices of bread & spreads, and trifle. Frank also ate his last piece of cake but I could only eat a small slice. Left the rest until tomorrow. The trifle was made in a cut down Klim tin (about 1/2 size) and consisted of a layer of coffee cream, one of chocolate cream, layer of cake mixture made from biscuit, marg, sugar and chocolate; a layer of chocolate and raisins, a layer of whipped cream, and a thin layer
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of Pineapple cream. Returned to bed absolutely full.
Meeting of the “Geordies” during the afternoon to discuss our post-war dinner.
[Underlined] APRIL 9th [/underlined] Rumours of move on Wednesday to a camp near MUNICH
[Underlined] APRIL 10 [/underlined] Rumour confirmed. We are to be ready by blackout tonight to move at five minutes notice.
[Underlined] APRIL 11 [/underlined] Still at Luckenwalde but a list of marching orders has been posted. Our barrack is to parade for identity and search at 9.30 AM tomorrow.
[Underlined] APRIL 12 [/underlined] Left barrack at 9.30 and went on to parade ground where we were identified and had German blankets taken from us. We were then marched to Vorlager to be searched, after which we marched to the station. Stayed in the station yard for quite a while before entraining so boys had the “smokies” going. Small incident when civvie chap wearing a swastika in his buttonhole found one of the boys with a “smokie” near some benzine barrels, and knocked him over and threw smokie on to the rails. He then tried to move us by yelling and shouting in typical German fashion but boys just ignored him. Soup and spuds came down from the camp at 12.30. Later in the afternoon we entrained 40 to a waggon. No signs of moving off. Frank bought two knives for four cigarettes. Issued with 1/2 parcel each.
[Underlined] APRIL 13 [/underlined] Still in the station. Moved a little later to a siding alongside a road. Trading started despite goon attempts to stop it. Spent a very enjoyable day. Weather exceptionally good. Attack by Thunderbolts on a target South of us. Luckily we have our wagon roofs painted over P.O.W. Told at night that owing to repeated protestations by the S.B.O. we were not to be moved after all. Returning to camp tomorrow. News of American advances put everyone in most optimistic mood. Expecting to be freed at any time.
[Underlined] APRIL 14 [/UNDERLINED] Returned to camp. Terrific raid on Potsdam at night. Lovely sight.
[Underlined] APRIL 15 [/underlined] Received 1/2 parcel to make up issue on train. Thunderbolts seen over camp.
[Underlined] APRIL 16 [/underlined] News still very good. Rumours that Russians have started an offensive confirmed. Opinion divided as to whether we shall be freed by Russians or Americans. Betting 6-5 on the Russians.
[Underlined] APRIL 17 [/underlined] Thunderbolts bombed target S.W. of camp. Judged to be 15-20 miles away
[Underlined] APRIL 18 [/underlined] Marauders over camp escorted by Mustangs. First glimpse of T.A.F.
[Underlined] APRIL 19 [/underlined] Rumour came in late at night that Russians had broken through just S.E. of us and that the Commandant intends moving the whole camp West tomorrow morning.
[Underlined] APRIL 20 [/underlined] Rumour of last night proved false. Forts over in in great force in morning bombing targets North, North West and due West of camp. Gunfire
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heard at night from North-East, East and South. S.B.O. addressed all barracks at 10.30 telling us that latest information received by him placed the Russians 20 miles N.E. and 15 miles East while in the South they had reached JUTEBORG. The last seemed very unlikely
[Underlined] APRIL 21 [/underlined] Morning spent very quietly, but just after soup the defence scheme came into operation. The goon guards all evacuated camp and chaps were running around all over the place. The defence scheme worked very smoothly and everything was soon under perfect control. At night there was lots of artillery fore and some small arms fire. Just after we got to bed a 190 came over and opened fire on the woods just by the camp. Shook us up a bit.
[Underlined] APRIL 22 [/underlined] Woke to find Russians entering camp. Rumours that Americans are near at hand. Lots of rumours as to how we shall be taken out of here. Information given out at night as to what the S.B.O. had been doing all day. Apparently the town is in charge of a Russian Major who has detailed a Captain to look after the camp. When asked about the electricity and water he said it would be seen to at once (They had both been off since yesterday). He said that there was plenty of labour in the town. He also said that they would take over a village and take all their cows etc. to supply meat for the camp. We are to share food equally with the Russian troops. So on the whole the situation is much rosier. We are not to move until the Americans arrive which should only be a matter of days, but oh! what long, long days.
[Underlined] APRIL 23 [/underlined] Meat, potatoes and bread coming into camp all day long. Informed that I should be on guard from 4 AM – 6 AM in the morning. Reported for briefing at 8 P.M. Complete farce, still no water or electricity. Drawing all our water from pool behind the camp. Camp shot up again.
