Mike Goldingham (18 Cavalry, Indian Army) was imprisoned in PG49 Fontanellato, having also been in Bari and Chieti. Goldingham established a reputation as the camp forger and it is easy to imagine his expertise in that ‘profession’ since this contemporaneous diary includes many wonderful sketches of people and places he encountered during the war. After the Armistice, he made his way South, staying for 6 weeks with a family at Villora near Bardi, but unfortunately he was recaptured in sight of the allied lines near Pescara. He ended the war in the camp at Brunswick in Germany. His story includes an obituary and anecdotes written later.
The full story follows, in two versions. The version in the first window below is the original scanned version of the story. In the second window below is the transcribed version in plain text.
[digital page 1]
Handwritten notes by Keith Killby [Not transcribed]
[digital page 2]
Michael John Dalrymple Goldingham MC
‘Mike” Goldingham died on 11th October 1996 at his home in Applecross, Western Australia. He died peacefully after a long and debilitating illness which he, and his devoted wife, Margaret, and his sons Patrick and Miles, had kept at bay for many years. Mike’s achievements were legion, not only in his business life, where his sound common sense and acumen brought about his rapid advancement from trainee to Company director, but also in the artistic field.
During his brilliant career with NEM, he saw service in South Africa and the West Indies, after which he returned to Head Office in London, first as Joint General Manager, then General Manager and, prior to his retirement, as Director responsible for Overseas Operations.
As an artist, his accomplishments were outstanding, and each year he produced his own personal Christmas card. Such were his skills that an exhibition of his work was held in Perth, where he also taught.
During the Second World War, Mike served with great distinction in the Army, attaining commissioned rank. He saw service in Cyprus and was decorated with the Military Cross for his bravery in the North African campaign. Unfortunately, he was taken prisoner in the desert and spent the rest of the war as a POW but, even in captivity, he put his artistic skills to good use by forging documents for escapees.
Mike was the son of that great man, Dick Dalrymple Goldingham, who was one of the founders of National Employers Mutual General Insurance Association Ltd, and I am sure that many of Mike’s ex-NEM colleagues will feel that, sadly, with his passing the last link with the “old firm” has now been broken. I am equally sure that his many friends and colleagues count themselves privileged to have known — dare I say, loved — such a gallant and special man.
[digital page 3]
To my parents and sisters for their enlightenment and to avoid my ‘shooting a line’ and thus failing to make up lost time in eating, drinking, and wallowing in hot baths.
Mike Goldingham’s Prisoner Of War Diary
|Bir Hacheim||1, 5|
|North Africa||9, 11|
|Opinions||13, 19, 49, 87|
|Chieti||21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47|
|Fontanellato||51, 53, 55|
|Armistice||59, 61, 63|
|In the hills||65, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75|
|A trip South||Map 77, 79, 81|
|Germany, Moosberg||89, 91|
|Brunswick||95, 97, 99, 101, 107|
|Finale||109, 111, 113|
[digital page 4]
[Book plate] This Book belongs to
M.J.D. Goldingham Lieut, 11 Coy, Room 49, Oflag 79
May 27th 1942
“For you the war is over” (German humour)
On 27th May the enemy commenced his initial push, that resulted in the fall of Tobruk and the advance through Sollum, Mersah-Matruh, to El Alamein, the furthest East he was ever to reach in North Africa.
Unfortunately, the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade received the brunt of the opening attack, and were overrun, 650 IORs and 20 officers being taken prisoner.
“We are now ‘in the bag'”
[digital page 5, original page 5]
May 31st 1942
[Sketch – caption] supply and demand: Half a glass of water is exchanged for a wrist watch (30 May 1942)
After four difficult days in the battle area, it soon became obvious that, with only three lorries, and no food or water, there was little prospect of our reaching captivity.
A bargain was struck, and the 650 IORs and the VCOs were allowed to march into Bir Hacheim, (still in Free French hands three miles away) and the 20 officers taken away in the transport.
[original page 9]
[Sketch – caption]: (Derna transit camp)
A. POW Quarters
Two days here were quite enough.-The conditions for 500 POWs were cramped — note one WC only – no beds but plenty of bugs.
[digital page 6, original page 11]
[Sketch – caption]: map showing route from Libya to Italy across Mediterranean Sea.
After Derna, Barci camp came as a welcome change. Here we could wash and even got deloused.
The Italian hospital was full of cases of dysentery and desert sores; the sanitary conditions were negligible. The Italians, sometimes 150 in a ward, always sleep with the windows tightly closed and wash their faces only once a week. They have a horror of the inoculation needle.
From Benghazi we were flown to Italy in Savoia transports.
[original page 13]
[Sketches – caption]
Observations and personal opinions No. 1. N. Africa.
- If we stay as long as possible in Barci, we will probably be rescued by our advancing troops.
- Tobruk will never fall
- The Italians have made, under Fascist methods, an excellent colony in N. Africa. Their farms must be able to supply bread to nearly all their forces in Africa. Their roads and architecture are good
- One never sees an unshaven German
- One never sees a shaved Italian
- When war is carried into the countries with towns and villages, women and children, rules of warfare and decency are forgotten.
[digital page 7, original page 15]
[Sketch of Bari camp]
Bari was intended to be a transit camp, but two months elapsed before we left.
The Italians were unable to cope with the large numbers of prisoners taken, mostly by the Germans, in their June advance.
Whilst food was plentiful in Italy, their organisation was so bad, very little found its way into the camp.
In July a consignment of Red Cross parcels arrived, and these were shared one between ten officers. This was our first contact with an organisation without which a prisoner’s life would be misery.
[original page 17]
[Sketch of camp]
This plan is typical of the living quarters for 240 officers. Each bed is a four seater, two below, two above.
We eat on our beds or outside as the weather is beautiful.
The flies vie with each other for our food by day, and the mosquitoes for our blood by night.
The washroom is a luxury, but few have soap or toothbrush.
[digital page 8, original page 19]
Observations and opinions, No. 2. Bari
- The fellow who said “The more I see of man, the better I like my dog” must have been a POW!
- A hungry man will sell what little food he may have to satisfy his desire for nicotine.
- Thirst, craving for tobacco, hunger, fall respectively in that order.
- The Italian, when he is winning, is a worse bully than the German.
[original page 21]
[Sketch of camp]
From Bari we went to Chieti. The camp was well laid out, with a good view of the Gran Sasso, and we were the first ‘residents’. This was our first permanent camp, and the future looked rosier.
