Dunkirk. A Veterans Story

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
To Contrast with the release of the new film Dunkirk , I am going to place this article here
the real heroes were the Men who stayed behind, to allow their comrades to get back home, to re train and return and crush the Axis forces
For many of them, Their place in History lies in a Commonwealth war grave, or the names of the missing, for those that survived,they had 5 long years of suffering, slavery and terrible conditions before being liberated


Whilst attending a D Day event last year, amongst all of the noise and bustle costumes and machinery, I noticed Bertram stride in with his daughter, I managed to collar him and engage him in conversation, I asked him about the re enactment of a beach landing ( lots of fat blokes and bangs and smoke)

No he said not like the real thing thankfully, more like panto , I hope they never have to experience it for real !, I quizzed him a while and he revealed a few facts to me, his generation are very stoic and you have to draw things out without appearing to pry or praising them





Bertram a sprightly 96 years old, stood ramrod straight, as only a real soldier can, he told me that he joined the Territorial regiment in the spring of 1938, come 1939 he was mobilized as soon as war was declared so that would have made him 19 years old !



Just think of the modern generation at 19, or yourself at that age and consider how you would have coped with such life changing events, I am firmly of the belief that the generation that fought for us then were made of stronger material than many of today's youths

That generation were fitter, in many ways better educated, well read, and had a fuller understanding of world events



Bertram fought with the Royal East Kents ( the Buffs) a regiment with a proud tradition dating back to 1572





After Sailing from Southampton with the B.E.F. He Landed at Le Havre, was moved down to Normandy then onto a village called Fleury-sur- Andelle then was moved Through Rouen North East towards the Germans to slow them down and assist with getting the men away from the beaches



Bertram was captured twice, and after a taking part in the Long march to Poland was Liberated by the Americans



Bertrams Daughter Barbara very kindly provided me with a copy of part of her fathers diary all carefully and correctly typed up, in that neat style of his generation, they had a copy of a computer file but it has failed to transfer, I volunteered to type his origional records up, and have done so without any alterations, modern phrasing or words, as I am of the opinion that a historical document must be kept as such

I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I did, and I have added a few photos and links to further illustrate his journey

Bertram Jones, aged 96
B Company 5th Battalion The Buffs

Royal East Kent Regiment


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Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Useful links to his Diary



Quevauvillers — Wikipédia

I was unable to locate the Convent, it may well have closed or been destroyed during the War

Doullens from the air


Cemetery Details



CWGC

The COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION No 1 contains 1,335 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. There are also seven French and 13 German war graves from this period. Second World War burials number 35, more than half of them men of the Queen's Royal West Kents who died 20/21 May 1940
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
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The Railway Station Where Bertram saw the tanks and escaped from, is now a private house, the track having been removed is now a cycle path





view of the main road, with old station to the left

Google Maps





the railway sidings where the Germans were searching ( page 17)



Google Maps
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
page 19

Bapaume



Bapaume was already well know from the Great war where most of the town was destroyed
an old Soldier pointing out the bleeding obvious ! ( hes related to me so I cant help it )
upload_2017-7-16_14-56-38.png
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#7

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
And Now Bertram's Story








page 15



A Prisoner of War in Poland
April 19th. 1940
From Canterbury, we went by train to Southampton from where we sailed for France, crossing the Channel that night.
April 20th. 1940.
Arrived in France in the morning, disembarking at Le Havre with the 12th Division (made up of Territorial battalions) . From Le Havre, we were taken to Fleury in Normandie, which we reached on the evening of the same day.
We were at Fleury for about two weeks, and we spent the time training with 36 Brigade . From Fleury, we were taken to a camp at Alizay, near Rouen. We stayed at a village called Fleury sur Andelle.


May 10th. 1940
After the 'Phoney War' of the winter of 1939/40 things suddenly started to happen. In the early morning hundreds of German planes bombed Brussels, Antwerp, Nancy, Lyon, Abbeville and many other Belgian and French cities. Fierce fighting began on the frontiers of Belgian, France, Luxembourg and Holland.
While the 5th. Battalion remained near Rouen, the main B.E.F. force occupied positions on the French side of the Belgian frontier, but after an appeal from the Belgian government in the early hours of the 10th, the bulk of the British Army crossed into Belgium.