[Underlined] APRIL 24 [/underlined] Wakened at 4 A.M to do my guard. Spent last part of guard finding German store. Managed to get a steel helmet – my first souvenir. Funeral for some Russian prisoners who died of starvation.
[Underlined] APRIL 27 [/underlined] Still waiting for the link-up. General Ruger has been to Marshal Koniyev’s headquarters and received the impression that we were definitely to remain here until the link-up takes place. The one topic of conversation is “when will the link-up be”. A Russian major [indecipherable word] visited the SBO two days ago accompanied by a beautiful girl interpreter, and a [deleted] y [/deleted] bodyguard armed with a tommy-gun. While the general was with the SBO. the guard posted himself outside
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the door on guard. The Russian girl later gave her impression of the camp. She said that the living quarters were disgraceful as accommodation and that under the conditions the British & American officers were remarkably smart and remarked on their cleanliness and bearing. She said that in previous camps which she had visited the prisoners had left the camp immediately the Russian forces arrived and billeted themselves in private houses inflicting a large amount of damage by looting and wilful plundering. None of these, happily, were British. Ours was the first British camp she had visited and she (and all the Russian officers) were amazed and pleasantly surprised to find the place under such perfect control. In all other camps they had had to install order and form an administrative staff whereas here all this was done when they arrived. In all they were most favourably impressed. It appears that the Germans in town have plenty of water but haven’t built up a sufficient head of pressure to supply the camp so the town major sent for the mayor of the town and told them that it would be very unfortunate if this was not done. The mayor appreciated the point and we expect more water almost immediately.
At 8 P.M. news came of the link-up and spirits went up accordingly. American officers have been seen in Luckenwalde and an American War Correspondent accompanied by an American girl passed through on his way to Berlin.
[Underlined] APRIL 28 [/underlined] Repatriation Committee arrived in camp late at night. Brought with them 50 lorries of food. The staff consisted of 15 officers, 20 Women, and 200 other ranks. The whole staff was Russian. They had no news of how or when we return home.
[Underlined] APRIL 29. [/underlined] Todays [sic] local news bulletin gave details of a meeting between the Russian officer in charge of the Repat. committee (Capt Medvedev
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and the Senior Allied Officer. The Captain has brought his own wireless station for direct contact with his Commanding General’s H.Q. at Marshal Koniyevs H.Q. He was surprised and gratified at our organisation and administration and hoped to arrange film shows, concerts, lectures and dances while we await repatriation. He was horrified by conditions in the camp which he considered depressing and very overcrowded. He intends inspecting the neighbourhood for better accommodation.
Following a battle to the E. of Luckenwalde last night 18,000 Germans surrendered.
An Englishwoman (Mrs Thomas of Blackheath) and her 2 Children have arrived in the camp after a 4 day journey from Berlin. It is reported that in spite of being under fire several times, and the fact that their feet are blistered, the spirits of John, aged 10, and Diane, age 7 are not affected.
A later local news bulletin gave details of a meeting between the S.A.O. [Senior American Officer] and General Famin [sic], who is Senior Russian officer in charge of repat of POWs in this area. He had no news of our return -but his own opinion was that it would be Westward, but there is no immediate prospect. He has decided to move everyone with the exception of the Poles and Italians to the Adolf Hitler lager, a German officers’ rest camp, 6 miles from here on the road to Juterborg. It is reported to be a show-place built on luxurious lines in a woodland setting and complete with sports stadium, baths, showers, swimming pool, cinema and excellent living quarters.
[Underlined] APRIL 30 [/underlined] Frank went walking today and he and Reg ran into a party of Germans armed to the teeth, hiding out in
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wood about 1/4 mile from the camp. They had commenced retreating from Guben a fortnight ago, had broken up into small parties and spent 5 days without food, sleeping during the day and moving West during the night hoping to reach the American lines so that they could surrender. They said they would be shot if they surrendered to the Russians. One of them was only 17 but had been in the army for 2 years. Luckily they weren’t hostile and after a while allowed Frank & Reg to leave.
Tonight’s local news bulletin reported that French, Yugoslav [sic] Italian, Belgian and other foreign workers were being directed off the roads into the Adolf Hitler lager. A guard of Americans is being sent to guard that part of the camp allotted to the British, American and Norwegian personnel.
Captain Medvedev had today been apprehensive of a German attack on the camp, but reported after a reconnaissance that though there were many Germans in the vicinity of the camp, an attack was not now likely.
Lots of mortar and machine gun fire around the camp after dark.
[Underlined] MAY 1ST [/underlined] Mortar and machine gun fire continued today. One shell landed in camp but did no harm. Luckenwalde has been declared a war zone. Russians are mopping up the many German troops who are trying to reach the Americans. The Russians have renamed the Adolf Hitler lager – the Joseph Stalin Camp now popularly known by the boys as Joes’ Palace or Joe’s Place. The possibility of an early move there are reduced by the local military situation and the flood of refugees moving into the place.
