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Old 22-11-21, 10:09 AM
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Reading Terry's account of his father and uncle being POWs was fascinating - so I thought we could have PoW reminiscences.

Actually, my parents had a German friend who was captured at Monte Cassino, moved to a PoW camp in N Africa. He eventually worked in the Consul office in Liverpool.

The father of a friend was shot down in 2nd WW (RAF observer), spent x years in a camp - as he left he grabbed a feldxxx (ie a sidecap) from an 'ex' guard as a souvenir!

My Gfather was wounded and captured in the Kaiserschlacht in March 1918. He was trundled around in hospitals and camps. I had a very emotional trip to the camp a couple of hours SE from Berlin three years ago. It was a sort of castle (we have a few of his letters from there - some censored) - I had a fascinating chat with the curator / archivist (her English but my German was / is poor).
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Old 22-11-21, 10:31 AM
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I worked with one person who's father-in-law met his wife while working on a farm here, after the war on his job application it asked for previous employer details so he put Adolph Hitler as he hadn't worked for anyone else, another we called Lofty and about 5feet tall stayed in the army after WW2 and was captured in Korea with his brother, they woke up one morning all very cold and when they opened the door found snow he said up past his knees, all they had was shorts and summer uniform to wear.
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Old 22-11-21, 11:15 AM
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My paternal Grandfather's brother-in-law was taken prisoner by the Japanese during WWII. Although he was completely averse to speaking about his time in captivity, his wife (my Great Aunt) would, on occasions, relate to us some of his experiences. The war left him with the most enduring hatred of all things Japanese, even to the point where he refused to eat rice for the remainder of his life.

It is often said that those returning from war display little interest in talking about their experiences. It isn't too difficult to understand why, and not just those who spent time as PoWs.

Last edited by Jelly Terror; 22-11-21 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Typo Correction
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Old 22-11-21, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelly Terror View Post
It is often said that those returning from war display little interest in talking about their experiences. It isn't too difficult to understand why, and not just those who spent time as PoWs.
This is very true: my dear late dad was invalided out of the Royal Navy in the early 30s and found himself in the Merchant Navy during the war, continuing as a sailor until the late 50s when he married mum. He never spoke of the war to me, and precious little to mum - of course I was fascinated by the subject, even getting permission to stay up past my curfew to watch "Colditz". Mum said it was history so I could stay up late, and dad would stomp off down the Legion muttering about "the b***** war". I sometimes wonder if I should have been more forward and asked him about it (I know his ship was mined in the Med), but who knows what horrors I might have dredged up so maybe it was as well that I kept quiet.

Graham
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Old 22-11-21, 06:05 PM
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For many years I was friends with John McClure, a fighter pilot in the 56th FG stationed in the UK during WW2. On his first sortie he was shot down, and bailed out, He was near he channel so swam to a life buoy in hopes of getting back ot the UK. Not to be, he was picked up by a German boat and spent the rest of the war as a POW. He was a fine gentleman.

Terry
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Old 22-11-21, 07:35 PM
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My first girlfriends Grandfather Fred, was taken prisoner in Italy. He had an overnight stay in Colditz in transit apparently. He absolutely hated the Germans, he always alluded to atrocities he saw in Italy. He ended the war as a POW in Austria. He told me they woke up one morning and the guards had disappeared during the night.

I can recommend John Nichols book about the POW experience at the end of the war. Very moving.
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Old 22-11-21, 08:02 PM
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My grandfather was an internee of the Japanese in Hong Kong.

He was in the HK Police and was wounded by Japanese artillery when on ARP duties (I was lucky enough to stand on the same spot where he was wounded on my last trip to HK).

He was lucky he ended up in Stanley Camp rather than a POW camp such as Sham Shui Po.

Mick
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Old 23-11-21, 09:36 PM
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Another one I remember - the book "Who cares who wins" by J Q Hughes (SAS and later a Prof of Architecture) - PoW etc and escape. I'm met him a couple of times - I was more interested in architecture than 2nd WW (too modern!).
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