Robert Wareing's prisoner of war log



Robert Wareing's prisoner of war log


He says there is much time to reflect while in prisoner of war camp. He writes of his life prior to becoming a prisoner. his wife, her qualities, what attracted her to him and her activities. He continues with comment on the support of friends. He speculates about life after the war. He continues with notes about language and phrases in prisoner of war camp. He goes on to write about entertainment in camp. Then there is are two cartoons and three coloured drawings of the camp. Followed by income tax calculations for 1944/1945. Then a hand drawn map showing the location of the camp. Followed by another two cartoons.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage




Cover and twenty-one double page booklet


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[underlined] A WARTIME LOG [/underlined]

[signature] R Wareing [/signature] S/L.

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Mil Tailors & Outfitters
Jermyn St.
Picadilly, London.

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Gift from
37, Quai Wilson
Geneva – Switzerland [/printed]

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[picture] lion passant [/picture]

OCT. 1944.

[badge] Y.M.C.A. [/badge]

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To Joan Page 1
Camp Phrases etc 10
Entertainments 13

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[underlined] TO JOAN. [/underlined]
In a P.O.W. Camp one has much spare time in which to think of one’s past life & of hopes for the future.

Personally I often think of my past few years with my wife, whom to me means everything. The times spent together are certainly much treasured by me. I thank God for our union & trust that he will always give me the Grace to appreciate her as I have done in the past & do so even more now that we are separated by so great a distance.

Physically Joan is very attractive, which was the reason why I felt drawn to her in the first place. But I soon realized that

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she had other qualities to be valued far above physical beauty. She is entirely unselfish, always having thought for others, & has a strength of character for goodness. The hazards of my job often preyed on her mind but she did not, except on very few occasions, show this to me; although I knew this from conversation with her parents.

For some years Joan has given up her Sunday afternoons to teaching juniors in the Methodist Church Sunday School & from what I can gather she has done the work successfully & is much respected by the children. We have occasionally met some of the children when we have been

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walking together. Joan being also a first class pianist, having studied music since eight years of age, has on many occasions given up evenings in order to take part in concerts in connection with the Church. Even I could not stand in the way of these activities when on leave, but I am glad that I did not, & hope that I shall not in the future, but will rather be a help.

Joan’s influence on me has been for the better, & I trust to God that our partnership throughout life will prove to be of benefit to us both, & to others. In play she always puts her “heart into it”. I used to enjoy the times we spent together swimming on the East Coast &

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to play opposite her at a game of tennis; she is always cheerful. On Sunday evenings I enjoyed immensely her “piano sessions”, although she would occasionally be annoyed with me for dozing a little, but good music & a warm room always seems to affect me that way. Curiously enough her Father is affected in the same way. Both of Joan’s parents have shown me many kindnesses, looking upon me as their own son; particularly so, I imagine as they lost their only son, Joan being now their only child.

My wife & I have together made numerous friends of various walks in life, & they have shown immeasurable

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kindness to us, which was evidenced by the good wishes & many presents which we received at our wedding on May 30th 1942. More recently, according to a letter which I have received from my wife, many friends have offered their consolations & willingness to help, since I was posted missing. I hope we can at some future date repay them, even in some small way for their thoughtfulness. To quote my Dear wife’s words in her letter:- “Everyone seem[sic] anxious to “look after me”, as they say, or you will have something to say if I am no fit & well for your return.

After the war there will, I imagine

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be many difficulties as things will undoubtedly be greatly changed from what they were in 1939. But together we can face them cheerfully. Setting up a home of our own, which due to no fault of ours we have so far been denied, will probably be a large problem. However, with some good fortune we may be able to get hold of a country cottage which can be modernised from a kitchen & sanitary point of view. Fortunately we both share a love of country life & the simpler enjoyments.

I can well imagine what anguish & wretchedness Joan would

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have felt when she received the unwelcomed telegram & I too had similar feelings when I realised that I was not to be with her [deleted] company [/deleted] again for some time. However, we both still [inserted] have [/inserted] our love for each other, although distance does temporaryly[sic] separate us, & have also hopes for the future. May God be with her & bless her always.