May 17th 1940



The B.E.F. Forces in Belgium had withdrawn overnight to the West of Brussels as the Germans pushed forward.

The 5th. Battalion was sent to Quevauvillers 1 ( about halfway between poix-de-picardie and Amiens)

where we stayed for the night. We were billeted in a Convent School. The cellar was packed with cases of evaporated milk, and so we had a high old time stabbing them open with our bayonets and drinking the milk.Sid Bartlett remembers also finding tins of chicken and bottles of wine.



May 18th 1940.



From Quevauvillers, we were sent forwards ( towards Belgium) to a place called Doullens, in the hope that as the German forces approached we would delay their advance.

We spent the night and the following morning building up the town's defences, placing barriers across the roads into the town.



May 19th 1940



By nightfall we had received orders to move again. 2 Leaving the 6th Royal West Kent's to hold the Doullens area, we moved up the Doullens-Arras road to take positions between Pommera and La Herlie`re



May 20th 1940



The road was chocked with refugees blocking the way, but we managed to get into place by morning. 3 We were very poorly equipped; besides our old .303 Lee-

_____________________________________________________________



1 After being held up for three days, the Germans had crossed the Meuse, broken through the French lines, and were racing Westwards towards the Channel coast. Order for the 5th Battalion to return to Le-Havre to take up guard duties were rescinded , and the unit was ordered forward.



2 On the 19th May, the Germans had crossed the old Somme Battlefield and the XIX Army Corps had arrived at a line Cambrai-Peronne-Ham. XIX Army Corps were commanded by General Heinz Guderian ( the creator of the German armoured forces) consisting of three panzer Divisions, 1st, 2nd,and the 10th, and the Infantry Regiment Gross-Deutschland. They were now only 30 miles away from Doullens.



3 I was in B Company along with Captain M.I. Hart which was at La Herlie`re while the rest of the battalion was spread along the road. C Company under Captain A.D. Mac I. Hilton was on the right, in the area of Pommera, Captain W.R. Findlay, whilst A Company was South of the railway between Mondicourt and La Bellevue. In reserve was major F.W.B. Parry, with D Company, situated at La Bellevue, where also was Battalion H.Q. ( Historical Records of the Buffs)
 
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Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
page 16

A copy Of my Diary

upload_2017-7-16_15-8-27.png






Fig 1 The Boys anti-tank rifle was an ordinary bolt-action magazine rifle, calibre.55 firing a 930 grain armour-piercing bullet. It could penetrate 24-mm armour at 100 Yds



Enfield rifles, we had a couple of Bren guns and a .55 inch Boys anti-tank rifle. We also had a 2-inch trench-mortar, although I was told we had smoke bombs for this, but no H.E. ( high explosives).



We were on watch that morning in the attic floor rooms of a village railway station.1

From our vantage point we could see right across the fields to the south. The first sign of trouble was light glinting on metal. We could see lots of movement, and what looked like large numbers of vehicles moving along a road to the South. We reported to the Officer, but he told us that it must be another refugee column , after all, the main German advance was supposed to be well away to the North of us.

The truth soon became clear, as the German tanks left the road and began to move across the field towards us, spreading out as they came. Our forward section was right in their path. Hopelessly outnumbered and out-gunned, they ran back towards our position. 2

One German tank drove down the street towards the railway station. A Corporal ( called Radcliff , I believe) opened fire on the advancing tank-he lost an eye but was otherwise OK, I think.

Sid Bartlett and I were still inside the station and I ran outside to drag a large box of .303 ammunition into the station. However when the Germans started firing in our direction I thought it more prudent to get back in to the station, and the box was too heavy to drag along anyway.







1 The railway station was on the main road just NW of La Herlie`re and SE of Saulty.



2 Approx, mid-day, The 5th Battalion was spread out over a 6 ½ mile front, with only three Bren guns, three `Boys` Anti
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
tank rifles,and one two-inch mortar per company. ( Historical Records of the Buffs)





Page 17

A Prisoner of War in Poland





As the Germans poured towards us with scores of tanks and other armoured vehicles our position was pretty desperate, 1 and one of our Officers shouted “every man for himself” Sid and I tried to get out of the main entrance but the machine gun fire was too bad and we ran back inside. Sid remembers a line of tracer passing him at waist level, “ it would have cut me in two if I`d gone a step further”



Several of the Lads managed to get on board our 3 ton truck parked outside the station, however before they could move off a German tank came down the road and opened up on them with machine gun fire.