Fresh figs, melons, peaches, grapes, plums and oranges were, temporarily, plentiful, and for a while, with the aid of Red Cross parcels and the Black Market, life improved as well as tempers.
[digital page 9, original page 23]
[sketch of Italian with cigar – caption]: ‘try to look tough’
Commandants either try to be tough or fatherly, and all attempt to emulate Mussolini. They have it in their power to make a camp contented or miserable. Nearly every month we had a new Commandant. They were all shapes and sizes. One used to ride round and round the camp on a push-bike collecting salutes; another wandered round our rooms at 3am in pyjamas. Almost from the start, Chieti was an ‘unhappy’ camp, due to the bad Commandants and SBOs.
[original page 25]
[Sketch of Red Cross parcel]
The subject of Red Cross parcels will continually appear in these pages, so here is a Canadian parcel.
|Bully beef 12 oz||Jam 1 lb|
|Meat roll 10 oz||Biscuits 10 oz|
|Salmon 7 3/4 oz||Chocolate 5 oz|
|Sardines||Sugar 6 oz|
|Cheese 4 oz||Raisins 6 oz|
|Butter 1 lb||Prunes 4 oz|
|Tea or coffee|
[digital page 10, original page 27]
[Sketch of globe, books and pen & ink: caption]Education
A major advantage in the ‘bag’ is the opportunity to pursue one’s peace-time studies, to better one’s education and to learn a useful subject or language.
We were lucky in having some very talented officers here, who put themselves at the service of the camp. An education programme to suit all tastes and brains was the result. Here is a selection.
All European languages and Arabic, Russian, Swahili, Zulu, etc; Maths, economics, engineering, banking, accountancy, shorthand, business management; All types of history, philosophy, psychology; farming and even a course of massage.
As there were few text books, the instructors deserve a “big hand”.
[original page 29]
[Sketch – caption]: The Gran Sasso from Chieti camp.
The view from a prison is an important psychological factor in the lives of the inmates.
At Bari, there was no outlook of more than 40 feet, into an olive grove and a glimpse of a distant pylon.
At Chieti, however, the situation for a camp was magnificent. With our back to Chieti 500 feet above us, a mile away, we see a range of mountains in all her moods and in ever changing colours.
[digital page 11, original page 31]
[Sketch of men in bunks: caption] Room companions
It is most important in prison to get on well together in one’s room. There is little enough space, nothing being private, and the presence of even one person whose temperament and behaviour are anti-social to the rest of the room, will ruin the happiness of many. A noisy person is the bane of one’s existence.
We were lucky in having no misfits although, or because of, our being very representative. In our hall, we had a reporter, shipper, Lloyds underwriter, Barrister, Rubber [illegible], engineer, Lever’s salesman, soldier, accountant and a farmer.
[original page 33]
[Sketch of play]
Chieti was lucky in having a number of good amateur actors and producers.
Things started in a small way by having open-air shows on a raised platform. By the time we left, a large storeroom had been converted into a theatre with a pukka stage, curtains and ‘props’. The Red Cross were generous with wigs, make-up etc, and the props department made, with paper and cardboard, anything from dresses to telephones.
All types of shows were produced from Gilbert and Sullivan, Shakespeare, musical comedies, varieties, and every kind of play, including the latest from London.
[digital page 12, original page 35]
[Sketch of Xmas decorations]
In addition to our normal parcel, the Red Cross provided a Xmas special. This was very tastefully got up, even having a sprig of holly on the cake.
If you consider the number of POWs in Italy and Germany, this was a magnificent effort. You can see by the contents why we suffered from over-eating after our Xmas lunch.
|Meltis sweets||Chocolate biscuits|
|Steak pudding||Steak and Macaroni|
[original page 37]
[Sketch: religious imagery, caption]Religion
Chieti had Padres for all denominations, and the attendance at church was surprisingly high, perhaps 60%.
A high proportion found great spiritual comfort, others attended as a form of “escapism”, to take themselves mentally outside the camp.
Quite a few seriously studied, under padres, theology as a future career, having received the “call” in prison.
A not unappreciable percentage lost faith, and these with the permanent “doubters” and borderline cases became agnostics.
[digital page 13, original page 39]
[Sketch of barrack]
You probably picture Italy as a land of perpetual sun. There is sun in plenty but when not shining during the winter, the climate can be as cold as any northern country. Winter was no exception. At times it was bitter. Add to this our discomfort, our still having the clothes we were caught in – often only a shirt, shorts and topee – and having to drape blankets around our shoulders, is it any wonder that a visiting papal delegate was horrified and even offered us his overcoat! In addition, our bungalows Were planned as at Bari with no separating doors or heating. But the worst blow came, when parcels were held up, and we went on to Italian messing.
[original page 41]
[Sketches – captions: breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]
Here is a typical daily menu as provided to us by the Italians in the winter of 1943.
The coffee was, naturally, ersatz and contained no milk. The soup was made mostly from pumpkins, bought by us the year before for a winter reserve. Pumpkins are grown in Italy solely for pig fodder.
This will demonstrate to you how much we owe to the Red Cross and to the generosity of people at home.
You can imagine how thankful we were when parcels recommenced.
[digital page 14, original page 43]
[Sketches: post box and soldier reading]
Mail and parcels played a very great part in our lives. Wives, parents, relations and friends e even those one least expected – were generous in their letter-writing and, although the censorship was rigid, the enjoyment a letter gave us was the one bright spot in the day.
It must be annoying for the senders to know that only about 25% of parcels sent to us in Italy were received and, of these, 20% were looted. After knowing the Italians, one realises how lucky we were to receive 25%.
However, in mitigation, if the senders could see our faces on receipt of a parcel, they would be well repaid.
[original page 45]
[Sketch: musical imagery]
Thanks again to the Red Cross and a few professional and plenty of amateur musicians, music lovers were well catered for.
We possessed five bands – dance band, Swing band, Accordion band, Tango Orchestra and a Symphony Orchestra.
In addition, we possessed good gramophone records, some of them unobtainable in England, even in peacetime owing to export regulations.
[digital page 15, original page 47]
[Sketch of two soldiers]
In England, Italian prisoners were provided with English battle-dress, those that worked wearing a distinctive marking on their battle-dress to differentiate between our forces and POWs outside.