News from home today of a circular issued by Home Office on “V” day celebrations. Hopes of being home for this great day fall lower as each day passes.
News flash after lights out – Hitler is dead.
[Underlined] MAY 2. [/underlined] The S.A.O. has called off our move to Joe’s Place and
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withdrawn all the guards. The place is now apparently a shambles swarming all over the place with foreign workers who are looting and wantonly destroying valuable material [deleted] elf [/deleted] left by the Goons. Apparently they have destroyed all the films, and projectors. Typewriters have been smashed with crowbars and the whole thing is just wanton destruction. Forced to move from our intended quarters, they took beds and every moveable object with them. Things which had to be left, such as wash basins etc., were smashed. These parties are armed and there was little that our guard could do against them. One of the guard was fired on while riding a cycle.
B.B.C. announced tonight the cessation of hostilities in Italy where German forces have surrendered unconditionally
[Underlined] MAY 3 [/underlined] This morning’s news announces the capture of Berlin which surrendered to Russian forces at 3 P.M. yesterday. All the recent good news – the deaths of Hitler and Mussolini the capitulation of Italy, the surrender of Berlin – arouse but little enthusiasm here where our main thought is repatriation. Our attitude just now is “In spite of it all, in spite of our liberation, we are still behind barbed wire, and none the wiser as to when we shall be home. Take us home and we’ll start cheering.
Was on guard at night, bid [sic] two shifts one from 10PM -12 and the second 4 A.M.-6AM.
Two American war correspondents arrived in the camp. They say that they knew nothing of us here until some of our boys who left the camp turned up there. They are going back tomorrow and taking back Capt Beattie, another correspondent who has been with us since we got here. He is flying to Paris to see General Eisenhower and give him details of us here together with a nominal roll.
[Underlined] MAY 4 [/underlined] An eventful day. Two armoured cars and three Jeeps arrived at the camp. The Americans in them told us that their C.O. a colonel was making unofficial arrangements to have us taken out of here by lorry. Consequently we packed our things and made
[Underlined] Ctd Page 140 [/underlined]
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[Map showing German towns and cities and the border with Switzerland]
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[Map showing towns and cities in Germany and the border with Holland with a scale]
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[Map of German towns and cities with Berlin in the centre showing ranges from Berlin.]
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[Map showing German towns and cities and a scale]
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[Underlined] The Question of Food [/underlined]
During the stay at Luckenwalde we lived entirely on German rations. These consisted of 6 slices of bread per day, 1 cup of soup and either margarine or some type of spread, enough for about four slices of bread [inserted] and four medium sized potatoes. [/inserted]
At this time the main topic of conversation was food and everywhere could be heard discussions on favourite foods. Frank and Reg and I discussed various dishes [deleted letters] and Frank and I decided that when he came to stay with me as he intends, when we get home, we will try some of these dishes. We decided to draw up a menu for one week and when he comes, to stick to this menu for the week as far as rationing permits. And so here we have the menu for food of which we dreamed:-
[Underlined] MONDAY [/underlined]
[Underlined] BREAKFAST. [/underlined]
[Underlined] PORRIDGE [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRIED LIVER: BACON: EGGS: TOMATOES: [/underlined]
[Underlined] BISCUITS: TEA OR COFFEE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] DINNER [/underlined]
[Underlined] COLD MEAT: FRIED POTATOES: PICKLES: BEETROOT: [/underlined]
[Underlined] STEWED APPLE AND SUET PUDDING WITH CUSTARD. [/underlined]
[Underlined] COFFEE [/underlined]
[Underlined] TEA [/underlined]
[Underlined] DOVER SOLE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] CAKES: SANDWICHES. [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUPPER[/underlined]
[Underlined] PIG’S TROTTERS: COCOA [/underlined]
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[Underlined] TUESDAY [/underlined]
[Underlined] BREAKFAST [/underlined]
[Underlined] CORN FLAKES [/underlined]
[Underlined] HAM: EGGS: TOMATOES [/underlined]
[Underlined] DINNER [/underlined]
[Underlined] STEAK AND KIDNEY PUDDING: CAULIFLOWER: CREAMED POTATOES. [/underlined]
[Underlined] JAM ROLY-POLY. [/underlined]
[Underlined] TEA [/underlined]
[Underlined] HOT MINCE TARTS: TOASTED MUFFINS: [deleted] C [/deleted] [/underlined]
[Underlined] CAKES AND BISCUITS. [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUPPER[/underlined]
