Saunders, John Walter Gifford


Saunders, John Walter Gifford


69 items. The collection concerns Sergeant John Walter Gifford Saunders (1922 - 2003, 1324708 Royal Air Force) and contains correspondence, documents, and photographs. He flew one operation as an air gunner with 44 Squadron and became a prisoner of war, during which time he befriended Iga, a polish airwoman in an adjacent camp with whom he corresponded. This collection includes a folder with a diary and photos of his training in Africa.

The collection was loaned to the IBCC Digital Archive for digitisation by Clive Saunders and catalogued by Lynn Corrigan, with additional contributions by Ella Keogh and Lucy Liu (TOU9156, AA 22-23). 




IBCC Digital Archive


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Saunders, JWG

Collection Items

Seated man in a top hat
A sketch of a man sat on a wooden chair with turned spindles. He is sat at a table with a tablecloth on which is a cup and saver. The man is wearing a long jacket and trousers with turn ups. Annotated '15/20'.

Lancaster in flight
With the identification VN-N on its fuselage, a Lancaster with crew members seen in the cockpit. The wings display the type B roundel and the tail has red and blue fin flash markings. It is labeled 'The Lancaster Bomber in Flight'.

Notes with a sketch of a car
A sketch of a car with a short list of words and with German translations. On the reverse are two addresses including that of Iga, a fellow prisoner of war.

A letter to John's mother
From Iga, after her liberation from the prisoner of war camp, telling of her friendship with John and asking for news of him.

Prisoner of war post
Addressed to prisoner of war, John, from fellow prisoner, Iga in Stalag VI C.

From Iga in Stalag IVF
A postcard from Iga to John at her old prisoner of war camp

Message to John in prisoner of war camp
A postcard from fellow prisoner of war Iga from her new camp.

From Iga saying goodbye to John
A letter from Iga in which she is sorry at missing her meeting with John due to a medical inspection before her move to another camp. She expresses her hope to meet John in the future and hopes for greater understanding between Poland and Great…

Note from Iga arranging a meeting
Iga has not been well, having caught a cold. She arranges a meeting with John at the wire between their camps.

Note addressed to John at Barrack 14A
Iga telling John the officers and under-officers are moving camp the next day. Wanting to see John before the move and arranging a meeting at the wire between their camps.

Letter from Iga to John
A letter to John passed between the men and women's prisoner of war camps. Iga thanks John for the letter he sent and goes on to talk about her life, enjoying dance and sports and attending pilots school. She mentions seeing John in the camps and…

Letter from Iga addressed to comrade in arms
Iga describes life under occupation and her lack of family and friends. She explains that there is danger in exchanging correspondence in the prisoner of war camp and warning John to be careful of the sentry.

Letter addressed to comrade in arms
Iga explaining to John that she is moving camps for the third time and describing her feelings towards her captors the state of her health and her desire to visit England.

Application for cash
A form issued by the authorities in a prisoner of war camp.

Birthday wishes
A good luck card from Joe and Tony.

Letter from Iga from Stalag IVE
With apologies to John for not saying goodbye when she left the camp but she had to be taken to the car on a stretcher. Iga is sad that she cannot continue their correspondence but hopes that the war will soon be over. She is now working as a sister…

My Dear John!
Addressed to his barrack, a letter from Iga to John saying that she is leaving the camp and suggesting he finds someone who knows Polish to translate her letter.

Letter from Iga about her living conditions
Thanking John for the drawing he sent and describing her poor living conditions with 160 girls sleeping on the floor. Iga says she is moving camp and that it is forbidden to write between Stalags and giving John an address to write to later.

Dear friend
A letter from Iga

Message from Iga with thanks
Thanking John for the parcel he sent and apologising for her poor English.

Letter from Iga asking why John was sad
To John thanking him for his letter and saying a letter will be ready the next day at 10 o'clock and asking why John was sad.

Letter from Iga about her move
To John thanking him for his letter and telling him she is moving to a new camp the next day.

A letter from Iga and John's reply
Iga writes that her health is improving, she is working in the hospital and wishes John a happy Christmas. John replies that he is glad she is feeling better and wishes her a happy new year.

Letter from Iga with apologies
Iga is sorry that she was unable to meet John due to sickness.

Letter from airwoman Iga
Describes her difficulties in learning english and desire to improve. She writes from a prisoner of war camp saying she is an airwoman and asks if John is a pilot and requests that John send some English books.
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