WWII 1944 Report of Escaped P.O.W Reverend Alan Maitland FAIRWEATHER

SATtJRDAY - 19TH AUGUST Guards were arrogant. Cowshed contained two Canadian tank crews one man with a badly burnt face and two leg wounds captured on August 15th and Canadian engineers. S airmen and I Lothian Border Regt. joined us later. Main meal of soup at l300hrs beside this we were given one loaf of bread per three men butter or pig lard and (three times only) a bit of sausage per 24hrs. Ersatz coffee was supplied each morning and sometimes at night. Most stomachs went wrong. The French often gave us milk sometimes butter, tobacco and fruit. At first this could only be done when one of the three Poles or the one Russian in the Coy. were on guard. Later the Jerries relaxed their rigidity. Spent the whole day and part of the next night in cowshed. SUNDAY- 20TH AUGUST Warned at midnight to be ready for a quick move 0400hrs. Marched lSkm to another cowshed. Warned that guards would shoot if we broke formation. Arrived at 0730hrs. Medical orderly arrived at 1000hrs and said he could not find a Lazeret. Did his best with wounded man to make him comfortable. Later the M.o. visisted. Argued with him and at 2100hrs went with wounded in cart (others walking) to small French hospital where operation was performed. Boche refused to allow hospital to keep him. HOBDAY - 21ST AUGUST OSOOHrs. Joined others and walked SIan to horse stalls. Blitzed wagon and dead horses on the way. Wounded man in cart. Left at 2000hrs in truck 31 plus one wounded man and three guards. S Shrs to cover 10 miles doubling on tracks several times with stoppages. No lights at all collisions avoided by shouting. We got tired of the shouting every move was proceded by a prolonged chorus. Arrived 0130hrs at barn. After arguement wounded and self allowed out of truck. Others kept in it till 0700hrs. TUESDAY -22 AUGUST All day and night shut in barn. No food until 2000hrs except for milk from farmer. Medical orderly went to look for A.D.S. could not find it. WEDNESDAY -23 AUGUST l730Hrs left on foot for new cowshed 30km away_ Saw A.P. mines laid on grass verge on East side of small bridge. Lagged behind and guards were strung out. Boche got supicious and put one guard on either side. PaSSing dark patch of road overhung with trees S got away. Reached cowshed at 0030hrs. THURSDAY -24 AUGUST Detection of S men not discovered until 1100hrs R.S.M. took it well. Were told by friend that Seine was closed so did not worry. 2130hrs left in truck drove 20 miles toNE town Weston bank of Seine. Bombs moderatly close. Boche left 2 guards the rest took cover. Stayed 2hrs then returned S.W to another cowshed at 0700hrs. Cleared out the filth and got fresh straw.
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