[Underlined] FISH AND CHIPS [/underlined]
[Underlined] WEDNESDAY [/underlined]
[Underlined] BREAKFAST [/underlined]
[Underlined] PORRIDGE [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRIED KIDNEY: BACON: EGGS [/underlined]
[Underlined] BISCUITS. [/underlined]
[Underlined] DINNER. [/underlined]
[Underlined] LANCASHIRE HOT-POT [/underlined]
[Underlined] PANCAKES WITH JAM. [/underlined]
[Underlined] BISCUITS AND COFFEE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] TEA [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRIED SKATE [/underlined]
[Underlined] CAKES AND BISCUITS [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUPPER. [/underlined]
[Underlined] WELSH RAREBIT. [/underlined]
[Underlined] THURSDAY [/underlined]
[Underlined] BREAKFAST [/underlined]
[Underlined] CORN FLAKES [/underlined]
[Underlined] JAM OMLETTE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] DINNER [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRIED STEAK AND ONIONS: CHIPS: [/underlined]
[Underlined] APPLE FRITTERS AND CUSTARD [/underlined]
[Underlined] BISCUITS AND COFFEE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] TEA [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRIED KIPPERS [/underlined]
[Underlined] SANDWICHES: CAKES: BISCUITS [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUPPER [/underlined]
[Underlined] FISH AND CHIPS [/underlined]
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[Underlined] FRIDAY [/underlined]
[Underlined] BREAKFAST [/underlined]
[Underlined] PORRIDGE [/underlined]
[Underlined] STEWED KIDNEYS AND FRIED BREAD [/underlined]
[Underlined] DINNER [/underlined]
[Underlined] COLD HAM: GREEN SALAD WITH BOILED EGGS. [/underlined]
[Underlined] STEAMED PUDDINGS AND CUSTARD [/underlined]
[Underlined] TEA [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRUIT SALAD AND CREAM [/underlined]
[Underlined] CAKES AND BISCUITS. [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUPPER [/underlined]
[Underlined] FISH AND CHIPS [/underlined]
[Underlined] BISCUITS AND CHEESE [/underlined]
[Underlined] SATURDAY [/underlined]
[Underlined] BREAKFAST [/underlined]
[Underlined] CORN FLAKES [/underlined]
[Underlined] HAM: FRIED LIVER: EGGS: TOMATOES [/underlined]
[Underlined] DINNER [/underlined]
[Underlined] STEWED NECK OF MUTTON [/underlined]
[Underlined] CHOCOLATE AND RAISIN TART WITH CREAM [/underlined]
[Underlined] TEA [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRIED SOLE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] SANDWICHES: CREAM CAKES: BISCUITS. [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUPPER [/underlined]
[Underlined] FISH AND CHIPS. [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUNDAY [/underlined]
[Underlined] BREAKFAST [/underlined]
[Underlined] PORRIDGE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRIED KIDNEYS: HAM: EGGS: TOMATOES. [/underlined]
[Underlined] BISCUITS. [/underlined]
[Underlined] DINNER. [/underlined]
[Underlined] YORKSHIRE PUDDING: ROAST LAMB: ROAST POTATOES: VEG. IN. SEASON. [/underlined]
[Underlined] STEAMED FIG OR DATE PUDDING WITH BRANDY SAUCE. [/underlined]
[Underlined] TEA [/underlined]
[Underlined] HOME BAKED CAKES; SCONES AND BREAD. [/underlined]
[Underlined] FRESH CREAM CAKES: JAM AND SPREADS [/underlined]
[Underlined] SUPPER. [/underlined]
[Underlined] COLD MEAT SANDWICHES [/underlined]
N.B. Try to work in:- baked herrings, Millionaire pie
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[Underlined] The Question of Food (Ctd) [/underlined]
Whilst these discussions were taking places [sic] many new dishes were heard of and a list of these with a description as close as possible is prepared below.
Bacon or Ham, fried with honey or syrup.
The syrup is spread on the ham, thinly, before frying.
Tomato delicacies. Cut the top [deleted] atoes in two [/deleted] and scoop out the inside. Mix the inside with either, cheese, chopped meat or anything similar Heat and fill up the [deleted] halves of [/deleted] tomato.
[Underlined] Ice Cream Cake [/underlined] Take a piece of fruit cake and cover with ice cream. Freeze as hard as possible in refrigerator. Prepare meringue mixture and cover the cake. Place in very hot oven for 1 1/2 minutes.
[Underlined] Ice Cream Fritters [/underlined] Dip a piece of ice cream into pancake mixture and drop into boiling fat for 1 1/2 mins.
Boil an egg and cut off the top. Scoop out the yolk and mix with butter and milk, and place back in the egg.
[Underlined] Buck Rarebit. [/underlined] Welsh rarebit on toast with egg broken over grilled. Bacon may also be added.
[Underlined] Coffee Cream Money [/underlined] Cream 2oz butter & 2 Tablespoons of sugar in a warm bowl. Add 1 beaten egg, 4 tablespoons of milk, 3 tablespoons of coffee essence, with [sic] cake or crushed biscuit enough to thicken mixture. Beat fiercely in warm place till quite smooth and pour into mould.
[Underlined] Sham Virginia Ham [/underlined] Mix 1/2 lb finely minced ham or spam, with 1/4 lb of flour and enough milk to make a stiff dough. Shape into flat cakes, dip in brown sugar and fry or bake in butter. Serve with fried egg on top and baked beans.
