The Prisoner of War No 16 Vol 2 August 1943

2 The Prisoner of War August ,1943 of everything it gives us fewer hours of artificial light and also we can have breakfast in bed every morning before the first check parade." lie goes 011 to describe how the prisoners take it in turn to getup and bring the breakfast to the others lying in bed— “quite like an hotel." From the Argentine Two brothers from the Argentine joined the R.A .F .Both crashed and were taken prisoner, oiie in December, 19.JI, and the other in April, 1942. They met in Stalag Luft III and have shared a room ever since. I11 a letter thanking me for the Journal, their father tells me of the difficulties of communication be­tween himself in the Argentine and his two boys. All his letters have togo via England, and 110 personal parcels can be sent from the Argentine. For­tunately, the brothers have relations in England, who look after the parcel prob­ lem.On the other hand, the prisoners are able to communicate direct with their parents by air, via Lisbon. Washing Day Sympathy There are quite a number of men— prisoners in Germany and Italy— who now understand something of that woman’s bugbear "Washing Day." A P.O Stalag X X B has written home to his wife explaining what an ex­perienced "washerwoman "he has become, but says he never realised before what a "heart-breaking and back-breaking job ”the wash could Hebe. is also fast learning the art of mending. “Real LifeSavers ”News from fresh arrivals cheers prisoners in Italian prison camps. They feel that the end is coming nearer and their letters home bear this out. Writing to his parents, a lance-corporal in Campo P.G.65 says that P.O.W are".s o n tip-toes awaiting the knock-out blow.” He speaks in glowing terms of the Red Cross, which is, in his opinion, "entitled to all conceivable praise, real life-savers in the very essence of the word." P.O.W Patron.’s Saint Our notice' in the June Journal of the services arranged by the Rev.- R.H. S. Gobbett, rector of St. Leonard’s Church, Wallingford, brought him a number of letters from next of kin asking that their prisoners should be remembered by name in the intercession at the altar. So great was the response that the rector has sent a printed letter in reply, adding the following dates for prayers for the P.O.W .:August n :Wednesday, 9.30 a.m .August 31: Tues­day, 7.15 a.m .September 11: Saturday, 8 a.m. In a Factory Canteen A P.O.W .who is a member of a work­ing party attached to Stalag X V IIIA gives an interesting comment 011 messing arrangements. These prisoners work in a paper factory and share the canteen with German civilians. It is a few minutes’ walk from the factory and is a modern building. German civilians sit one side of the room and the prisoners the other. Both “dish up "from the same place. The P.O.W .says that the food is cleaner and better than provided in his previous working party. M arlag und Milag A hut captain in Marlag und Milag has sent.home a revealing account of his daily routine. “Up at half-past six, then muster and count at seven (also at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.), after that a spot of breakfast, clean out the room and shine things up a bit. Potter about the garden." Next, lie undertakes his own special duties, distributing the mail, cir­culating parcel lists, sending boots for repairs— any number of odd jobs, all important to the life of the camp. Lunch—soup—is at afternoon, which P.O.W "bung.s a medicine ball around," or take a nap, according to their tastes. This hut captain is mak­ing a practice cricket pitch which is" a darned sight harder than making a crazy pavement in a backyard." Italians Were Pro-B ritish A P.O.W .who has been repatriated from Italy, where he was in Campo P.G.85, has given some account of con­ditions in the camp. He says "the Italians were very pro-British and treated us .well.” He gives the time that letters take to reach P.O.W .s from Eng­land— rather a wide margin— three weeks to two months and personal parcels "even longer." Red Cross parcels keep prisoners supplied with food, cigarettes and clothing. His letter ends 011 avery encouraging note: "All the boys know they won’t be P.O.W .s much longer.” Some of the gardeners at Stalag XXIA. Responsible Citizens A P.O Campo P.C..70 writes home about the lectures he is giving to fellow P.O.W .sand the interesting debates and discussions they arouse. History is this lecturer’s main interest and the influence English history has on our political life. He says that P.O.W are.s "beginning to see meaning in the history of their own neighbourhood as well as having an idea of how and why we are governed.” One of his students was so thrilled that he expressed a fear that the war would end before the course was finished! Real Walks A lieutenant in Campo P.G.49 says •that there is an improvement therein the. way of exercise. "Walk shave started," he writes, "and promise to be excellent— real walks instead of the gentle ambles we have had in the past. This morning, for instance, we started out at S.30 and got back about 11.30,. using a good swinging stride." This P.O.W .says that "there is a barber’s shop "and "quite a good but expensive laundry service," for which local nuns are responsible. Mrs. Churchill’s Fund Mrs. Churchill’s Red Cross "Aid to Russia” Flag Day will take place in the London area on Tuesday, August 2.|th, and in the counties 011 any day found suitable. The help of next of kin as sellers will be greatly appreciated, and those able to spare a few hours should get in touch with their local Red Cross St.and John office, or, if residents in the County of London, should apply to 43, Belgrave Square, S.W .i (Tel.: Sloane 9151). One Letter a Week I have been asked by several wives and mothers of prisoners whether there is a regulation restricting prisoners from receiving more than one letter a week from their relatives. The answer is that there is no such regulation, but the authorities are very anxious in the interests of all prisoners that relatives should ration themselves in regard to letters. It is obvious that as every letter has to be read by censors in the prison camps, the more letters that, arrive the greater delay there will be in their reaching the'prisoners. And if every wife and mother were to write one or more letters every week the congestion would be very serious. The ideal arrangement, therefore, would be for the wife and mother of a prisoner to agree between them­selves to write indifferent weeks. This is just plain commonsense.
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