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[underlined] Camp Phrases. Etc. [/underlined]

Everything available for camp use is referred to as being “up” e.g. when rations are brought to the barrack a shout is given down the corridor “rations up”. This is followed by a minor stampede. If anything is left over it is referred to as “gash” & is available for anyone who desires a little more. New prisoners usually eat rather more than the older ones but after a while they settle down to an average appitite[sic]. Each prisoner refers to another as a “Kaiegie”[?]

The word “Slave” is given to the fellow in the room whose duty it is to fire[?] up the meals, “brews” etc. Each member of a room does a days duty in rotation.

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The bed is referred to as the “Sack” & it amuses everyone immensely if a few bed boards of a fellow “Kaiegie” fall out, particularly if it results in the upper “Sack[?] type” falling on the lower one.

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Camp entertainment I found on arrival here to be well organised. Particularly the theatre which produces two plays about every six weeks. The British people produce one while the Americans are working on theirs which will follow. The scenery is amazingly good & is made by Sgt Vaughan. The acting too is of a high standard. The fellows who take female parts do them extremely well, as they are not easy. However, with them all being young “types” in the camp no doubt they have studied female mannerisms quite closely when in England.

About the middle of December some of the “Kaieges” dug an ice skating rink on the old sports ground & when the weather

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became sufficiently cold this was flooded. In the first place flooding was attempted by using a bucket chain. This however, was very slow work, but when a really cold spell arrived the German authorities allowed us to flood it from a fire hydrant. We managed to get about four weeks good use out of the rink before the thaw. Each barrack was allotted a skating time & on one occasion the Canadians gave us an ice hockey match. I had only one shot at skating as I found that my right hand could not cope with spills.

When the weather is reasonable there is always a game of either Rugger or Socer[sic] in progress on the new sports field.

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Each barrack supplies one or two teams. The Socer[sic] match between the officers & N.C.Os was a first class game. Ball control was really wizzard[sic] & I think they would easily equal third division teams. Perhaps they played all the better because of having eaten a good Christmas dinner – canned turkey & plum pudding.

On two occasions we have had a film show – Deanna Durbin in “Spring Parade” & Andy Hardy in “Andy Hardy’s Double Life”. Both of these films I had already seen [deleted] these [/deleted] under happier circumstances together with my wife. However, it was very stimulating to see them again.

During the evenings Bridge seems

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to be the favourite game.

During the day lectures are in progress in languages, farming, engineering, shorthand, business subjects etc. I have been learning German but owing to not being able to get hold of a grammar text book it is somewhat difficult. In addition there is a shortage of note books.

I have however, been able to get hold of some good books on accountancy subjects so that I can keep in touch with things.

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[picture headed WELCOME showing an airman at the entrance to the camp and two German officers]
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[pencil sketch of the camp]

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[sketch of the camp]

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[sketch of the camp]

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[underlined] INCOME TAX 1944/45 [/underlined]

Pay £562.15
[underlined] Less [/underlined] uniform all’ce 25. 0 £537.15
[underlined] add [/underlined] wife’s income 200. 0
Statutory income 737.15

[underlined] Less [/underlined] allowances:-
E.I.R[?] 1/10th of £737.15 £73.15
Married all’ce 140. 0
Wife’s all’ce 80. 0 293.15
£444. 0

£165 @ 6/6d = £53.12.6
279 @ 10/- = 139.10.0
£444 193.2.6

[underlined and centred] Post War Credit [/underlined and centred]
[underlined] Allowances 1940/41 [/underlined] [underlined] Allowances 1944/45 [/underlined]
E.I.R[?] 1/6th = £122.16.8 E.I.R.[?] 1/10th = £73.15.0
Married all’ce 170. 0. 0 Married all’ce 140. 0. 0
Wife’s all’ce 45. 0. 0 ? Wife’s all’ce 80. 0. 0
337.16. 8 293.15.0

P.W.C. = 293.15.0 44.1.8 @ 10/- = £22.0.10

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[drawing of an airman playing a violin] W/C F.W. HILTON A.F.C.

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Plan of Room 31, Block V.

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Map of Germany

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[drawing of USA prisoner playing the accordian] COL. A. E. MALMSTROM

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[drawing of three prisoners of war standing at the boundary fence]
[signed] ? Pritchard [/signed] G/C. C. T. WEIR COL MALMSTROM



R Wareing, “Robert Wareing's prisoner of war log,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 22, 2024,

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