[Underlined] Porridge Fried [/underlined] Fry thick cold porridge in hot butter. Serve with jam, honey or sugar, surrounded by fruit (banana slices or fritters etc) Cover with cream.
[Underlined] Butter Scotch Pie [/underlined] Bring to a boil a mixture of 2 cup of milk, 1 cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 tablespoon vanilla, pinch of salt. Beat 3 eggs in 9 tablespoons of milk and mix into a paste with 3 1/2 tablespoons of flour. Mix butter and egg mixtures together beating to evenness. Stir till thick. Pour into pastry pie.
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[Underlined] Blueberry Fritters [/underlined] (with lamb) Take 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 cup of flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons of baking powder, 1/3 teaspoon of salt. Add 1 egg beaten with 1/3 cup of milk and stir till smooth. Add 1 cup of blueberries. Drop from spoon into baking pan of boiling fat. Drain on paper and dust with fine sugar before serving with meat.
[Underlined] Kidney Omelette [/underlined] Chop kidneys very fine. Put 1/2 into saucepan and crush. Add water to cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Fry remainder of kidney for 5 mins with finely chopped onion and butter. Add to saucepan, with 1 teaspoon of sherry or teaspoon of ginger powder. Stir and leave to simmer. Make ordinary omelette and fold in kidney and gravy. If necessary, use flour to thicken gravy.
[Underlined] Blueberry Muffins [/underlined] Sift 2 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 4 teaspoons of baking powder. Add to this slowly, 1 cup of milk beaten with one egg, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Add 1 cup of ripe blueberries and bake in greased pan in oven.
[Underlined] Champagne Cider [/underlined] Add 1/5 pint of brandy to 1/2 gall cider and 1/5 cup honey. Let it stand for 2 weeks. After bottling let It stand 1 night before serving.
[Underlined] Blackberry Brandy. [/underlined] 1/2 pt blackberry juice boiled to half with 3/4 lb of sugar. Add to 1 qrt of brandy, 1 tsp of glycerine and 1 tsp of gum arabic.
[Underlined] Egg soup [/underlined] Beat 2 eggs in basin. Boil 1 pint of stock and add 1 tablespoon lard or oil, 1 tablespoon of soya bean sauce. Pour over beaten egg and stir gently till egg is cooked.
[Underlined] Golden Drop [/underlined] Take 1 thick slice of bread and scoop a tablespoonful out of centre. Fry side with hollow. Then turn and break an egg into the hollow and fry.
[Underlined] Stuffed Potato [/underlined] Bake a large potato. Cut off one end and scoop out [missing words]. Mix with cheese, chopped ham, or meat and place back into [missing words] oven to heat. Serve with what is left of potato after [missing words]
[Missing words] pastry mixture as for Cornish Pastie. [Missing words] ocolate in centre of a round of pastry [missing words]
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[Underlined] Pineapple Float [/underlined] Line Pie dish with thick pastry. (puff) Bake, and pour in thick chocolate. Place full slices of pineapple on top and allow to set. Serve cold with thick cream.
[Underlined] Single Sue [/underlined] Place layer of broken sponge cake about 1” thick in greased pie dish. Cover with thick sweet creamed rice. Another layer of sponge cake covered with boiled figs and dates. More sponge cake and thick layer of jam. Cover with sponge cake and bake in oven till brown. Serve with sweet chocolate sauce.
[Underlined] John Tommy Nelson Cake. [/underlined] Line pie dish with puff pastry and bake. Cover with thick layer of black treacle mixed with bread crumbs. Cook for 10 mins. Cover with layer of chopped dates & raisins & nuts. Cook for further 10 mins. Serve hot with cream.
[Underlined] Tolga Rice. (Date & meat [/underlined] mixture. Cook 2 lbs of rice in milk. Flavour with vanilla. Add 1 lb chopped dates, pieces of chopped mutton, 2 chopped red peppers, 1/4 lb ginger. Mix in mutton gravy mixed with 1/4 lb of honey.
[Underlined] Oyster Omelette [/underlined] Take 1 doz eggs, 1 doz oysters, 1 cup diced ham, 1/2 cup diced onions, 1 cup toast breadcrumbs, chopped parsley salt & pepper. Fry oysters etc first, then place in egg mixture & fry as omelette
[Underlined] Flesh Pancake. Dip [/underlined] ham into very thick pancake mixture & fry.
[Underlined] Millionaire Pie [/underlined] Take 3 unopened tins Nestles milk, place in saucepan & boil for 1/2 hour. Open tins & mix milk with 3 beaten yolks of eggs. Pour mixture into pie shell. Beat whites of eggs, add sugar and apply over top to form meringue mixture. Bake in oven till brown.