Sid and I then emerged from the back of the station, crossed the railway lines and crawled into a field of long grass on the other side of the tracks. Whilst we lay there, a German tank drove up the railway line and passed right beside us. The tank commander was standing up in the turret in full view. I could easily have shot him, but was thinking about the machine gun on the tank I thought better of it and stayed where I was.



Down the line, we could see German soldiers searching goods wagons in the siding, and I am sure they were looking for more of our boys. Five of us Sid Bartlett , myself, the company storeman ( called Hayes), a Lance Corporal “Bates” , and a man named “Miller” set off to find our other companies which were down the road towards Doullens. 2 Sid Bartlett and I got separated from the others and when night came we found a ditch and lay there until daylight. Through the night the village was burning, and German armour was rumbling through continually.3





_____________________________________________________________

1 The attacking force was the 2nd panzer Division commanded by General Veiel.2ns Panzer consisted of some 3,000 vehicles and about 14,000 men ! That morning they were stopped just 13 miles away to the South in Albert, where they had wiped out the 7th battalion Royal West Kents and captured an English Artillery battery of 25-pounder guns, Drawn up on the the barrack square and equipped only with training ammunition. 2nd Panzer Division were almost out of fuel and were intending to wait in Albert, however General Guderian, Commander of XIX Corps, arrived and ordered them to advance to Abbeville. Unfortunately Doullens was in the way ! ( The Germans continued on to reach Abbeville by 19.00 Hrs. One unit of 2nd Panzers had rolled over our position and reached the channel coast by 20.00 Hrs)



2 It was not until 26th July 1940 that the Army contacted my parents to confirm that I had been reported Missing.



3 The 5th Battalion Buffs were almost wiped out at Doullens. Of the 605 who had left England, only 80 returned unharmed. According to the Panzer Divisions war diaries, `they had Fought Tenaciously. In spite of the use of numerous tanks it was only possible to break down their resistance after about two and a half hours` 5th Buffs were later reformed, and landed with the First Army in North Africa.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Page 18



A Copy Of my Diary





21st May 1940



Whilst Sid and I were laying in the ditch some French Soldiers came along, so Sid and I thought they would have a better idea than us of which way to go, and we tagged on with them ( although they weren't very friendly towards us) They eventually went to a large farm and laid down in the straw among the cows, we both did the same. The people in the farm brought us food.





May 22nd 1940

The next day one of the villagers came and told us that the Germans were coming towards our farm and they were about 2-3 miles away. They were searching the farmhouses as they went. The French soldiers promptly cleared off, without saying anything to us two. Whilst Sid and I were debating what to do, the woman from our farm came to our barn and told us to follow her into a loft which had a huge heap of grain piled up on the floor. She then gave us `civvy ` clothes each, and told us to bury our uniforms in the pile of grain.

We then proceeded to leave the farm-but as we approached the main entrance we heard some one shout and on looking around, saw a German officer and another soldier. The officer was carrying a revolver and the chap with him had his belt, and his jack boots stuffed with hand grenades. Their grenades had wooden handles on, thus they could stick the handles in their boot-tops or behind their leather belts.

Sid and I stopped, and they came over to us. Luckily neither of them could speak French and after searching us both, they let us go on our way. Before we left them, I offered the Officer one of the Biscuits which the lady in the farm gave us. He laughingly refused,probably thinking we were a couple of French `Yokels`. We both carried on, not knowing which direction to take.

After about 2 miles we had been stopped and searched four times, by various squads of German troops. It wasn't until we were questioned by a German who could speak a fair amount of French, that they got suspicious of us, and almost kept us for further questioning, They did allow us to continue however. 1

_____________________________________________________________

1 Many surprising things like this happened in` the fog of war`, for example; I rain into a number of enemy vehicles which, thick with dust, had joined the German columns and hoped in this fashion to
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
page 19



A Prisoner of War in Poland







Having nowhere to sleep and with night approaching we found an empty chicken-run behind a house, so we crawled into that





May 22nd 1940

In the morning we awoke, half-frozen and cramped. Whilst we were there , a family of refugees came along, the women sitting on top of the farm cart, which contained their entire worldly goods, and their menfolk walked alongside. The roads at this time were crowded with these people trying to get away from the fighting, there were horses and carts and furniture, and endless streams of civilians everywhere.