The Italians – in Italy – took violent umbrage, and decided to take reprisals. They ordered red patches to be sewn on all outer garments. This was most welcome as our clothing was falling to bits and a patch solved the difficulty.
This typifies the Italian mind, as (a) we wore the uniform of our country, (b) we were inside a camp and (c) the Italians issued us with no clothing, let alone their own.
[original page 49]
[Two sketches of prisoners – caption]: A law for the rich and one for the poor, even amongst POWs
Observations and personal opinions No. 3 Chieti
- The Italians have an answer to everything – Domani!
- In a badly organised camp, departmental inefficiency produces dissatisfaction
- Dissatisfaction produces depression
- Depression produces selfishness
- Selfishness produces dishonesty
- Dishonesty produces rackets
- Rackets produce – chaos
- Provided you have books, enough food, are not in debt and your bowels work, you have little to worry about
- The war will be over by October 1943.
[digital page 16, original page 51]
[Sketch: map of central Italy]
Some time ago, the Italians asked for volunteers to go to another camp. In April about 70 officers, who had not volunteered, were posted to go. Some of these, either because they had interests in tunnels, studies, a brother, or a racket, did not want to go, and in consequence a part of us left under false names. This caused the ‘Ites’ some trouble. One man, too well known, dyed his hair black with boot polish as a disguise, but after 24 hours in a hot train, this ran down his face, and gave the show away.
After a crowded journey, we arrived at Fontanellato, 8 miles west of Parma.
[original page 53]
[Sketch: Fontanellato camp]
Fontanellato camp, situated in the fertile valley of the Po, was built as a catholic orphanage but never occupied as such.
It was without doubt the luxury camp of Italy – excepting the Generals’ camp near Florence.
Spring beds, mattresses, cupboards, tables, chairs, a bar – vermouth and sometimes beer in the morning, ‘vino’ in the evening – a good black market (fresh asparagus at a price), and a good commandant, made our lives extremely happy.
With a good sized sports field, and weekly walks through flat but colourful countryside gave us plenty of exercise.
[digital page 17, original page 55]
[Sketch of prisoners on sports field, trying to escape]
‘Escape’ is ever uppermost in our minds. Many successful attempts were made from the camps in Italy, but only three reached Switzerland.
In June five POWs succeeded in burying themselves in the sports field. The hole was small, two people going one night, three two nights later. Three were free only one day, two were out for ten days and nights.
The Italians thought all five prisoners had left the same night and could not understand how they could all have got in so small a hole. The General was to inspect the scene and, in order to prove their case, they enlarged the hole themselves. The General was satisfied.
[original page 59]
[Sketch of announcement of fall of Mussolini]
With the evacuation of N. Africa and the invasion of Sicily, optimism soared.
The fall of Mussolini was greeted by the ‘Ites’ here with whoops of joy and by our newsboard with appropriate headlines.
On Sept 8th we were disturbed by shouts of the population, rushing up and down the road outside yelling “Pace! Pace!” At last it had come, and we felt a pleasant thrill of anticipation as we went to bed that night.
Little did we, let alone the ‘Ites’ realise what misery this second act of treachery would bring upon Italy.
[digital page 18, original page 61]
[Sketch: Prisoners leaving camp]
The following day, the Commandant’s scouts reported the approach of the Germans, from Parma, to take the camp. We therefore marched out by companies to a copse three miles away, whilst the Commandant and garrison stayed behind to defend the camp. He was consequently captured and, we heard, was sent to Poland.
The Germans, arriving two hours later, destroyed the furnishings and took away or sold to the Ites our belongings and the Red Cross store. (We heard later that the Ites did most of the looting).
The only definite news our IO gave out was the landings at Genoa and other places on the N.W. coast and the allies being near Rome.
After two cold days we decided to try to get the BBC news first-hand.
[original page 63]
[Sketch: map of Italy]
On the fifth day we located a wireless and whilst the BBC was optimistic, all the ‘authenticated’ news and, of course, rumours were completely false.
We now had these courses open to us.
(1) To go to Switzerland and probably be interned. 60 miles.
(2) To go to the hills, and await further landings and news. 30 miles.
(3) To take a train or bike, hell for leather, to the South – as yet there was no fixed line. 700 miles.
(4) To walk south to meet our advancing army and lie up while they pass.
(5) To go to France. 150 miles.
(6) To go to Yugoslavia. 400 miles.
Number (3) proved correct. We chose (2).
[digital page 19, original page 65]
This is the place to introduce you to the ‘Contadini’ without whose help, no POW would have been able to manage.
Living in squalid farmhouses, with a few acres of land hacked out of the mountain side – a cow, sheep and hens, the Contadino is nearly self provident for his, often, large family. His wife — the women are the backbone of the country – rules the home and, with the children, works in the field equally hard as the men, and for the same hours.
They are peasants, dirty, poor and ignorant, but they have the generosity of the east, so embarrassing to the Englishman.
Many a time we have been forced to eat the family’s hot evening meal, while they contented themselves with dry bread.
[original page 67]
[Sketch of basket and flowers]
We were four, all Indian Army, who stayed for six weeks in a small village near Bardi.
We slept in a hay barn and fed with six families vying with each other in hospitality.
As the Fascist Govt was extinct, the contadinis had not sent in their quota of flour, and there was plenty of bread. Gnocchi, Macaroni, pasta-asciutta, polenta, fungi, milk, grapes, chestnuts and cheese resulted in our fattening visibly in a short time.
During the day we “helped” in the fields: (we could watch the main road, half a mile below, for a danger sign): hoeing potatoes, ploughing, cutting wood, collecting fungi or bringing in the grape harvest and squashing them with bare feet in a coffin-shaped vat. They were happy, sunny days.
[digital page 20, original page 69]
We got on well with our hosts, and being able to draw a little, we had many female sitters. They made us realise that the term “a complexion like a peach” was not hearsay. To have put cosmetics on their cheeks would have been sacrilege.
Our great friend was Marco, the village loper, who used to lock us in his cellar and force wine on us till we could take no more.
We called wine “benzino”, saying we could not work without it. When hoeing, we put the bottle ahead of us, dig hard till level with it, and flop down with cries to our pretty companion, of “Maria, Benzino!” She produces glasses, serving us with smiles and charming courtesy, till we are ready to start again.