[Underlined] Tommy Tiddlers [/underlined] Prepare as pastry a pancake batter. Take previously fried sausages, cover with pastry & fry in deep fat. Serve with creamed potatoes & fried onions.
[Underlined] Manchester Pie [/underlined] Line pie dish with
[Bottom part missing as with previous (torn) page]
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[Underlined] Baked or Steamed Apple & Chocolate Roll [/underlined] Prepare pastry, Roll out and cover with chocolate. Roll up. Roll out second piece and cover with chopped sweetened apples. Place chocolate roll on top and roll up together. Steam for 2 hours or bake in hot oven for 45 minutes. Serve hot with custard. [Indecipherable word] be made with jam & other fruit.
[Underlined] Crepe Suzette [/underlined] Make pancakes in ordinary way. Spread with jam and roll. Place in oven for 5 mins. Serve hot with cream.
[Underlined] Cheese & Potato Pie [/underlined] Cook potatoes & cream with milk & butter and large amount of grated cheese. Place layer on bottom of greased pie dish . Layer of sliced tomatoes, potatoes: cover with strips of bacon. Place in hot oven till bacon is crisp. Serve hot.
[Underlined] Chocolate Soufflé [/underlined] Take whites & yolks of 12 eggs; beat with chocolate and heavy cream, to whipped cream consistency. Add icing sugar and place in deep dish. Bake for 5 mins in very hot oven. Serve at once
[Underlined] Marrons Glacé [/underlined] Boil Chestnuts (in jackets) for 5-10 minutes. Shell & skin. Use double amount of sugar. Pour over chestnuts. 1/4 lb of butter, 2 pts milk. Place in pan and boil until whole thing is syrup. Remove and let dry on cooking board.
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140 Ctd from 125
[Deleted] Ctd from 125 [/deleted]
ready for the move. Details were given later. There are 75 lorries coming tomorrow and they are to make 2 trips taking 25 each truck. 30 of these lorries have been allocated to the British- 15 to the N.C.O.s, 10 to the Army and 5 to the officers. We are to take 10 Norwegians and 15 British in each of our trucks. The list of order of going will be prepared according to length od P.O.W. service etc.
News received of German Army’s capitulation in Holland and Denmark.
[Underlined] MAY 5 [/underlined] Main convoy did not arrive, but a convoy of ambulances came and took away all the American and a few of the British sick. An American Captain arrived too and said that the main convoy would be here tomorrow.
Received an issue of 1 Canadian parcel to a mess of 20 and a few American “K” rations. Constituted enough for one meal per man.
[Underlined] MAY 6 [/underlined] 22 of the trucks arrived during the day, but the Russians refused to allowed [sic] anyone to leave. When some of the Americans began to load up, the Russians fired over their heads to prevent them going. The situation is beginning to look serious. We are all pretty well browned off. After all, here we are, two weeks after liberation and still kicking our heels around here. Our Red Cross food is all out and the Russian rations are none too reliable. We are hoping that something is done very quickly.
[Underlined] MAY 7 [/underlined] 100 lorries arrived in Luckenwalde today. The Russians still refused to allow us to go. Amid all the confusion of rumours etc., came the news that the war was over. No-one was the least bit excited in fact I should say that the chaps in this camp were about the most miserable in Europe today.
The SBO sent a letter to the Russian o/c and later left in a jeep for Sagan (H.Q. of Marshal Koniyev) a copy of which can be found on Page 106. Reg King managed to get away on a lorry which left this evening.
[Underlined] MAY 8 V.E. DAY [/underlined] The day for which we have waited so very long, and a day full of events for us here. The lorries which came to take us out of here have returned to the American lines empty. Several attempts were made to jump the lorries and indeed some chaps succeeded, only to be ordered off further down the road. Some lorries left early this morning
[Page break]
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taking a lot of the boys with them. We were informed by the Russians that anyone found outside the boundaries of the camp in future will be treated as civilians and will be interned. It appears that the Americans definitely had no official order to evacuate us and were using their own initiative. And so we now have to wait until the Russians are ready to evacuate us in their own way. A Russian colonel had a series of conferences with the SBO and returned to his H.Q. late at night to report that we were all ready for evacuation, and so once again we settled down to wait.
All day long we heard over the wireless reports of the celebrations in England and these succeeded in making us even more miserable than before. We think that we could easily have been home for these celebrations. It only means that our celebrations are postponed however, because we shall have ours upon our return.
I had my first swim of “Konegiedom” when I swam in the lake just by the camp.
[Underlined] MAY 9 [/underlined] The SBO held a parade this morning to thank us for behaving so well. A convoy of Russian lorries arrived at the camp and while no one knows the exact reason for their arrival, it is hoped that they are here to take is away immediately the official permission comes through.
A message was broadcast before the news from England this morning to Stalag Luft I at Barth telling them that they must remain where they are, so apparently they are in the same position as we are. They have my sympathies.
