The Prisoner of War No 31 Vol 3 November 1944

V o l^3 N o .31 Free to Next of Kin Nov ember ,1944 E d c f c&t, T d tUX S T prisoners o f w a rand their quick re­turn home. The problem is, o f course, one for the military a thou ritie sand not for the Red Cross, altho ugh tn e Red Cross will have a han din it, and 1 understand that plans are being worked o u tin great detail with the object o f bringing them home with the least possible delay .But o b v i­o u sly 160,000 prisoners sca tte re din innumerable camp sand lab our detachments cannot be assembled and brought home in a few days. Back from Switzerland The i,o o o -odd officers and men who arrived back from Switzerland so un­expectedly ,recently ,were in excep­tion ally high spirits and good health. During their two day sin a pleasant dispersal camp just outside London they were entertained b y continuous film sand E.N.S .A. shbw Afters. that, they all wen ton six wee ks’ leave. Service at Belfast Nearly 1,200 next o f kin of prisoners o f war recently attended th especial service of intercession a t St. Ann e's Cathedral, B e lfa st, arranged b they Ulster Gift Fund .The Govern o rand the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland were present, and the service was conducted b they Dean ,th ReVery eve rend W . S .Kerr, .DB .,the Rev. .J.R F.M aysto M,n .B.E .,Deputy Assistant Chap lain -General for Northern Ireland ,being the preacher. The collection on behalf o f the Red Cross was 'taken b y six officers from the three Services, the Naval officer being an ex- prisoner o f war. Realistic plans for the building up of our national and home life were urged b y M r.M ayston I hasT always been evident that as the Allied ring tig h te ned round Germany the situation o four prisoners there would ,for various reasons, become more difficult. Prison camps near the frontiers would tend to be moved into the interior— a n d this must mean leaving w ell-o rgan ised permanent camp sand prob ably moving into im pro vised a n d.over ­crowded q u arte rs. Moreover, under the increasing weight of our bombing attacks the transport position inside Germany was bound to become more and more disorgan ised .Both these processes have already started ,though not as y eton a large scale. The latest figures as to stock sin camps b rin gus up to. September 15th and indicate that until then ,at any rate ,Ge nev a were still man aging toge tour parcels through .Clearly ,the seriousness of the situation will depend on whether the Germans figh tall the way back to Berlin or whether organ ised resistance ceases fairly quickly .Four Ships at Lisbon There is good reason for hoping that the Lisbon- Marseilles-Gen eva route will very soon be re-opened, though on a limited scale, owing to the reduced cap a ­city o f the Marseilles- Geneva ra ilw a y.In antici­pation of this four o four ships, fully loaded ,are awaiting t Lisbon .In addi­tion, there is an accumula­tion in our warehouses in Lisbon and elsewhere that it will take sometime to work ofl, so that it maybe some, time, loo, before d esp atch es ffo m this c o u n try can be resumed. Christmas Parcels The suspension of shipping made it impossible to desp atch the Christmas parcels, which were ready a t the end o f July ,so that I am afraid that the chance o f their a rriv in gin time is not great. ElTorts are now' being made to give them priority, but I wonder if it is realised th atone wee k’s food parcels for 160,000 prisoners weighs about 800 tons. The prisoners will, o f course, bed isap p o in ted ,bu twill appreciate the reasons, o f which they have been informed. In contrast with this I am glad to be able to record that w e have managed ,in spite of recent difficulties, to get through to Gene v a a not incon­siderable quantity o f urgent supplies, mostly medical. Planning Their Return With victory approaching hopes are cen tred 011 the speedy liberation of A rugger team at Stalag XX B.
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