[original page 71]
The cheese here was delicious – mostly Parmesan and a type of Gorgonzola. But to the Ites, the real delicacy is a cheese (we named it ‘Formaggio Artillieri’) that after three months becomes a squirming mass of worms. You can see and hear them jumping about (often amazing distances). A gourmet will go miles for a good mouthful of worms!
A common dish is “polenta”, made from “grano turco” – Indian corn – mixed with milk and water, and cooked. When hot, the result, not unlike Yorkshire Pudding on a vast scale, is thrown bodily onto the wooden table-top, grated cheese and tomato sauce added, and we all sit round the mass, and plunge, every man for himself, into it with forks. It is rather tasteless, but excellent when made from chestnuts.
[digital page 21, original page 73]
[Sketch of American street scene]
Nearly all the elder peasantry in the valley, and indeed throughout Italy, have either been to England or America, or have relations there.
Our village boasted many who had been waiters, chefs, etc. in London, and in most houses the cutlery bore the names ‘Savoy Hotel’, ‘Piccadilly Hotel’ or ‘Romanos’!
On Sundays, always heavy drinking days, used to be heard, from the cellars, snatches of “Rule Britannia” and “It’s a long way to Tipperary” sung with a strong Italian accent.
Marco, when foxed, and consequently the children, used to shout, “Mussolini, Goddam, bloody, son of a bitch!”, the only English he knew!
They all regard England and more so USA, as the land of milk and honey.
[original page 75]
[Sketch of rural scene]
After six weeks of good feeding, drinking and laughter, we were no nearer freedom. Winter was coming and unless we moved over the mountains, we would get caught by the snow and be unable to move south till April.
In addition, the Fascists were gaining power and prisoners their special quarry — only recently two officers with their 75 year old host were taken above this village.
Our hosts were in worse danger than us, and four extra mouths was a lot to feed.
The BBC was misleading – every day we expected the big attack and landings – and despite our hosts’ dissuasions and tears, John Meares and I left for the south.
Paddy Bruen, whose boots were bad, and Andre Willis stayed behind. We heard, in July, that they got re-captured going to Switzerland.
[digital page 22, original page 77]
[Sketch of route south with on right side: Bardi, Florence, Avezzano, Frosinone]
Here is a rough map of our route South. It only deviated by about 10 miles from the route proposed by John before leaving.
We left Bardi area on October 27th and reached the last lap on December 15th, with two days’ stops, one through snow (November 9th), the other for food. The distance on a map is about 480 miles, but owing to the route, except for 20 miles, being in the mountains, the distance on foot must have been close to 900 (20 miles per diem).
Looking back, we realise how much we owe to the contadini who in only a few cases refused us help. It must be borne in mind that Italy was at war with Germany, that there was a reward on our heads and that the peasants were poor. If we had been discovered, their farms were burnt, or the family taken to Germany.
We had a very good trip down, never once having trouble with Fascists (the Germans were not the danger). Our boots just lasted.
[original page 79]
[Sketch of POWs seeking shelter]
Throughout our trip we slept in the most odd places. Being late in the year, and generally in the mountains, the nights were cold and, where possible, we slept with the cows, who, once the odour had been mastered, gave off welcome heat.
Several times we met cows that snored. It would have been strange for a passer-by, half way up a mountain in Italy, to hear emitting from a byre, at 3 am, shouts of “Quiet, you bloody wop beast” in educated English.
Once we had a calf born to us, another time a pig spent the night sucking our hair through the wire of his cage.
But the most anti-social animal we met was a cow who, in revenge for our invading his privacy, extended on his chain as far as he could over our sleeping bodies and proved to us that he had never been house-trained!
[digital page 23, original page 81]
Parts of Italy are, socially, not unlike what England must have been like before the Reformation.
Villages and hamlets are mostly run on a patriarchal system with either the priest or padrone – sometimes almost feudal – at its head.
The monied classes, some with beautiful houses, still lived, thanks to the black market, under peace conditions, obtaining Brazilian coffee, Scotch Whisky etc, at a price.
We soon learnt to avoid these houses, as tho’ mostly pro-British, they used to “pass the baby” onto the contadini, however poor.
The priests we found the most unchristian of all – although others speak highly of their help, especially in Rome (acting under the Pope’s hint to “help the strangers in our midst.”
The best rule was “the poorer the house, the better the hospitality.” It never failed.
[original page 83]
On December 15th we left on our last lap, along a high range of mountains. As the nights were Arctic, (several frozen bodies had been found on this range and there were many cases of bad frost-bite) we had planned to go ‘all out’, without resting, above the snow-line.
Food was scarce in these parts, people scared of spies – a complex of all Italians – and kow-towing to the Hun. The last village we met, no house would give help and we had to break in to a barn of shrub-wood for the night.
The next day, resting after a steep climb, we were caught by a patrol, led by some forest guards and woodmen. The German told us they had been watching us through field-glasses and followed our snow trail.
We maintain that the previous day, the Germans had been warned about our progress by a farmer from whom we asked water.
[digital page 24, original page 85]
Taken to Pescercelleri, we soon left – again being given away by an Italian when trying to escape – for Opi (a shocking hole) and so La Frosinoni, where we stayed a month.
Here, we met many ex-prisoners all looking like tramps. It was amusing to watch a batch of shocking looking paupers arrive and, in answer to the German “Any officers among you?” to see a mass of rags and filth step out and say “Yes, I’m a colonel”; “I’m a major”!
We lived in an old Fascist barracks, where we spent most of our time killing our new enemies the lice, (trust an Italian barracks to produce these) and in being bombed by the RAF.
We had very little to eat, and for Xmas, the Huns gave us a biscuit and orange extra. With these and lucky purchases, we made a Xmas cake, cooked in a po!
The town was badly damaged by bombs, but worse was done by the “Scirocco”, which blew away all windows and many houses.
[original page 87]
As we are about to leave Italy, let us look back and consider her a moment.
Despite great strides in certain aspects of social and economic progress, Italy is as backward as any country in Europe.
She has inherited from her many invaders throughout history, all that is bad in Eastern and Western civilisation, and little that is good.
The Italians have no patriotism (as we interpret it), but capable of great love or hate.
They are mentally and physically stunted, envious of the more powerful nations; aware of their past glory and inheritance in the world of art, but incapable of unity as a nation, let alone an empire.
Yet, this uneducated, unmoral race had the impertinence to set themselves up as an example of good government and order, and attempt to force their creed on the world.