[Underlined] MAY 12 [/underlined] French refugees moved from Vorlager to Joseph Stalin Camp. We are to move into Vorlager tomorrow.
[Underlined] MAY 13 [/underlined] Moved into Vorlager. The huts were in a filthy condition and we had lots of cleaning out to do before actually moving in. There were no beds in our hut and the Frenchmen had been sleeping on straw. The straw was flea-ridden so we took it all out and burnt it. We managed to find enough two tier beds for our room but had to examine them very carefully as most of the beds were swarming with bed-bugs. The beds we have however, were clean enough.
[Underlined] MAY 15 [/underlined] B.B.C. news said that there were still over a million prisoners still in Germany most of whom were in Russian occupied territory, so now we begin to see why we are so long in being repatriated.
[Underlined] MAY 18 [/underlined] Reg Ryden came to see me today about forming a band. We [indecipherable word]
C.T.D. PAGE 150
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144
Joe Brown
23 Houndslow [sic] Av.
Houndslow [sic]
[Underlined] Middlesex [/underlined]
M Reid
12, Greenwell Place.
Govan.
[Underlined] Glasgow. [/underlined]
[Page break]
145
W.A. McILROY.
“FINNIS”
DROMARA.
Co DOWN.
N. IRELAND.
TEL. DRO: 101.
John C. Bridger
1, Broadway
Tynemouth.
Tel. N. Shields 74.
Robert C Forrester,
33 Cairnie Loan
Arbroath,
Angus,
Scotland.
L. Whitely
10, Ladysmith St,
Shaw Heath,
Stockport
Cheshire
REX K BENNETT,
82 GRACEFIELD GDNS
STREATHAM
LONDON
SW16
STR 1809.
Joseph LA FORTe
721 UNION ST
BKLYN, N.Y.
F.G. SMITH,
30, Yeovil Close
ORPINGTON, Kent.
The HATTON PRESS, Ltd,
72-8. Fleet St. London, E.C.4.
Advertising. Books. Optical Products.
WESTON CRAIG
8, LOUDON ST.,
HARTON COLLIERY,
SOUTH SHIELDS.
DOUGLAS HARRISON,
8 ST. GEORGE’S CRES.
MONKSEATON.
[Page break]
146
[Signatures]
[Page break]
147
[Signatures]
148
F/O E A WRAKE,
3, Drive Mansions,
Fulham Road,
London, S.W. 6.
[Indecipherable name] F/L
Windsor
Ontario
Canada
[Indecipherable word] Pincher Creek
F/O H.R. Mossop D.F.C.
Elloe Lodge
Holbeach
Lincolnshire
H.K. Hamilton F/L J9934
Apt. 502, Claridge Apts,
1 Clarendon Ave,
Toronto, Ont.
Canada.
F/O A.P. Hennessy.
84 Church Street
Kensington
London W. 8.
F/O J Meek
83 Jamieson Ave
Toronto Ont
278 Washington Ave
Winnipeg Man.
P.V. Boyle.
Dinver
Portpatrick,
Stranraer,
Scotland.
F/Lt T D Hughes.
16 Clerkdale St
Walton
Liverpool 4
E. H. Stephenson
22, Clarendon Gardens,
Wembley
Middlesex
1st LT. G. E. Gallagher
2341 Kemper Lane
Cincinnati
OHIO
U.S.A.
A.K. Baker.
“Stocker’s House”,
Rickmansworth,
Herts.
P.& O. Coryton
The Rectory
Bonchurch
Isle of Wight
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149
William W. Fannon
113 Boston St.
Guilford, Conn.
U.S.A.
TED. WOODE
8 HORSLEY TERR.
TYNEMOUTH,
NORTHUMB’D
Wm J. Murdock
709 – 2nd Ave.
LAUREL
MISS. USA.
GRADON GLEN-DAVISON
8. WINDSOR TERR
NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE. 2.
J.H. Moss
8, Munden Grove,
Watford,
[Underlined] Herts, England [/underlined]
W.J. NICHOLSON (Nicky)
23 WHITBY ST.
NORTH SHIELDS.
W. Reid
97 Swinton Crescent,
Baillieston
Glasgow
26.1.45. Scotland
Arthur E. Adams. “ZEKE”
49 Fullbrook Road
Walsall,
Staffs.
R.M. KING
C/O BIRCHFIELD
MIDDLE GREEN
LANGLEY
SLOUGH
BUCKS
Graham J. Macrae,
Windgarth,
Andover Road, North,
Winchester,
Hants
G.K. CHAPMAN
19, OSWIN TER.,
BALKWELL,
NORTH SHIELDS
NORTHUMBERLAND.
REGINALD E. RYDER,
97, BRADFORD ROAD WEST,
BATLEY, YORKS.
