Introducing my late father's account of his captivity during WW2

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Sojourn in Silesia, May 7, 2012.

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  1. Hello Arrse Book Club!

    Sojourn in Silesia

    My daughter and I retyped the book last year after Dad died, aged nearly 95. She published it, as the original publishers had lost the hard copy!

    I also do a blog of Dad's letters home from his prison camp in Upper Silesia.
    Letters from Stalag VIIIB

    We (my daughter and I) are obviously very proud of Dad and are really happy that he left an account of his interment. Many war heroes were understandably unable to talk about/ relive their experiences during the war. We are grateful he was able to, even though he was in his 80's before he felt able to put pen to paper (actually he used a word processor as I recall).

    So, thanks for looking. On the off chance that you do buy/download/read the book, please leave a review on would be very grateful

    (I do hope I have broken any forum rules).

    Kathy of Lamsdorf
    • Like Like x 1
  2. sirbhp

    sirbhp LE Book Reviewer

    nice one , did you discover if any coded messages were in the letters and cards home at all ??
  3. Hi, yes. Managed to work out (asked his sister) who Les Knowles was (Les Knowles' firm have been busy recently).
    Les Knowles was a neighbour who'd joined the RAF. Dad was obviously referring to RAF activity he'd become aware of.

    He also talks about Uncle Antonio and other Uncles, I believe referring to the various countries who were either doing well, or doing badly.
    Uncle Joe (for Stalin I think).

    In the last letter I have added to the blog, he refers to Uncle this still Antonio? Is it Spain or another country?

    Thanks for your interest.
  4. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    I've copied this thread into the Mil History Forum to give it a wider circulation.
  5. Thanks for that.

    I think for the last 2 years of the war at least, he could hear radio's either in German where he was working, or lads back in the POW camp had made rudimentary radios. So, his knowledge was from that, rather than there being local RAF activity.
  6. The Amazon Kindle version of Sojourn in Silesia by Arthur Evans CBE will be free for the very last time between Friday 11th and Sunday 13th May on Amazon. It won't be given away free again, so don't miss out!

    Sojourn in Silesia has 5* reviews on Amazon and is also available in paperback. It was first published in 1995 and the 4th edition was published in July 2011 with some added extras at the front of the book.

    Arthur Evans CBE served in the Irish Guards during WWII, but was captured the first day he arrived in France and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner, working in coal mines in Silesia.

    “I read this book after it was recommended to me. Most enjoyable with tears in my eyes, probably on more than one occasion. It is amazing what the human body can take when subjected to the harshness of war?”

    “My father was in the N.African desert during WW2 and never said much about it. Everyone should read books like this to know what really happened. I never knew men were so reliant on Red Cross parcels. An evocative book which I read in a day.”

    “A very readable story of one man's account of being a prisoner of war. The pressures, anxieties and comradeship. It certainly gives food for thought about how anybody could not only survive the ordeal, but learn from it. Not the "Great Escape", but somehow all the more poignant.”

    The book will be free on all Amazon websites, UK, US, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Here are the links below:


    US: Sojourn in Silesia: 1940 - 1945: Arthur Charles Evans CBE, Kathy Gower, Jo Harrison, Mark Gower, Pat McNeil: Kindle Store



    IT: Sojourn in Silesia: 1940 - 1945 eBook: Arthur Charles Evans CBE, Kathy Gower, Jo Harrison, Mark Gower, Pat McNeil: Kindle Store

    ES: Sojourn in Silesia: 1940 - 1945 eBook: Arthur Charles Evans CBE, Kathy Gower, Jo Harrison, Mark Gower, Pat McNeil: Tienda Kindle

    If you do download Sojourn in Silesia during this 3 day free promotion, please take the time to review the book on Amazon.
  7. Just downloaded this after happening to stumble across it browsing Amazon. I'm sitting about half a mile from the Lever Bros factory your Dad worked in too, which was what made me download it!
  8. Oh wow, that's made my day ;-) I hope you enjoy the references to your area and you'll see more in my blog (link in original post).
    We were over in the Wirral visiting Dad's sister who lives behind the Lever Bros labs (I think) in Leverhulme Court.
    Enjoy the book, I am still grinning from ear to ear.
  9. Downloaded with sincere thanks, I shall enjoy reading this over the coming week..
  10. Downloaded - shall read it on the coach to Goodison Park on Sunday
  11. Downloaded to Kindle for iPad, shall enjoy reading it in Kabul Military Airport. It's rather like a POW camp (or how I'd imagine one to be) but with even less freedom!

    I read a review or synopsis of it about a week ago & it sounds like a damned good book. If I like it, I'll buy the Hardback/Paperback.
  12. Tx everyone for your comments and interest, it's fantastic to be hearing your interest.
    Krazy Ivan, it has never been published as a hardback, but is available in's not a big book, and doesn't take long to read.

    My son was in Afghan for 3 months about 18 months ago, he's in the RAF (luckily ground crew). I cannot imagine what you are all going through being out there in a war zone, at risk every day. I can imagine how your relatives are feeling. I know when he got home I felt like I could breath again.

    What I then discovered is, Dad's story is so difficult, as he was incarcerated when there was no internet, no mobile phones, and waited nearly 5 months to finally hear from his family in Cheshire. I was lucky, I could talk to my son, carefully via Facebook and email. My dad spoke to no family members for 5 years.
  13. Downloaded, I have read it before. I was loaned a copy by the uncle of my witch in law, he too had been a prisoner of war and worked in a quarry for the Germans, before they realised he had worked for ICI so he was shipped off to work at IG Faben.
  14. My parents live off New Chester Road just outside Port Sunlight. My Granddad worked in Lever's research department after the war (and got the gold watch mentioned in the book!). Recognised a few of the places he mentioned - the Bromborough pub's still there for a start. I'll give the blog a read over the next few days.
  15. Downloaded. I look forward to reading it.