Their entry and exit of this war, and subsequent fate is poetic justice indeed.
[digital page 25, original page 89]
On January 4th we left for Germany by truck and then by train. After two transit camps and three days in cattle trucks, John made a third attempt at escape, nearly with fatal results — we arrived (53 officers in a cattle truck, an Italian colonel on the latrine bucket!) at Moosburg, near Munich. Here we met lots of old friends including our Colonel.
The camp controlled 70,000 prisoners, and it made us realise what chaos reigned in Nazi occupied Europe. We saw almost all races under the sun, Poles, Greeks, Arabs, Yugoslavs, French galore, Jews from all countries, patriots, civilians and even women.
Some wore colourful uniforms, others rags. You could read tragedy and despair on most of their faces, and you knew worse was to come.
Again, we thanked heaven we were British, and that our Government had signed the Geneva Convention.
[original page 91]
It was at Moosburg that we first met the Russian prisoners, some of them mere youngsters. They were disgracefully treated by the huns. Receiving no Red Cross assistance and having no protecting power, dressed in rags, they were physically and looked mentally, starved. They would do anything for cigarettes, and we assisted them with food when possible.
The Goons often set the dogs (vicious-looking Alsatians) onto them, but the Ruskis usually won, eating the dog and using the skin for shoes. One officer kept a tame Russian under the floorboards until a dog got him!
The French, who were allowed out on parole, ran the Black Market so well that Gestapo purges were frequent. Eggs, drink, fresh meat, sheep, an occasional cow, and it is rumoured, even pistols and women were smuggled into the camp. Coffee and chocolate, a luxury to all Germans, did the trick.
[digital page 26, original page 93]
We left Moosburg three days after arrival, by cattle truck again. It had been an interesting experience but depressing.
Our new camp was at Maurich-Trubau in Sudetenland and consisted of a large modern building and numerous bungalows, all moderately comfortable. We had a good sports field, swimming pool and a small theatre.
The Commandant, a typical cruel-looking Prussian, could have made a fortune on the films as a villain. He was unpopular with his men, and, on our parades, he used to yell orders at us in unintelligible German. We all replied with shouts of “Quiet!”, which annoyed him, and vastly amused his men.
We were not so amused when he got our room out of bed at 11 pm, at the point of his pistol, shouting “Eins, Zwei, Drei….” for roll-call!
[original page 95]
In May, we left for Brunswick — the Germans were scared of our proximity to the Czechs — in cattle trucks. This time the truck was divided in two, 18 officers and their kit in one half, 8 guards overloaded with arms and grenades in the other half. In addition our boots and braces were removed, and our wrists handcuffed. Too many prisoners had escaped on trains and this was the answer.
We soon mastered the handcuffs, and 10 officers escaped. One truck placed all their handcuffs in the latrine bucket, and asked the sentry to empty it, on the move!
On arrival we found the camp to be a Luftwaffe centre in process of evacuation. We were next to an airfield and a factory and close to an industrial town.
It took us some months to get the camp ship-shape, and then the bombers mucked it up!
[digital page 27, original page 97]
Most days the sirens went and often we saw large formations of our aircraft. Several times bombs dropped uncomfortably close, but up to August no-one had been unduly affected by it.
The bombing of the camp however, (six large and 200 small bombs fell inside the wire, with 47 casualties, four fatal) shook the camp morale, and we were noticeably more nervous in future raids.
In addition, our cookhouse was destroyed, as well as the electricity, water, sewage and central heating systems. It took many weeks to repair, in which time Brunswick town received a pasting and our water system was again in a bad state.
Add to this, our new anti-British Commandant was non co-operative and purposely made mountains out of molehills.
[original page 99]
A POW camp is good training ground for a career of crime.
Very little escapes their vigilant eye or thieving hand, and even in “strip” searches there is little they cannot hide. Guards have lost their wallets and bayonets, and even the SS have had to leave a camp minus their civilian hats!
POWs also produce very creditable items with no proper tools, mostly from tins. Here are a few: a refrigerator, blow-lamp, table light, centrally heated bed, pendulum clock, indoor non smoking cooker, hot-plate, electric brewer and even a wireless.
In addition, if you want any forged documents or foreign uniforms, ask a POW! But beware, lock up your spoons before he enters your house!
[digital page 28, original page 101]
[Image of prison money with German text]
Our currency is based on cigarettes. The market naturally fluctuates dependent on the arrival of private parcels. Most camps run a shop which controls the prices in the camp.
Here are a few uncontrolled prices, recorded during booms and depressions.
|June 1942||5 oz roll of bread||£2.0.0|
|ditto||14 oz bully beef||6 cigarettes|
|October 42||ditto||70 cigarettes|
|May 1943||1/6 d tin of milk||100 cigarettes|
|September 1944||£20.0.0||100 cigarettes|
Some amazing prices were paid for clothes early on (£15 for an old pair of shorts!) and even cigarette ends had a price – one tomato!
[original page 107]
This scrap-book is drawing to a close. So is the war. The date is December 1st and we are all thinking about England and home. Here is a list of the things (outside our families, relations and friends) that we have missed – some for five years – and which spell civilisation and freedom to us.
A square meal, a hot bath, carpets, whisky, a bed, the daily paper, fresh fish, a reading light, civilian clothes, flowers, a dog, Punch, gardens, clean linen, shoes, children, and an open fireplace.
On the other hand, most POWs will not like the following:
Queues, a crowd, boots, battle-dress, “The bridge of San Louis Rey”, black bread, food in tins, the letters SBO, a babble of male voices, lights out at 10 pm, and barbed wire.
[digital page 29, original page 109]
I have tried, in precis form, to show glimpses at what I consider to be, typical everyday happenings in a prison camp, (with a trip in Italy as relief).
I realise that masses of material has been omitted or mentioned slightly en passant. No political, economic, social or psychological impressions have been recorded, neither, although prisoners had a grandstand view, have I drawn comparisons between the two Axis powers, when they were on top of the world and when they were being battered to hell. That has not been my object. This book is meant to show the prison life of an ordinary POW who has seen none of the horrors or had any of the escapades that quite a few experienced during their captivity.
As fate decreed I should be a POW, I am glad to have had the experience, and I have tried to show the advantages and disadvantages as fairly as possible.
