Monday, 13 April 2015

70th anniversary of Dad's PoW release

On 13 April 1945 my dad was released by US troops, having been a Prisoner of War in Germany for 4 years.  As a sailor in the Royal Navy he was captured when the island of Crete fell to the Germans in May 1941.  He was in various PoW camps in Germany, often having to do heavy manual labour in order to receive a mid-day meal.  Often bordering on starving, he and his fellow PoWs were kept going by Red Cross food parcels.  In December 1944, all in his camp were marched out heading West to avoid the encroaching Russian troops.  They spent 4 awful winter months with no shelter and little food, on the road, often bedding down in house doorways.  Dad had 2 good friends in the camp, and one died on that march; Dad himself was starving and as he put it, "at the end of my piece of string", when he spotted a turnip on top of a shed, and, being tall, was able to reach it down.  It gave him enough sustenance to keep going.

I am immensely proud of my dad (I have chosen his picture for my profile pic), and although he died in 1997, I still remember 13 April as he always did, as his personal freedom day.  I hope you don't mind me marking it on my blog.

Dad (on the left) with his friend Bob Andrews in the camp

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing tale of your dad's survival. I've been reading quite a few stories of POW camps lately with the 70 year anniversary having just gone by. Some of them were just brutal, but it shows us how much we all have to be thankful for. You must miss your dad very much.
    Wendy

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