The Prisoner of War No 13 Vol 2 May 1943

THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR DEPARTMENT OF THE RED CROSS ST.AND JOHN WAR ORGANISATION. ST. JAMES’S PALACE. LONDON. S.W.I Vol. 2. No. 13 Free to Next of Kin May, 1943 I N view of the allegations which have been made in Parliament and elsewhere about conditions in Italian camps, and especially in Campo P.G -5, I am glad to be able to print sonje reassuring first­hand statements about prison camp life in Italy .The first is from Com­mander .M.L Brown, R .N.,D .S.C .,repatriated direct from P.G .5. Prison Life in Italy “The Italian s,”he says, “are always min y experience, kindly and well-disposed, but they are terrified of escapes. Their good intentions are not, however, always carried o u tin practice. When attempts are made to escape, it is the prison authorities rather than the prisoners who are most severely punished. That is why they limit the exercise- space and remove many hobbies which would otherwise keep the prisoners amused. M y only complaint is that they do not provide anything byway of recreational facilities— particu­larly at P.G .5, where everybody who had been punished was sent. Other complaints about this cam pare mainly exaggera­tions.’ ’(See also page 13.) A Signal from the C.-in-C. Byway of postscript to Com­mander B rou n I may refer to a signal from the Commander-in- Chief Levant to the Admiralty saying that the recently repatri­ated naval prisoners of war from Italy “unanimously express their sincere gratitude ”for the food and comforts parcels sent out by the British Red Cross and distributed through the Inter­national Red Cross Committee. From the Model Camp Writing to his father in Hull from “the model camp of Italy” a denizen of Campo P.G .52 testifies: “Every ­thing is done for our comfort and con­venience. The Camp Commander is perfecta gentleman. W e get a Red Cross parcel between two of us twice a week.” A gunner in Cam po P.G .54 reports that his cam pis situated in quite a pleasant spot not far from Rome, green countryside all around and a range of mountains in the dis­tance. “Our enclosure,” he says, “does not allow much room for exer­cise but we are allowed out for walks a t frequent intervals.” Fine New Huts And here yetis further good news from an Italian camp— P.G .73 —con­tained in a letter to a R eigate reader from her husband. “We are now housed in our new h u ts,” lie writes, “which are really fine places and 100 percent, improvement on the tents, really modern and, above all, consider­ably warmer. There seems nothing to worry about 011 this side, so please keep smiling.” His wife says that her letters to Italy are gettfn g through much more quickly than replies from there.From P.G .82 comes a message that next-of-kin parcels and cigarette parcels are arriving daily, Red Cross parcels every week. Main items wanted are “books, cigs, chocs, socks and hankies.” Happy Returns !This is our Birthday Number. It is a year ago since we appeared for the first time and I am happy to say that we have made friends allover the world. M y birthday wish to our readers can only be “Speedy happy .returns o f your men folk !”"And I should like to quote from two letters that have reached me. One— from R edcar— says: “Keep 011 editing, editor. You ’redoing a grand job and we know it. So do the chaps behind the wire. So upkeep the good work till they ’re home again .”The tho er:“ I imagine every single copy of your magazine is more widely circulated and shared than any other paper. 'Photostat Journalism Special arrangements, unique in the history o f journalism ,have now been made for the publication of The Prisoner of War in Canada within a few days of its appearance in this country. One of the first copies printed in London is sent off by airmail to Ottawa, somewhere 15,000 copies are reproduced by photostat with certain modifica­tions and additions conveying suitable information for Cana­dian readers. I have -ju st seen Red Cross parcels arriving at Stalag 383, formerly known as Ofiag III C— drawn by an inmate! I
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