Sid and I didn't know which direction to take, so we simply fell in behind the farm cart and and followed the civilians. We walked about 18 miles that day. There were streams of Germans passing us, but we were never stopped once. We eventually ended up that evening in the town called Bapaume- which was in ruins. We were with thousands of other refugees. We slept in a barn that night, with about 30 of them ( Bapaume is between Amiens and Cambrai, at the junction of the road to Arras ).





May 23rd. 1940

The day following we set off again. However before we had gone further than a mile or two outside of Bapaume we saw that all the refugees were being asked for identification cards. We were stumped but decided to carry on, hoping for the best.

When we reached the two soldiers who were inspecting the `passes` they asked for ours. I started speaking to them in my `best` French . Luckily for Sid and I the two Germans couldn't speak any French at all. After talking between themselves, they told us to go down a nearly quiet road and not the busy road road which all the refugees were using, although the road which we were directed to ran parallel with the other one .

Later on, we found a lane which connected with the` refugees` road and joined their never ending columns once again.

After travelling a further good many miles, a





reach Paris and avoid being taken prisoner, “I thus captured fifteen Englishmen” ( probably from the artillery unit captured in Albert) General Heinz Guderian writing in his book “ Panzer Leader”
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
page 20



A Copy Of my Diary





storm began so we sheltered inside a barn at the rear of a farmhouse. There was nobody else in there, and covering ourselves up with straw and some sacks, we both fell asleep.

I awoke when I felt something striking me. Looking towards the barb entrance I saw that a Jerry soldier had thrown a saucepan at me. There were half-a-dozen soldiers, who had also come into the barn for shelter from the weather. They also dragged a mobile field Kitchen in with them , so they must have all been cooks. The one who had thrown the saucepan, started bawling and shouting at us and came scrambling up over the straw to search us. As we had nothing to incriminate us, they told us to `shove off`



Thankfully, we departed. Still breathing sighs of relief, we were stopped again-by a German officer, and unfortunately he could speak good French. He wanted to know where we were going and I gave the name of a town which I thought was only a short distance away, He said in French “How far is this town” so I said in my `best` French “about one or two Kilometres “. He appeared surprised and I found out later that actually the town was about 30 Kilometres away. So, instead of letting us proceed, he took us to a nearby church. This building turned out to be full of civilian refugees. However, the next day everybody was allowed to carry on their various ways.



We came to another large town and here, as previously , everybody was being asked for their identification papers. We managed to slip up a side road again and avoided the sentries, thi sled us into the town centre. Once again we joined the main body of refugees. As we approached the French/Belgium border, we anticipated being asked for identification again as we crossed the borders. So we decided to look for another much less used road, instead of the main used route we were on.

Accordingly we found a quieter road, and in due course we came to a brewery which had been evacuated as the German army had advanced towards them. All the taps on the huge vats of beer had been turned on full some one and we were paddling through 3 or 4 inches of beer. We drank as much as we could and then filled an old suitcase we were carrying with bottles. We also stuffed our pockets with bottles.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
Page 21

A Prisoner of War in Poland



Belgium.

Captured, Escaped, and Captured again !





Later that day, we came to a tiny village, which was marked as being the “French and Belgian Border”. We walked quite a long way without seeing a sign of a German soldier. After crossing the border into Belgium ,we tried to make our own way to a town called Gand . There were canals here, and we wondered if we could get back to England by water from here.



( Before we were captured for the first time, ( as detailed below) – we had wandered around quite a bit. From Doullens, where we encountered action , to Cambrai, Amiens, Baupaume, Maubeuge, Mons, Tournai, and Oudenarde. After capture, we marched with all the other POWs from Oudenarde, to Ath, and then to Wavre, where we escaped and got to Namur. We were recaptured between Namur and Charleroi. ) 1





June 7th 1940



A few days later, whilst we were walking through some woods, in the area of Oudenarde, we were stopped by two German officers on horseback. One of them rode up to us and asked us, In French, if we knew who owned the woods. Well, the fact is, he could speak French much better than I could, and as for Sid he didn't understand a word of it, Consequently, being suspicious of us, they told us to follow them back to a large farm, which was occupied by German troops. We followed them to a room where some officers were having a meal.































