Prisonei’oiWar 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.l Vol. 3 No. 27 Free to Next-of-Kin July, 1944 MANY prisoners have expressed their appreciation o f the essentially personal interest taken in them b they Red Cross, and have been surprised and gratified to find, after repatriation or escape, that their names are well known to the staff, and that they are welcomed almost as old friends. Although many Red Cross supplies are sent to the camps in bulk, the individual requests of the prisoners, or of their next-of-kin, are complied with as often as possible. Week after week parcels containing books for one prisoner, a favourite game for another, a musical instrument for a third, are despatched from the fndoor Recreations Section of the Prisoners of War Department. Personal Contact Another entirely personal service is that of the next-of-kin parcels and bound up with this, but embracing very much more besides, is the contact with next-of-kin carried on a t St. Ja mes’s Palace. I t is not perhaps generally realised that the Correspondence Section has an individual file for every British prisoner and interned civilian .Every week some seven thousand letters are dealt with, covering every conceivable topic that concerns their welfare. In addition, there is the Educational Books Section, where work is almost entirely individual, as the needs o f each prisoner who is studying depend upon his standard of education, his capacity hand is'reason fo r-studying. In the Invalid Comforts Section, nothing could be more personal than the care of the sick and wounded. Abundance of Food Parcels Relatives of prisoners of war in Oflag I X A/H Upper Camp will be glad of some news that has reached me from a recent inmate of that camp, who was repatriated at the end of May and is now living a t R edbridge, near Southampton. He says that everybody was in good health and high spirits and adds that with the start of the "S econ d Front ”their spirits will, if possible, be higher still. Food was plentiful and there were enough Red Cross parcels to last for months with more incoming regularly. L.C.J.’s Tribute Speaking at a Red Cross garden fete at Ham bledon (Surrey) the other day Prisoners of war at Stalag X X A in charge of parcels the Lord Chief Justice referred with admiration to the men who, though they were livin gin a hut with 20 or 30 others, could actually study and sit for ^examinations so that they could uptake a profession on their return home. H e had recently received a report 011 prisoners of war who took a legal examination to become barristers, and there were three who obtained first-class certificates of honour. “ I think ,”said Lord Caldecote, “that we learn from them the great lesson of courage, cheerfulness, and concentra tio n.”One of the competitions at the fete, which raised well over /400, was "g u e sings the weight of the Rec tor.” “It’s Like Paradise” I do not often mention any of the numerous services that Red Cross St.and John provide for those who are not prisoners of war, but I think many of m y readers who have menfolk serving in Normandy or Italy may like to be reminded o f some of these. Here, for instance, is an extract from a really rapturous letter sent b any R.A .F ..sergeant in tlie Central Mediterranean Force to his motherinG uildford ’mI": staying at 4a Red Cross Convalescent mansion. I did ’tn think such a place existed. It looks like P a rad k j. And the food! I thought I was dreaming. ...We do what we like— swim ming, sunbathing, trips arranged, it's a perfect h olid ay, thanks mostly due to the Red Cross.” First Aid Enterprise During t\ 2 last year men at Stalag 383 have been studying and practising first aid .Classes taken by pre-war members of the St.