The disadvantages are obvious. We did not become prisoners expecting to live at the Ritz Carlton. We do feel sore, however, at the too-good treatment at some prison camps in England,
[original page 111]
America, India and S. Africa. Here is a story that illustrates my point. We were never allowed out of camp in Germany, even for walks. An officer received a letter saying that his golf club at home had withdrawn his membership for refusing to lend his golf-clubs to German POWs. The same day I heard this story (I did not see the letter) the cremated remains of two of our officers were handed to us by the Germans without explanations.
The advantages of POW life are many. One can read those books one could have, should have, or would never have, read in peacetime; one can try to fill in those vast gaps left in a public-school education. There is a golden opportunity to carry on any peacetime studies or exams, learn a new trade or profession, or take a catholic interest in the many subjects of which one had little or no knowledge before one’s captivity.
One has an opportunity to study human nature under some conditions not usually met with (and there are times when one thinks one’s
[digital page 30, original page 112]
[original page 113]
fellow officers are the lowest form of animal life!) One can meet people from all parts of the world and of all trades and professions, and to look at oneself, in retrospect, and realise one’s previous mistakes, faults and flaws in one’s character.
Above all, one has had time to think … and think … and think.
The more I thought, two things have stood out above all others. Firstly, how important are the simple ordinary things of life, that I had previously taken so much for granted and how much I owe my parents for them; and secondly, that there is so much of interest in the world, past, present and future, both abstract and concrete, that no-one should be bored with life.
[digital page 31]
MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN
Sergeant Crocker MM was a regular soldier and, despite his being a strict disciplinarian, was respected by all ranks including his Sergeant-Major and his Officers.
When war broke out in 1939 he was aged 42, having been in the army since the age of eighteen. Shortly afterwards he began to grow a moustache mainly to make him look older. After a slow and unspectacular start he finally managed to produce a reasonable excuse for a moustache which was visible at 10 yards on a clear day. A few years later, helped by daily wax treatment, he was able to twist the ends into two beautiful shiny points, several inches long pointing to each ear.
Over the years, Sergeant Crocker became more famous for his magnificent deep red moustache than his smart appearance and his commanding voice on parade. Visiting Royalty had been known to stop and admire it.
Came the war when he saw active service in France and Dunkirk. In 1941 the regiment was posted to the Middle East. It was not safe at that time for laden troopships to pass through the Mediterranean, so he left in a large convoy of other ships via the Cape and east coast of Africa.
Even during the war, the old ceremony of “crossing the line” was observed, although the ships did not stop or slow down as in peacetime. Nonetheless, a member of the crew aided by “mermen” officiated at the “No holds barred” party.
Sergeant Crocker felt he might be a natural target for the high jinks on the Equator and had disappeared into the bowels of the ship. Alas, it was of no avail and he was forcibly brought on deck where, in front of several hundred cheering servicemen, his famous appendage was shaved off.
Poor Sergeant Crocker. For the rest of the voyage – and probably the war – it was if the Bible Story of Samson was being repeated and all his strength of character had been sapped.
[digital page 32]
ESCAPE TO CIVILIAN LIFE
Whilst I was incarcerated as a POW, I was not a witness to this event, and I heard several versions of it from people who were present, therefore cannot vouch for the whole truth.
We were in a very good camp, originally a monastery, on the outskirts of a small town in the Po Valley North Italy. There were between 300-400 POWs in the camp. We all had beds as opposed to the usual bunks in the other camps. There was a good dining room where meals were supplemented by the ever generous Red Cross parcels. Rumour had it that the Italian Commander had two sons, one in a British Guard regiment, the other at an English public school! When an Officer had been a prisoner for three years, the commander gave him a bottle of whisky. Added to this civilised life, we had a pleasant bar overlooking the main assembly hall, where one could buy with camp money or poker winnings, most Italian drinks, mainly obtained on the black market.
Once a week, about forty POWs were allowed outside camp on a march into the lovely countryside for about three miles. There were about fifteen armed guards, all very friendly, along the sides and the rear of the marches. We were not on parole, as happened in some other camps. On the march in question, one man had decided to escape. He had had made by the escape committee a civilian suit. Trousers, brown shirt, jacket and a black hat. He didn’t shave for three days. We all lived in battle dress, and he got the camp experts to cut the jacket and trousers in half down the back. They were then very lightly sewn together. On the day, he put the civilian suit on under his battledress!
A lot of POWs knew an escape had been planned, as their co-operation was needed. The officer, let’s call him Paddy, was two rows in front. At the moment the signal was given, the men in front and behind Paddy would grab the battledress top and trousers, and hurriedly hide the battledress in their own clothing. They had been marching for about two miles, when they passed an old farmhouse with a girl aged about nineteen in front. The marchers whistled, and yelled to her in English and Italian. The guards also looked, and Paddy now in his civvies slipped out on the other side while someone also disturbed the attention of the guard nearest Paddy. Paddy only had to take about three steps onto the side of the lane and walk in the opposite direction to the march. The odds against Paddy succeeding were high, but he did it! He was away only a night and a day, and then recaptured, but it was a valiant and risky escape. There have been several escape books about camps in Italy, but I have never read one about this attempt. Maybe because of the difficulty of getting at the truth.
[digital page 33]
THE MISSING LETTERS
When I was a POW in Germany I shared a room with ten other officers, one of whom had been a prisoner since the earliest days of the war. I got to know him quite well – let us call him by a nom de guerre George Watson.
He had a most beautiful wife whose photo he treasured even above Red Cross parcels, and which stood on a shelf by his bed.
He told me that he lived in London and had only been married a week when war broke out. When he left a month later for France she swore never to look at another man.
Sadly, he had never received a letter from her as a POW and despite all his efforts to try to locate her after the bombing of London he had no success.
After the invasion of France in 1944, there was a steady stream of new prisoners posted to our camp. I always will remember when a new POW was being introduced when he suddenly spotted the photo of Watson’s wife.
“What are you doing with a photo of my wife?” he asked.
“She’s my wife.” said Watson.
“You’re mistaken. When I married her last year she was the widow of an officer called..oh my God!… GEORGE WATSON!”
[digital page 34]
I was a POW in Germany for part of the war. There was an extraordinary panorama of civilian occupations amongst the POWs (all officers), solicitors, stockbrokers, pawnbrokers, engineers, grocers – to name but a few.
The Camp Commandant was a colonel in the German army as were the other officers and guards etc. It was well known that the German army loathed the SS and took great enjoyment in trying to embarrass them.