_____________________________________________________________

1 Two of our Officers, Colonel Allen and major Parry of the 5th Battalion buffs were also “on the run” Hiding by day, and marching by night, they managed to avoid capture for five days. However, on the 26th May near Merville, they were seen by a unit of German AA gunners and captured.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Page 22

A Copy Of my Diary



One of them asked us ( in French) where we came from, our ages, our trades, where we were going to, our names, where our passports where, and a lot more questions. I told him that we came from France-Bapaume . He at once brought out a huge map of France and Belgium and asked me to point out the town to them. He wanted to know how we got from France to Belgium without passports. I didn't know what to say and told him that we simply walked across the Frontier without being questioned. He said this would have been impossible. I told him our correct ages-19 and 20- and that we were farm workers, not heading anywhere in particular, simply looking for work. As to our names, I made up a couple of French ones.



After searching us, ( during which they failed to find my army pay-book), they gave us a very good meal. However, instead of letting us both go free, they took us to another room, where we were further questioned by another officer, who could speak French and English very fluently.

We both knew the “game was up” and that further bluffing was useless, and so admitted we were English.



We were taken to a large field, full of French prisoners, also one Scotsman who had been picked up. We were then marched continuously for about a week-together with thousands of other prisoners-French-Belgians-, and Moroccans.1 At this time we were still wearing “civvy” clothes, with the Belgian Army great-coats on top of them , so we decided ( Sid, Myself, and the Scotsman) that we three would make a break for freedom. The next day, we got into a position in the middle of this seemingly endless column of men.



After passing through a fair sized town,2 we were passing beside a section of the road that had a ditch, covered with small trees and bushes running parallel with it. This was our chance. The three of us slipped down into the gully without the guards with us being any the wiser. We lay there until the final prisoners had disappeared and then dumping our greatcoats, made our way swiftly to a quite lane, which ran into a small wood about three-quarters of a mile away









_____________________________________________________________

1 Owing to their extremely rapid advance in May and June, 1940, the Germans took a vast number of prisoners , nearly two million French, 400,000 Belgians, and about 45,000 British. Hardly in their wildest dreams could they have expected such swift and startling success .

The German guards on these convoys of prisoners were very different types from their front-line troops. They were of all shapes, sizes and ages, badly turned out, slack and undisciplined.

Escape to Freedom, Prittie and Edwards

2 Near Wavre.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
Page 23



A Prisoner of War in Poland





We managed this without any hitches, and at the first village we came to we found a small empty house with a garage attached. The house was locked, but the garage was not. We lived in this garage for the next two or three days, scrounging bread from the nearby houses. Before leaving, we broke into the house, via a rear window and removed one or two things, including some cigarettes.



A couple of days later we came to a large farm. After knocking on the door and receiving no reply, we opened the door and entered. Inside, we discovered the bedrooms were full of clothes, so we swapped the clothes we were wearing for some of the better clothes which were hanging up around the house. I managed to equip myself with a fine herring-bone pattern overcoat, a silk shirt, and a smart tie. The Jock with us found a fine pair of brown civilian shoes, and a trilby hat. Also another overcoat, similar to the one I was wearing



We lit a fire in one of the rooms, and in the garden at the rear of the house, we found onions, lettuce and potatoes. Running around the farm-yard were several chickens, so we caught one, killed it and boiled it. After out meal we washed, and wearing our smart clothes, we sallied forth to a large nearby village for a walk. We had some money which had been given to us by a woman somewhere along the way-not a lot-just a few francs -but we walked into a cafe and spent the money on some beer. There were German troops passing us all the time. Luckily none of them were suspicious of us.



Later on, we thought we would return to the farm again. On arriving however, we discovered a gentleman ( who happened to own the farm), a Gendarme ( policeman) and several villagers waiting for us. We informed the Gendarme that we were British – trusting that he would not give us away to the Germans. Well, after they had a discussion amongst themselves they said although we couldn't go back into the farm we could sleep in a barn for the night, ( belonging to one of the villagers). We remained there for about half an hour, chatting to the man who owned the farm, but during this conversation he failed to realise that each of us was wearing his clothes which had come from his own farm, or if he die, he never said anything.

