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

FllIDAY - 2S AUGUST No main meal at all. Wounded man finally removed to hospital at 1430hrs. (10 days wait.) 2000hrs left in truck for same town. Shells this time, and after similar wait of 2 hrs again returned S.W and parked in wood full of Jerries at 1700 hrs. SATURDAY -26 AUGUST 2000 hrs. Shouting preparatory to moving off even more vociferous than usual. Left 2100 hrs 26 prisoners and 7 guards in truck. Doubled on tracks repeatedly heavy traffic mostly horse drawn. Parked in new woods 0630hrs. Kept in trucks until 0800hrs. SUNDAY 27 AUGUST Very cloudy moved by day 1000hrs to woods near Seine in two trucks one in tow. Were packed into truck to give guards asleep. Night spent in truck. MONDAY 28 AUGUST Left in two trucks at lSOOhrs. Traffic light on main road leading to Seine. Line of vehicles drawn up for ferry including 4 heavy tanks. Crossed Seine at Duclair at 1600hrs on raft floated on three metal boats with propellar worked by petrol engine. Pantomine getting truck on board driver allowed truck to run back rear wheels being underwater. Excitable Nazi temper much in evidence. Rear of tru~lt ho.i.s1:ed by crane. Made.us pull raft towards shore by ropes. lYith brakes now on truck swung in and out as well as the raft several times before Boche saw what was wrong. Walked 3 miles other side to ground of a school. Lay down in a close huddle to keep warm. Heard blitz in progress at ferry. TUESDAY -29 AUGUST OlOOhrs. Left in 3 Red Cross vehicles smaller than 3 tonner 26 prisoners and 7 guards in one rest of Boche in other two. Drove about 20 miles atoNE small town arriving at 0700hrs at a barn. No rations to hand so Boche raided baker and took French bread. Continued in Red Cross trucks at l800hrs. Reached St. Soens at midnight. Parked in square. Continuous stream of traffic mostly horse drawn but some heavy vehicles. Stayed in square until 0600hrs. WEDNESDAY 30 AUGUST Drove to Amiens arriving at llOOhrs. (17 hours in truck impossible to lie down and only some could sit down at a time.) Marched through half of Amiens to large farm and rested in cow barn. Good meal of stew and potatoes jelly and real English tea plus fresh milk all provided by farmer and his wife except the meat for the stew. At 1900hrs visit from Mayor's deputy and Chief of Fire Service to give us their official welcome and best wishes. 6 packets of tobacco rolled into cigarettes by Canadians. R.S.M. in charge said we would have to move at l400hrs the next day.
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