TRAIN TO LEEDS, GO OUT OF CENTRAL STATION & TAKE 1ST TURNING [indecipherable words] BUS TO BATLEY PARK GATE ( indecipherable words]
[Page break]
150
a few musicians and had a rehearsal. At the rehearsal we were asked to play for a [sic] RAF. dance the next night. So we will have to do a lot of work tomorrow to get everything on trim.
Rumours still fly around and every day brings fresh rumours of when we shall move, but we never seem any nearer moving.
The food situation is terrible. While we have plenty of bread, we have no margarine, sugar or brews. We have had little odd issues of spreads but these are [underlined] very [/underlined] small - a very little jam and cheese. The cheese is mostly in tubes but we have also had cheese powder which has to be mixed with water. The soup comes up regularly each lunch time, but on the whole the diet is very unappetising, just bread, cheese and water for every meal.
[Underlined] MAY 19 [/underlined] Just before our dance was due to start, the sirens sounded the recall signal and it was announced that the repatriation papers had been signed and that the Russians [underlined] hoped [/underlined] to start evacuating tomorrow. Naturally with such good news, the dance went with a terrific swing and was a great success in spite of the fact that there were only 35 women and about 300 men. It finished at 2 A.M. and by that time the boys were almost played out. Still, it was great fun to play at a dance again.
[Underlined] MAY 20 [/underlined] True to their word, the Russians rolled up with their trucks at 10 A.M. By 1.30 we were all aboard and ready to go. The journey to the ELBE was hampered by demolitions etc, but we arrived at the river at 6. PM. We dismounted and marched across a pontoon bridge to the other side where American lorries were waiting for us. These took us to a camp near HALLE where we arrived at about 11.30 American time (12.30 Russian time). [Deleted] We passed [indecipherable word] [/deleted] On the journey south we passed through several villages, all of which showed signs of having been the scene of fighting. Some were very badly damaged.
On arrival at the camp, we filled in a small form, were formed into groups of 25 and taken to billets. After a wash-up we went to the dining hall for a meal of Spaghetti and tomatoes and lovely [underlined] white [/underlined] bread and good strong, sweet coffee, after which we retired to bed about 2.30 A.M.
[Underlined] MAY 21 [/underlined] Wakened for breakfast at 6 A.M. Breakfast consisted of rice, and stewed fruit. The rice was lovely, rich, sweet, unbelievable. We also had white bread and a large portion of [indecipherable word] & butter. After our breakfast we came back to the barracks to sleep and await evacuation
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We received an issue of 40 cigarettes; I oz bar of chocolate and a box of matches. In the afternoon we saw a “flick” ‘[indecipherable word] was a Lady’. In the evening we had to collect some Red Cross things. I had a handkerchief: a pipe, 2ozs tobacco; 1/4 lb chocolate, a packet of chewing gum, a tooth-brush and tooth paste. We then went to see another film. Laurel & Hardy in “Looking for Trouble”. For dinner at night we had pork chop, beans and spinach. Rice (creamed) and fruit. A lovely meal.
[Underlined] MAY 22 [/underlined] Went for breakfast at 6 A.M. After breakfast one of the boys and I walked round the airfield to look at the Goon a/c. All had been destroyed, the cockpit in each having been completely burnt out. Very interesting nevertheless. Came back to hear that we were on 3 hour readiness and liable to leave after lunch. Nothing happened however and in the evening we went to the films to see a skating & musical film.
[Underlined] MAY 23 [/underlined] [Deleted] I [/deleted] Still on stand-by. A few chaps got away today but the weather clamped down later and it stopped any more going.
U.S.O. show in afternoon. Very good. Film in evening, Charles Laughton in “Suspect”. Very good.
[Underlined] MAY 24 [/underlined] Weather still bad this morning. Frank and I had a walk around the airfield. Came back and went for [indecipherable word]. Film in the afternoon “Having a lovely time”. Pat O’Brien, Carole Landers. Not very good. Weather cleared up about 5 o’clock.
[Underlined] MAY 25 [/underlined] Raining heavily when we rose at 6 A.M. but cleared up about 10 A.M. Just as we went to lunch at 12 a lot of aircraft arrived and we were told in the dining hall that we should probably be leaving this afternoon. In the afternoon we were marched to the airfield where the planes were loading. We joined the queue and were second in line when the last of the aircraft took off. So one more great disappointment was added to our list. Each one seems to get worse. This time it was annoying because a lot of chaps who came in the night after us got away today. We are very cynical now and believe nothing we hear until something happens to confirm it.
[Underlined] MAY 26 [/underlined]
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[Envelope with contents]

Collection

Citation

Les Rutherford, “Les Rutherford's prisoner of war diary,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 6, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/2224.

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Les Rutherford's prisoner of war parcel inventory
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Programme for Christmas show
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Warnung der Regierungen der Sowjetunion, der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika und Grossbrittanniens an alle deutschen Kommandanten
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Len Whiteley presents Fanfare
This Item dcterms:relation Item: English airman's grave
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