The Prisoner of War No 21 Vol 2 January 1944

January, 1944 The Prisoner of War 3 Come Spend A ^Week-end Min t Sialaij MEET me:at the factory where I work and come-back to the camp with me for the week-end. I live in a large room 011 the first floor of the building. Down the centre Of the room are rows of three-tiered beds a t the sides are the tables and cupboards. The first person you must meet is Bill, m "matey .”Bill finishes work an hour earlier than I do and has already pre­pared our tea. .He and 1 pool everything we have, and live, as it were, our own private life< i deux in this community of 500 men. llis speciality is pancakes, and to-day he has certainly ived up to his reputation. A s a dutiful host I must apologise for the absence of lemon, but feel thankful that, at any rate, there is some sugar. I can see that I Bill is congratulating himself on having put a clean cloth (a towel) on the table.T e a pot from sATins for the rest of the meal, the lettuce is from the garden plot (Red Cross seeds), and the oatmeal biscuits are from a Scottish Red Cross parcel. W e have noticed your interest in the teapot. It is made from two big Canadian "Kl i m ”milk tins soldered together the handle and spout are parts of other tins cut to shape and soldered Won. e will spare you the discomfort of an after-tea conversation in competition with two accordions, a guitar and a mandolin. We’ reused to these budding musicians, but to you it probably sounds like nothing on earth. Instead, we'll wandpr round the enclo­sure and see how the football match is progressing. The pitch is not full size, so we play seven-a-side matches. There are seventeen teams in the camp league. Among the spectators are several camp, personalities. You may wish to be intro­duced to some of them —our Australian medical officer the “English Com­m and ant” (aScots sergean t-m ajor!) the cobbler, who also repairs watches the tailor, who makes in his spare time the dresses and costumes for the stage shows the bandleader. D on't despair if you are unable to under­stand half of what they say. So many German words are simpler and more ex­pressive than the English, and are soused often at places of work that they have been taken into our everyday vocabu­lary. But how are we to accommodate you for the night? The top bed of our tier is vacan t(I asleep t the bottom ,and Bill in the middle), but you might not take kindly to a straw palliasse and a drop of six feet if you roll out! We’ll wangle a night for you in the R evier (SickBay) 011 a sprung Sunbed. day is Free Sunday, of course, is a free day, which means that everybody can indulge by getting up later than usual. So if you value your life don’ t getup before 7.30 !However, m y return for a week of“ tea-on-the-table ”when I get in is the Sunday cooking, so you be’ll able to sample m y bacon and eggs. Cooking tinned bacon «is rather like being under fire: it pops and splutters so much. The I 5 v $kc iiib i< ]\T.‘e* Decorations by Fletcher eggs (powdered) depend on whether or not one has remembered to soak them the night before! Roll call at 10.30 will undoubtedly bean experience for you. But we don’ t advise you to join in. The essential part of this rite is that exactly the right number of men should be present. ‘Hot Water U p ”That shout of “Hot water up !”echo­ing round the building is to signify that the cooks have boiling water ready for those who want to make an eleven o ’clock cup of tea. From the mad scramble that ensues you will gather that this is a popular Sunday morning in­stitution. I11 the cook-house the three “rings” 011 the big range are booked up for hours ahead. The whole area is covered with a:i array of dixies, pots, and tins con­taining the prunes, porridge, custard, and so 011, of the various owners. W cane obtain a fine grand-stand view of the after-dinner rugger match, England v. Colonials, from the library window on the top floor. The other occu-.pants of the library this afternoon are the editor of the camp magazine and a pair of scriptwriters, busy scribbling one of the camp artists a t work on a poster for the next show, and the libra­rian at work on his card index system .The room adjoining is the Sgt. Major’s room, which might more accurately be described as the enquiries and complaints bureau. The most popular enquiry i$ as to when the lorry is next going into the {Continued on page 14.)*
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