2 The Prisoner of War April, 1945 INDOOR MEETING. Men at Stalag IVB meet together in one of the camp huts. last month when it was also announced that if an ex prisoner on leaving hospital is discharged from the Army 011 medical grounds he is given not 42 but 56 days’ leave. New Arrangements Repatriates receive this amount of leave only if they are not subject to the new arrangements for members.of the Forces. That is, if their in-patient treatment in a Service or E.M.S. hospital is not complete, they will not be discharged from the Services until at least eight calendar months, including 56 days' notice leave have elapsed from the date of their first absence from duty through illness. The new rule does not apply to patients such as those suffering from tuberculosis, once they have been transferred to civil sanatoria. Nor will it shorten any longer period of retention in the Service now allowed under normal regulations. Tribute to Medical Officer A prisoner in Stalag 383 who has been suffering from a badly septic hand has written home praising enthusiastically the British medical officer who has been attending to him in the hospital. Of his time in hospital he says: “Of course, I've had a lot of pain and it made me ill, but, oh, the treat to be in this quiet room (only four men with me) after years in the .crowded Stalags and to be out ol the bitter cold. We get a little, more food inhere, too, and I ’m afraid that means a great deal to all of us now.” Like many other prisoners, he spends a lot of his time studying, and goes 011:" I have had to give up my Spanish studies as I find that two subjects will be as much as I can cope with before next summer, as the standard is, of course, much higher than matriculation. My period of study for European history is ”1500-1914. which is a big undertaking. My Polish teacher is now one of my closest friends. He is very fond of music and we togo a lot of gramophone recitals together. I hope I can show him a little hospitality alter the war, in England, before he returns to his own country.” Contents of Food Parcels It has been announced that from the beginning of April food parcels for prisoners of war will each contain 8 oz. of butter. Up to the present time 54 percent, contained butter and the rest margarine. In future 110 more margarine will be sent. May I call the attention of next of kin to the important announcement from the G P.O. about parcels which appears on page 16. Camp Hospital Conditions I am grateful to a repatriated prisoner for information about conditions in the tuberculosis camp hospital at Reserve Lazaret 742, Elsterhorst. He wrote to the parents of a staff-sergeant who is official interpreter at the hospital and ‘camp:‘ I was a prisoner at Lazaret 742 for six months, where I was able to seethe splendid work your son is doing. He runs the administration of the whole place, and runs it very well indeed.” The food and living conditions, he added, were much better than in the ordinary prison camps. A Rifleman’s Violin A rifleman in Stalag IVC had avery agreeable surprise last November, when he received his violin. It had been sent off to him two years before by his wife. Writing to Red Cross .telling the story, she says: ‘‘It had been to Italy and followed him to Germany. I felt you would be interested to know this, as I brought the violin up to St. James’s myself and your organisation packed it and sent it off for me. It says much for the way it was packed, for it arrived quite intact and my husband was able to play it at once.” Lucky Reunion B y a chance in a thousand, a captain captured in Normandy found to his amazement, on arrival at Oilag 79 that his elder brother was in the camp. His brother, who has been a prisoner for about three years, was captured in Egypt, had been a prisoner in Italy and in several camps in Germany as well. Sheer coincidence brought them to the same camp. In brotherly fashion, the captain writes: ‘‘Try as hard as I can, I can detect neither mental nor physical indifference him, there isn’t any. Neither fatter than he was nor thinner neither older nor younger, in looks orin manner. Take it or leave it. Oily is Oily, and if anything a bit more so ...so far I have been unable to do anything at all except talk and talk and talk to Oily.” Repatriate’s Tribute I much appreciated the letter sent me by a private recently repatriated from Switzerland. ‘Without your mar vellous organisation,” he wrote, "it would have been just a horrid existence.” He added that since he had been home he had derived a lot ol pleasure from reading The Prisoner of War. "They must have proved a big help during that worrying time.” He enclosed, a donation with his letter, writing: “May I help others who are still behind the confines of the prison camps even as others helped me whilst I was in the same position? A letter received from an officer in Oflag VIIB shows that those who are still prisoners are hearing news of repatriated prisoners. He writes: 1 ‘ I knew a number of officers from here who have been repatriated, and we sometimes hear from previous repatriates. They seem to have ample rations, petrol, clothing coupons, etc., given them 011 arrival.” Food for Body and Mind Over 28,000,000 Red Cross parcels of food and invalid comforts and over 1,000,000 next-of-kin parcels have been sent to British prisoners of war and internees in European prison camps since the beginning of the war. But it must not be forgotten that while the greater number of food parcels are packed in England, all the Dominions, and the British communities in the Argentine and Brazil contribute to the work either by packing, by financial aid, or by provision of bulk” food, for which a parcel equivalent is included in the figure above. In addition many thousands of pounds- have been spent by the Red Cross on sending to the prisoners about 500,000 books of every kind needed for education or recreation, 011 music and musical instruments, indoor games and outdoor sports equipment. Not only the body, but also the mind of the prisoner of war has been kept fit and healthy. ----HAVE YOU MOVED?- ---If so, do not forget to notify the Army, Navy or R.A.F. authorities as well as the Red Cross of your change of address.