Next morning we set off early, and after walking all day we arrived at Namur. This large town was full of German troops, so we walked past them all and ended up about
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
page 24



A Copy Of my Diary





three miles on the other side of Namur by evening.1 We were out into the country again now, and well away from the German troops.



Some of the villagers crowded around when we arrived at our first village, and when we told them we were British they pointed out a house to use which was empty, but had plenty of bedding, furniture and books, and nice beds in it. We made a fire in the kitchen and later we were able to climb into nice clean beds.



The next morning a lady came round with loads of food which she had collected from her neighbours. We asked her is she had a pair of scissors, so that we could cut our hair. She returned with a lovely girl of about 21 years of age, who was the village hairdresser, and she made us look quite smart. In our house , we found a typewriter, also a huge wireless set, which we had some fun with.



Unfortunately, what we did not know was that there was a 10pm curfew in the area. And at 11pm we had the lights on and were singing and shouting and making a great din. Also, we had discovered a violin in one of the cupboards and Sid Bartlett was dragging a bow across its strings, causing the poor instrument to emit tortured screaming sounds.



Suddenly a loud banging was heard on the window together with a lot of shouting from outside. This made us go very quite ( in fact if you could have listened very carefully you would have heard our knees knocking). We switched off the lights hoping that those outside would leave us alone and go away. However this was of no avail and the back door opened and in walked two Gendarmes.



Of course,now they were occupied by the German forces and were answerable to the Germans. We explained to these two Belgian policemen that we were British, but they were scared of the Germans and said that we must leave the village before daylight came the next morning ( at least they gave us a chance to get away). However we ignored their warning and when they both returned at 7 am the following morning we were still fast asleep. That settled our fates, and they took us with them into Namur where we were handed over to the Germans.2

_____________________________________________________________

1 On the road to Charleroi.



2 Over three weeks after our unit had been over-run by the German army
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
page 25





A Prisoner of War in Poland









June 17th 1940



We were taken to a huge building,1 being used by the Germans and we were taken upstairs where we where questioned one at a time. When I went into the interrogation room, I was accused of being a spy because I was wearing civilian clothes, and that if I told them one lie I would be taken outside and shot. I decided not to tell them any lies at this point !. After I produced my pay-book, which contained my Regiment and Army number they decided I had told them the truth and they brought Sid Bartlett back into the office with me.



One officer who could speak English then asked Sid if he knew an English song which we were all singing on those days. It was called “We`re Gonna to Hang Out Our Washing On The Siegfried Line`. This was a reference to the German Line of fortifications that they had constructed for their defence, and consisted of `dragons teeth` across the fields,made of concrete to halt any enemy tanks. This was called the Siegfried Line. The French had built a similar system and it was called the Maginot Line.





Sid said “Yes”, he did know the song, whereupon the German officer made him sing it. The English speaking officer translated the words into German for the benefit of the others there. There was much amusement amongst them and one said “Well, you are going to Germany where you will be able to hang your washing on the Siegfried Line”. After this, they became friendlier towards us and a German soldier went out and then returned with strawberries, cheese,butter and bread.





We were taken by a staff car ( at approx 75 miles an hour) to a prison camp at a place called Gembloux. From there, we were sent to Liege and then to a town called Huy ( pronounced “Wee”).

We were in a castle there where we worked for about a month.2



1 On a seperate occasion, after capture we were kept in total isolation for three days. We were kept in a small window-less room, without light or food and no-one visited us until we were let out on the third day. We were given one fish from a barrel of salted herring when we emerged.



2 The Citadel was built in 1922-4 partly in solid rock and forming a series of terraces over the Meuse. It was built over the Chestia, a castle built A.D.148 by the Roman Emperor, Antoninus Pius
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
page 26





A Copy Of my Diary







There were 8 other British lads at this fort, the rest were French and Belgian prisoners.



The people in Huy got to know us as we passed through the town daily and they used to give the German guards lots of food to pass on to us. We had loads of chocolates, tea, cigarettes,jam,sausage, and macaroni soup. We were living very well at this town of Huy in Belgium.1















































1 It is a pretty place, situated at the confluence of the rivers Meuse,Hoyoux and Mehaigne. It lies between hills covered with vineyards, orchards and woods. However, it turns out that we were very lucky to leave when we did. Conditions in the Citadel soon got much worse, and it was to became a sorting centre for the Nazi Death Camps. See Appendix IV.
 

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