Information for Veterans and their families
Richard John Lilico Feltham
Dr Richard (Dick) John Lillico Feltham was a Captain in the New Zealand Army Medical Corps and subsequently a Major. He died in 1977.
Richard was a PoW at Torun and other places in Italy and in Germany (Oflag 9A).
His daughter, Jenny, visited the camps and has this to say about them and in relation to my father's experiences:
"Torun is a medieval town which is completely surrounded by Forts - about 15 major ones such as dad's two he was in, and numerous smaller ones. He talks about them and describes them quite well. I was fascinated to see the pics taken at XXa on your site and I can tell you that your father was probably latterly in Einheitdrei (which Dad talks about) - although the mention is of starting from Marienburg. But the photos of the guards weren't taken inside the forts. He was probably there - in one of the several - to begin with."
"I have been lucky enough to get to Torun twice - first time on my own. I had the good fortune to run into a major in the army unit there. Fort 13 is behind military lines - otherwise I would never have seen it. They are putting a museum there now - or transforming the old fort into one and are keen to get any details and photos, memorabilia, etc that they can. They are simply wonderful people and it has been a joy to do this research. Somewhere I have an aerial photo that Andrzej sent me of one of the forts - will try to find it all for you."
Jenny says that her father "only ever told us the jokes, the pranks and funny things and I am only now beginning to understand what courage so many of those men displayed in their attitude to that life." How true a statement this is.
Jenny has kindly sent me her father's journal which I am privileged to publish. As background for the reader, Richard wrote this journal to his parents, whilst incapacitated with jaundice contracted whilst working in a hospital at the end of the war, after he returned to England. He had a bad relapse at the point where he was about to write about Thorn (Torun). There are also line drawings embedded into his journal, some of which I have included below.
Richard's wife, Bobby and his son, Christopher (born after he left for the war and whom he did not see for 6 years!) are mentioned in the journal.
Richard's journal has been published in a book by Pat Sewell called "Healers in World War II - Oral Histories of Medical Corps Personnel".
Links to the book are as follows: