The Prisoner of War No 23 Vol 2 March 1944

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. 23 Free to Next of Kin March, 1944 lateR ives of men known to have been waiting for rep atria­ tio nat the Hosp ital Camp P.G .201 before the Italian capitula­tion will be glad to hear news— perhaps for some the first news— of what has subsequently happened to them. A brief but reassuring a c count, has rcach med e from the g amp’s Senior Medical Officer, under whose c a ie they were all transferred safely to their present quarters tatS a lag 344 .In parties the sick were g r a dually moved away ,accompanied b y o rd er­ lies with enough supplies o fRed Cross parcels to last them for several “weeks. I was the last to leave ,”declares the officer, ‘'and all the patients then in the hosp ital came along Where. e had avery comfortable jo urn e yin a hosp ital train one seems any the worse .”All the remaining Red Cross parcels were overhanded to the a thou ritie sat the new camp .Parcel “Bequests” There ,doubtless, these men from Italy will have received additional help, thanks to the outgoing (i.e .,the home-coming )prisoners from Sta lag 344, many o f whom had "be­queathed ”such parcels as might arrive for them after they had left. Each man due for repatriation was asked to instate writing how he wished to dispose of these parcels, the Camp Leader explain sin a letter. “Lists with names o f both donor and receiver were then com ­piled and are know e p tin the postal parcel aped rtm e t,''hen says. A Happy Sequel .Talking of parcels reminds m e of the great record now breached your North PRow a c king enC tre in Lon don ,which h a snow dispatched more than three million Red Cross food parcels since the war began— its weekly average being about 21,000. A11 indirect and unexpected result o f this lab our of love has been the recent betrothal o f two ot the C e n tre ’s workers to rep atria ted orison ers of war. Could any man find a happier way of showing his apprecia­tion !The “Three Ones ”From new arrivals a t O flag I /AX Z come encouraging reports of their food and general situation .For exam p le,“W e should maintain the ‘three ones w'all int e r-on mane p,one a rce l,one week .Every thing the Red Cross tackles bears the stamp o f down right common sense, vision and e ffic ie n c y.”In the opinion of an tho er, ‘‘W e've really got every thing w cane possibly wan ft, h e Red Cross have been excel­ lent, they ’v e sent us cards, match es, toothpaste—in fa c t,all the little things that make such a difference if hew a ven’t got them .”Little Things ?That last phrase, curio u sly enough, is echoed forcibly in a most interesting letter from a prisoner w h olive din Lon don before the war. H e say s:‘‘ P e rh a p sour apparent contentment and cheerfulness, which is genuine, can be put down to the new set of values w e have acquired ,when little things mean so much .Doing manual work has certainly toughened me p h y sic ally ,,while the u n eq u alled opportunities for reading have not only provided an effective antidote for boredom—but much more important— havr* stimulated m y ideas and ideals and shown afresh vista o f life full o f interest for the future .”The Five Black Devils I t is certainly most heartening to read so many letters in similar vein from prisoners who are man aging to keep alive old interests and develop new Hones. e are’s man from Sta lag X X A —also a town -dweller before the war—e jon yin g himself on a farm in charge o f five black horses. ‘‘In the villa g ewe are known as the five black devils— there no’s harm in any of thfem ,”he exp la ins, “they Members of Stalag X V IIIA in the grounds of the castle in which they are billeted.
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