The Prisoner of War No 22 Vol 2 February 1944

Vol. 2 .No. 2 2 Free to Next o f Kin February ,1944 nient, has received a Knighthood in the New Year H onours List, and that Mrs. ffiske, Manager of the North Row Packing Centre, has been made a M .B.E .Next of kin will wish tome offer these two distinguished servants of the Red Cross our sincere congratulations. Talking of Food In a recent broadcast that many of you 'will have heard, Captain H .leW. Patourel, V .C .,talked of the way men in his P.o.W .hospital in Ger­ many organised the contents of their Red Cross parcels. Food was a con­stant topic of conversation, he said, because ‘‘food .becomes a more im­portant factor in one’s life than ever before.” Listening to him I was reminded of a letter I had just had from another one-time prisoner, now safely with the Allies after his escape from Cam po 53. In his camp (7,500 strong) they held a sort of Gallup, poll to find out “what is the most discussed subject of con­versation in a P.o.W .camp .”The results were: (1) Red Cross parcels, 62 percent (2) Home, 18 percent (3) After the war, 17 percent. while Arm y, Religion and Politics shared the remaining points. ‘‘The most popular parcel was the‘ P ad din gto ,’”hen adds, ‘‘with the ‘Berm ondsey ’ a close second. I hope that these packing departments will accept our than ks.” Good Bed and Board Evidence continues to come through that those transferred to German camps from Italy after the first shock of disappointment have taken their situation philosophically, and remain on the whole very favou rably im­pressed with their change. ‘‘The quar­ters are first class,” writes one from S talag IV C ,formerly of P.G .70. I HAVE seen some very satisfactory figures about the small number of parcels that are lost between Geneva and the camps. They were mentioned in a recent speech to next of kin by Sir Richard How ard-Vyse, Chairman of the Prisoners of War De­partment, who said that during the five months from January to May of last year the losses of food parcels amounted to only 3 in 10,000 of tobacco parcels 1 in 400 and of cloth­ing and other parcels 1 in i,odo. Their Fine Morale When I was talking to Sir Richard the other day about the fine morale of our prisoners in Germany as shown b y thousands of letters that had come through m y hands, he quoted tome a passage from an essay written b y a prisoner in a book called “We Prisoners of War.” It ran :“And so I say, with absolute certainty, that if one sets one’s mind to it, remembering the ultimate reward, one may leave this place mentally, morally, and spiritually abetter person than when one arrived .”The Chairm an’s com­ment was: “These words of his fill me with inspiration, hope and pride.” “Far East ”There is no*news of prisoners of war in the Far East in this issue of the journal. This month sees the first issue of a special edition of “The Prisoner of War ”under the title of “FarE a st,” which will be published every month provided that sufficient news is available to justify it. Copies of the first issue have already been posted to all registered next of kin of prisoners of war in Jap .nese hands, and also in certain cases to the next of kin of the missing. Relatives of the missing who receive “Far East ”must not however assume that they are prisoners of war. Copies are also being distributed to public libraries, representatives of the War Organisation in the Counties, Regimental Associations, etc., as is already done in the case of The Prisoner of War. For Services Rendered For their work in aid of all our men in captivity, it is good to see that Mr. J. M.Ed dy, C .B.E., Deputv-Chair- man of the Prisoners of War Depart- Major-General Sir Richard Howard-Vyse, K.C.M.G., D.S.O., Chairman of the Prisoners of War Department.
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