On one occasion, the SS paid a visit to the camp. They were in civilian clothes and spent about two hours in their inspection.
In addition to the actual tunnellers, our escape team comprised caterers, cartographers, tailors, forgers and general “dirty tricks” section!. Amongst the last, a CID officer had trained a team of two in pickpocketing and larceny.
The visit of the SS was an ideal opportunity the pickpockets to prove their prowess. By the time the SS had left, they had lost two wallets, a hat and a raincoat.
I was one of the forgers and as soon as a wallet containing valuable documents had been stolen, it was brought to the forgers who made copies for their records.
After the SS had left, the Senior British Officer asked to see the Camp Commandant.
“The SS left these things behind, Colonel” said the SBO, producing the wallets with the valuable documents intact (I’m not sure about any money!) ‘A bit careless of them. They might have been useful if found by the wrong person. As you can see the documents are still there. No doubt you will return them to the SS with the appropriate reprisal”. The German was profuse in his thanks, and no doubt had great pleasure in playing cat and mouse with the SS.
[digital page 35]
Captain Ian Meares entered the Cavalry Club in the West End of London of which he had been a member for many years and collected his usual pink gin at the bar.
Being a gregarious person, he looked around to see if he knew anyone. There was one many sitting by himself in a comfy leather armchair in the comer of the room, so he made his way there.
“Mind if I join you?” he asked as he sat down in the next armchair. “My name is Captain Meares. I haven’t seen you here before, Sir”.
“I rarely visit London. I’m a country member from Scotland; name of Malcolm Campbell – Colonel.”
“Can I offer you a drink, Colonel?”
“No thank you. I don’t drink. “Had one once. Didn’t like it.”
Captain Meares took out his cigarette case and proffered one.
“No thanks. Had one once. Didn’t like it.”
Just then a young man entered the room and looked round.
“Ah, there’s my son. You must meet him”, said the Colonel.
“Your only child I presume?” said Captain Meares.
[digital page 36]
In 1941 a troopship was taking about two hundred servicemen from Bombay to the Middle East. They were mainly from the Indian army, both officers and other ranks.
One of the officers was a Maharajah with a courtesy title of General who was on a goodwill tour to see his State troops in the Western Desert. He was a nice little man, not more than five and a half feet tall, not good-looking but very popular with all on board, both army and navy. There was one exception, however, the ship’s captain, a pompous man who needed deflating. Protocol decreed that the Maharajah should sit at the captain’s table for all meals but they had nothing in common, the Maharajah preferring to mix with the rest of the board, irrespective of their rank.
The day before they were due to arrive at Port Said where they were to disembark, the Maharajah held a farewell cocktail party which was attended by about forty people.
After a short speech in which he thanked the Captain, the ship’s officers and crew for their kindness and hospitality, he made presentations to the ship’s three most senior officers.
The Chief Engineer opened his gift to disclose a beautiful silver cigarette case engraved with the Maharajah’s crest on the outside. The First Officer opened his box – another cigarette case but this time in gold with the Maharajah’s crest mounted in semiprecious stones.
By this time the Captain was licking his lips in anticipation of gift which he could see on the table. The box was twice the size of the other two gifts bestowed on his officers. The Captain almost grabbed the box when handed to him by the Maharajah who by then had a naughty twinkle in his eye. With popping eyes and trembling hands, the Captain opened his gift to reveal to everyone present – a signed photograph of the Maharajah!
This story is quite true – I was on the ship. We all had a great laugh after the Captain left – no doubt in high dudgeon. I heard later from someone who had been on the ship that the Captain had demanded that the First Officer should give him the gold case and the Chief Engineer should give the First Officer the silver one. Needless to say, they both disobeyed his orders.
[digital page 37]
In about September 1943, Italy, who was at war with us gave in. I was in a camp (Fontanellato) in North Italy, near Parma in the Po Valley.
We had a very decent Italian Officer in charge of the camp. He told that the Germans were coming in a few hours’ time to take us to Germany. He told us to get out whilst the going was good, which we were more than happy to do!
I and a friend, John Meares, got as far away as possible, and laid up for a few days until the hoo-ha had died down. We then decided to make for the hills, overlooking La Spezia and Genoa, in case the allies landed there after the armistice. We were lucky to end up in a village called Villora. It was a huddle of some fifteen peasant houses, plus a church and a Priest house. No shops or anything. The peasants here – as they were throughout Italy – were magnificent. The poorer they were, the kinder they were. Don’t forget, if the Germans had discovered that they were looking after us, they could have at best been deported, or at worst been shot.
Nearly everyone in Villora had a smattering of English, but John & I could quite soon make ourselves understood in Italian. Some of them had worked in restaurants etc in England. Nearly every house one came across forks and spoons marked “Savoy Hotel”, “Mario’s Restaurant” etc. etc.
The peasants called “contadini,” were all very poor in worldly goods, but made it up in their kindness and way of life. They were almost self provident in everything except salt, cigarettes (although some grew a pretty ropey type of tobacco) sugar and rice.
We were adopted by a contadino called Marco Labadini, aged about 45, who ran a small holding with his wife Maria. We helped with the ploughing using a cow instead of a horse, and the vendange grape harvesting.
Picking grapes is very hard work. One has a large wicker basket over one’s shoulder and one picks the grapes with the free hand, throwing the grapes into the basket. The main hard work was, however, carrying them up the hill to the farm. All the grapes here grew on the very steep slopes and were often worn out. So much so, we used to yell out to a pretty girl helper “Maria, benzina, prego.” (Please bring some petrol for the engine!) She used to appear with a large flagon of wine to refresh us. They were very happy days.
[digital page 38]
We used to eat at a different cottage each day of the week. Some of the meals were superb, real down to earth Italian cooking. Most of the food, of course, was pasta or cheese. The most common, and one of the nicest was polenta. It was made from Indian corn, ground up and mixed with herbs, toadstools, spices etc. It is cooked on an open fire, and thrown from the cooking pot straight onto the tablecloth! (The contadini maintain the tablecloth is for eating off). You then tackle it with a fork. The women used to wait until the men finished eating before they ate anything. The women are the backbone of the contadini, at least in the north and central Italy.
We slept in the straw, tunnelling our way in, in case there was a sudden raid, having to an escape at the back. Later on when we were walking through the mountains and the nights were cold, we slept with the cows or pigs. One got used to the smell after a while, and the cow gives a lovely heat off at night. I was woken one night, by a cow chewing my hair. We also had one or two nasty experiences from cows who had not been house trained.
