The Prisoner of War No 22 Vol 2 February 1944

2 The Prisoner of War February, 194^ '‘Very good meals and plenty to eat,” testifies another, working 011 a farm served by Stalag IV A and although the hours are long“ I have a proper bed herewith sheets.” Life in the open, too, seems to suit at least one transferee at Stalag XII 1 C, who has been ploughing, quarrying, and felling timber. “Life isn’t without variety,” lie concludes, “and we have our light moments.” Many letters incur pages are written in the same spirit. At the Wash-tub "Sheer determination and coldw atCr” are the only two ingredients mentioned by anew inmate of Stalag IV Bin pre­paring to tackle his laundry. Though he confesses himself much better off than he was at P.O .53, he doesn't think this will be his peacetime hobby. Incidentally., soap— of the quality sent in the Red Cross parcels—appears to abe privilege enjoyed nowadays in Germany only by P.o.W A.s. man re­patriated from Marienburg Hospital X X B tells me that the guards there were most envious of the good jobs the men were able to make of their laundry, for the German soap won’t lather and is rationed to one cake per ahead month. Exchange of Compliments From a man in Stalag 344 comes an encouraging word of thanks “for mak- iug our friends, sweethearts and wives as near as possible to us with your Journal. Life here as a P.o.W .,”he adds, “is made more pleasant than it was by keep­ing oneself occupied by hobbies and studies." I can think of no better way to return this kind tribute than to quote some of the comments of the examiners who have marked prisoners’ papers. ‘'Well above the usual standard ”was the judg­ment on the candidates who sat for the Local Government Intermediate Exam ­Civilian internees at Ilag de Wurzach. The camp Senior is on the right. ination last year. In the Office Practice section they all passed—“ a clear indica­tion of the excellence of the work done.” In Statistics *'the general level seems tome to be much higher than that of other, candidates’ papers” while the quality of their Economics papers "speaks wonders for the prisoners and their powers of industry and application.” From East to West The civilian internment camp Ilag VIII has been removed from the eastern frontiers of Germany proper to Giro- magny, in France. “The whole camp and baggage were transferred in two trains,” writes one who played a passive part in the great removal. “Besides hand luggage, thousands of packages, a couple of horses, carts, a lorry and about 150 tons of Red Cross supplies, hospital and other services were conveyed. The journey took three days and nights.” lie adds that the new camp lies in pictur­esque and hilly country. Films for the Future Through the Swedish Red aCross hundred British and American films will soon be reaching Allied P.o.W .camps in Germany. Though the War Organisa­ tion has a hand in this section ol prisoners’ entertainment, credit for most of the good work must undoubtedly togo the World's Alliance of the Y.M .C.A .,who have already sent out 33 films to Geneva for distribution to the camps— among them, I notice, “Shadow of a D oub t” and the “Story of Pasteur.” Fans will be glad to know that “Top Hat,” “Shadow of the Thin Man,” “Dear Octopus,’ and three of the “Andy Hardy ”series are included on a list of 39 other films which the Y.M .C.A .are forwarding shortly. He Taught Them Much of the academic success of candi­dates from Oflag 64Z has been achieved through the unsparing efforts of Mr. Reginald Jones, the camp Education Officer, who contributed the article 011 page 12. He is chiefly responsible for having brought back hope and meaning into the lives of the 3,000 disappointed men who were turned back at Rouen two and a half years ago after the failure of the first repatriation plan. A born teacher, he slaved sixteen hours a day. Twelve out of fourteen severely wounded men whom he coached personally passed their Matriculation. All but one of them are now back in this country. Salvage Money Not the least part of the work of the Food Packing Centres throughout the country lies in organising the disposal of salvaged materials— empty containers, sacks, paper, cardboard, wire, string and such-like. Much of the stuff is returned to manufacturers to be used again in the transport of food supplies, and the sal­vage as a whole provides avery useful Outside one of the buildings at Stalag XVIIIA. contribution to Red Cross funds. From September 1st, 1942, to August 31st, 1943, for instance, the total sum raised by this means from packing centres in England and Wales was over £10,736— equivalent to the cost of 5,368 standard food, parcels for P.o.W .s. “Combined Operations ”Last month I mentioned the way prisoners liked to foregather lor a “home chat,” to speculate 011 how their people at home are getting 011. Here at least is somewhat of those folk are doing— the twenty or thirty busy members of the P.o.W .Relatives Club at Burgess Hill. They run a personal parcels packing centre, a weekly, working party to pro­vide occupational material for disabled prisoners, and at all meetings a regular“ Bring-and-Buy ”stall that has brought in nearly £100 since .it started a year ago. For Inverness Next of Kin I am asked to state that any next of kin of. Inverness-shire and Cameron Highlander prisoners of war, wherever their homes maybe, can obtain assist­ance in completing their parcels by applying to Mrs. Macpherson, Hon. Sec.. Cameron and Inverness County Com­forts Association, Caledonian Hotel, In­ verness. Your Questions May I remind readers that questions not directly connected with material published in this Journal, and which do not require an answer through our “Any Questions? ”column, should nut be addressed to “The Editor.” B y sending all such questions to Tub Prisoners o k War Department ,St. James's Palace ,they will do much to avoid unnecessary delays in replying.
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