is looking for information about his grandfather's experiences during
says: "My mum has discovered a diary written by her dad during his
march from a prisoner of war camp in early 1945. We are trying to make
sense of it, but aren't really sure which camp he was in. On the back
of a photograph it refers to Stalag XXA, which I understand was in Poland.
Most of the places mentioned in the diary are in Southern Germany, the
Austrian border or Czechoslovakia. We remember being told once that he
was in a camp at Lansdorf, or Lamsdorf. The whole thing is made difficult
by the fact that he didn't talk about his experiences at all after the
war and he died in the 1980s."
has provided details of his grandfather's diary entries here.
night awakened by heavy artillery in the distance
Sunday playing cards
Could not get interested
Guns nearer bet on liberation
Monday guns shaking the camp light guns coming in close
Hear what is believed to be a tank battle
Russian aircraft spotter at work everybody even the Germans think we can’t
get out it is now 2pm
we have been issued with half a Red Cross parcel a man 4½ lbs of
The orders are when the bugler sound Tipperary fall in at the double.
We have got a white ensign and it looks as though it will get used
6’o’clock it is extremely cold 30º below freezing point
Jewish column in front of us
We passed about twenty in one night
Dead, shot and battered to death
Every day is the same now we pass dead Jews every day
No food now
is a Jewish column in front of us. A pitiful sight
We passed twenty two in one night
Dead! Shot and battered some just living but they will be frozen in no
time. They are all in regulation uniform
Blue and white pyjamas they would not keep
furnace man warm
I am fairly well clothed but I got a pinch of frost bite in my toes.
Just at present we have perhaps a thousand men in our column
B.A.B 20 But only a small percent will get through for we have no food
& the planes
strafing continuous (?)
Several run away and hide hoping to be picked up by Russians.
Personally I want to get a bit further & run into the Americans or
our own troops for that is the way I surmise it will finish if we manage
to keep alive.
is severe bombing not so far of (sic). But that is a common occurrence
We are heading for the Cheho Slovakian Protectorate
The guards are excited for they know we shall at least get some food.
And we certainly did
Everyone lined the streets and threw food of all description
Cigs & luxuries the Germans had never seen i.e. milk chocolate eggs
tomatoes and cooked foods
are staying the night in barns as usual
But what a champ (?) the farmers who naturally detest Jerry are very kind
Fresh straw and several CWT of spuds
luck is in for we are resting up for a day or two in the next best place
to home. The boys are so hungry they are stealing potatoes and asking
the farmer for more food. It is understandable but I didn’t expect
to see us come so low lucky our farmer understands and helps more than
he really should he has to account for everything to Jerry periodically
but he isn’t worried for.
says Jerry is on his last legs, He is a tonic for everyone is nearly normal
and share food and cigs. We have to move out tonight
Our M.D. (?) known to all as Taffy try to object because we have got to
know that Lansdorf column was strafed at night & about one hundred
killed probably some of our old mates who went back to Lansdorf.our H.Q.
Of no avail but promise of no more nights after this.
uneventful days nothing to write about
We are now marching on the Auto Bahn to get to Ramsenthal (?) a picture
card village. We are here it seems until our boys come through for the
Jerry are check mate nowhere to move
Yank tank driver is brought I he seems quite certain we shall be free
in no time at all. We have to go out work captured
We walk to Bayreuth every day working on station
Dog fights over Ramsenthal
Fortnight with no mishap and then we all get caught
Five of us run into the waves of bombers the bombs around like express
trains coming down. We can’t do anything to help yet but it only
lasts half hour
for fighter strafing and we go to see what can be done.
The place is a shambles & we are digging women kids guards and our
own boys out for ten hours.
Our M.D. leading even though the bridge he was under got a
hit from a stick.
Well we have two hundred to three hundred either dead or missing in that
half hour or so & the planes are coming in again
The stomachs are turning somersaults
but over they go evidently they know they made a prefect job
But the Jerries are stubborn and we march again
But I don’t care
I have the feeling it won’t be for long
right I was
After a day or two we arrive at B…..(?) and after a rest get going
again after a few hours a dozen nasty looking fighters swoop over low.
Taffy is there again
wave your shirts or anything
We did and after a salutation they move further up the road
Shoot couple of Jerry carts up and fly off still waving
Eventually we arrive
Winklarn(?) for a day or so & one morning 23 April we hear the tanks
Jerry shouts and raves for us to march but we stay put for in a few minutes
village was decked with white flags sheets and allsorts but not a soul
to be seen
The guards either give us there arms or throw them down. So several of
up the road & there coming down the by pass was two Yanks one revolver
but it was enough for we got cases of cigs chocs anything we
when the troops came in. Well our little gang commandeered a farmhouse
spotless (?) & stocked with everything until we got transport to Nurembourg
fifty a lorry almost like
but no one seemed to mind Nurembourg three days then Brussels by plane
rough going so stayed until next day to fly home but I missed out along
with a few hundred & came
boat Ostend Tilbury
4744451 Rodgers W
4744903 L/C Wilkinson J
4741684 CPL Woolley J
4742642 PTE Airey J
4743865 Angel W
4748822 Ball F
4742838 Bowers E
5 Long Grove
154 Wellington Rd
31 Hillesdon House
E Bury Bridge Rd
17 Blenheim Terrace
28 Hollen Royd Ter
21/7 Bright St
of Marlene Dietrich
26 April 45
stopped at during the march of 1945
29 Flew to Brussels
you recognise anyone from this account, please could you email us via the
Contact page to let me know of
your experience or, indeed, if you remember Thomas or alternatively, please
contact Paul directly.