Far East, Companion Journal to The Prisoner of War, Vol. I, No. II, November 1945

tom November 1945 kind abounds. Civvy clothes are allowed after 5 p.m. each evening, and leave passes given every week­end. The men getup at a reasonable hour (from abed with springs!) with no roll call or parade. Mem­bers of an A.T.S. company, specially selected to staff each unit are responsible for cooking and other domestic duties. The O theN voyage home and in recep­tion camps oil arrival in this coun­try repatriates from the Far East are learning that just before release or discharge they will be entitled to take advantage of an Army scheme designed especially to help those who have been prisoners in enemy hands. Civil Re­settlement Units as they are called have been established to bridge the ^ap between prison life and civilian life. Their object is to enable repatriates who are eligible for release or are to be dis­charged from the Army on medical grounds to settle down happily in Civvy Street once again. By the middle of October over 3,000 ex-prisoners from Europe had spent a month to six weeks atone or other of these centres and many thousands more have expressed a wish to be allowed to take advantage of their opportunity to opt for entry. The success of this scheme which is one of the most human enterprises ever undertaken by the Array can be mea­sured not only by the enormous per­centage of repatriates who have chosen to participate but by the almost unani­mous approvaVof the men who haye per­sonally benefited. They say that the units carryout all— and more— that they outset to do. And that from a soldier, is praise indeed. ^The C.R.U. at Hatfield House Hert­ fordshire was the first in operation of the twenty units being formed near the biggest centres of population in the country. More than half this number are ir\ full swing already receiving a constant stream of men. They come voluntarily take part only in those acti­vities that interest them and leave when they like. The atmosphere of these C.R. U.s is free and easy discipline is cut to a minimum and comfort of every (Above) Bricklaying is a useful job that many ex- P.o.W.s enjoy and (left) in the carpenters shop a repatriate from Germany tries his hand at making a modern candelabra. how keen these ex- PoW tart <catchup Visits to local places^ W0i of interest outside the unit are especially popu-lar and men w rho desire are given an oppor- - lirferiV tunity to develop their particular interests. The staffs of local factories agricultural asso­ciations and employment exchanges have all welcomed the parties of men from C.R.U.s who visit them and co-operated splendidly in giving every facility. They are well rewarded by the interest shown. In this way men from the Far East who have perhaps been away from this country since 1940 will be notable only to again conception of the war effort of this country but to see something of the colossal change-over to peace pro­duction which is now taking place. It often happens that on these visits a man who is doubtful about his future career gets just the idea he has wanted. II his qualifications seem suited to some particular job that interests him then on his return he can discuss the whole question with the Vocational Officer. Such officers are permanently attached to each centre especially to advise on prospects extra training that maybe necessary and indeed any problem connected with the business of earning a living. The Ministry of Labour official also attached to each unit, will give details of the actual for­malities necessary in order to take any particular pob. Standing by ready to help too at anytime is the Civil Liaison Officer. ('Continued on page 12.) programme of the day is elastic and does not conform to any set routine or formula. It includes lectures on topical subjects of interest in themselves but chosen with the special aim of bringing men up to date with the news. Thus, one dayan Army Education officer will give anthem account of the Petain and l^aval trials. Later in the week an ex­pert will initiate them into the mysteries {Pay As You Repatriates from Ger­man prison camps and members of the A.T.S. enjoy sociable mealtimes together in the Jacobean dining hall at Hatfield House.
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