As we were escape prisoners, the German and Italian Police were on the lookout for us – it was necessary to get out of uniform. Marco gave me a pair of very short morning trousers which showed about five inches of flesh at ankle level! I got a green shirt from somewhere, and Marco (Labardini) gave me his second coat (he only had two). I got a black hat off a scarecrow, hut when it rained the colour ran down the side of my face, so I discarded it!
We must have spent about five very happy weeks at Villora, but winter was approaching and the snows would soon be upon us. And also we must have been a considerable strain on the village resources. So we decided to move south to join our forces (who appeared to be bogged down in the South). We took a tearful farewell of all the villages. (I went back there after the war. They were just the same and even had electric light but no switches! They were looped; one live onto another live end! I bought them clothes etc., and was glad to see the drawings I had made of them were still in their homes).
John had a small map of Italy and had planned a route to take us through the mountains to the south, halfway between Rome and Naples, and of course inland. We followed the route pretty well. If you look at the map, the main towns we went through or generally passed by were starting from the north near Parma, were Pistoia, Florence, Arezzo, Perugia, Terni, L’Aquila, Avezzano, (nearly got caught there) aiming for the river Sangro.
[digital page 39]
On the way down, we spent an enjoyable day at Assisi. (Where Sir Frances came from). A town that I should think has hardly changed over the many centuries it has stood. We met some marvellous people and had some amusing times. We never had or needed any money on us.
After so much walking and mountaineering, we were fit as anything. Sometimes we would have a bottle of red wine, a freshly baked loaf, and a chunk of local cheese. We would sit by a clear stream under the beech trees, and if we had been cats, purr!
Talking about cheeses, there is one in the area around Villora, which we named “formaggio d’artillaria” or artillery cheese. When I first tasted it, by bad candle light, I thought it nice. Then I kept on being hit by small objects. When they put the candle closer to the cheese, it was a squirming mass of maggots, the colour of the cheese. Evidently, this is a delicacy, and they leave the cheese for many months, resting on a shelf by the ceiling. When it falls off, they know it’s right for eating.
We must have walked about six or seven hundred miles, bearing in mind we sometimes had to retrace steps to get around the tricky bits, to get up over the mountains. We were in sound of our guns, on the river Sangro somewhere. As we got nearer our lines, it became understandably more difficult to find somewhere to sleep. We were in the snow line, planning out a route to take, when a couple of Germans on skis swooped on us and that was that! After several adventures we ended up in Brunswick, Western Germany.
[digital page 40]
Brief details of Mike Goldingham’s life
|1916||Born at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire|
|1917||Lived with grandparents at Loosley House near Princes Risborough, Bucks|
|1925||Prep School at Summer Fields near Oxford|
|1930||Malvern College, Worcestershire|
|1934||Joined NEM in Manchester|
|1936||Posted to Trinidad, British West Indies as Head Office Representative|
|1939||Returned on health grounds from Trinidad and posted to Maidstone, Kent as Inspector for NEM in that area|
Joined Territorial Army
At outbreak of war posted to RASC in Kent somewhere
In November volunteered fir special ski battalion of Scots Guards and went to Chamonix in the French Alps, to be trained by Chasseurs Alpines. Unit disbanded when on board ship in Scotland bound for Pisamo in Finland
|1940||Intelligence Corps and then OCTU (Officers Training Unit) at Borden near Aldershot|
Arrived India and spent 3 months in Sam Brown’s Cavalry Mess in Ferozepore near Lahore (now Pakistan)
|1941||Posted to 18th King Edward VII’s Own Cavalry in Syria|
|1942||Western desert. Captured by Germans. Flown to Italy. In camps at Bari, Chieti and Fontanellato|
|1943||Escaped with entire camp. Three months in hiding. Recaptured in sight of own troops. To Moosburg, Germany; various camps in Czechoslovakia etc., ending up in Brunswick|
|1945||Rescued by Americans. married Margaret Kirkby, of Dore near Sheffield.|
Joined Matthews Wrightson, Lloyds Brokers
|1947||Opened office for Matthews Wrightson in Bern, Switzerland|
|1949||Three months temporary posting to Brazil|
|1950||Two months temporary posting to Australia and New Zealand|
|1951||Left Switzerland, returning to NEM as Overseas Manager|
|1951-1955||Visited various overseas branches and agencies including: Jamaica, St Kitts, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad, Canada, Nigeria, Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Malaysia and Singapore|
|1955||Manager for Cape Province, South Africa.|
|1960||Returned to UK and bought Mile House, Westwood Road, Windlesham|
Appointed Overseas Manager again and travelled the world
|1973||Mark dies of cancer|
|1976||Retirement on 60th birthday|
|1978||Miles and Patrick visit Australia on ‘working holiday’|
|1980||We visit Australia and tour the country|
|1982||Second visit to Australia. Miles and Patrick bought a house in North Perth where we stayed for three months. Emigrated to Perth|
|1983||Bought house in Applecross|
|1987||Cancer of the jaw. Tronado treatment successful|
|1988||Cancer reoccurs. Radioactive implants. Six monthly visits|
[Handwritten notes by Keith Killby – not transcribed]
[digital page 41]
[Sketches – captions from left to right] ? ? ? ?
[Next row photos – caption]: Mike Goldingham 3rd from left; first from left
[digital page 42]
[Sketches: from left to right:] David Wautor, Paul Lansdell, Neil, Mike Goldingham, Major Dirrharras Mohotie
[2nd row]: Hugo, Lt Abhey Singh, Robby Mason (x2) ?
[digital page 43]
[3 photographs, untitled]
[digital page 44]
[Personnel card from Camp Oflag VIII-F written in German, with Mike Goldingham’s details and a photo]
[digital page 45]
[Photos and captions]: jobs for life 1965
MJD Goldingham MC
[digital page 46]
[Extract from Summer Fields School Register]
1600 GOLDINGHAM, MICHAEL JOHN DALRYMPLE MC b. 1916 Malvern 1930. House Prefect. Insurance business. 1939-45 served in 18th King Edward VII’s Own Cavalry, Indian Army. M. 1945 SMA Kirkby of Dore, nr. Sheffield/ c/o NEM 4 Bury St, EC3
[Other names have not been transcribed]