Steven, Anthony

Summary

Anthony Steven was captured on the Gazala Line and spent time in camps Capua, PG66; Rezenello, PG 17; Fontanellato PG 49; Stalag 337 at Mantova; Stalag VIIA at Moosburg; and Mähr Trubah Oflag VIIIF and finally Oflag 79 at Brunswick. His dairy gives many details of the food, provisions, people, ranks, nationalities, Red Cross parcels and life in the camps.


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]

[Chapter title] Progress as P.O.W.

Captured at 1000hrs on the morning of the 5th June 1942 by the German 21st Armoured Div, whilst attacking a position 2 kilos East of the 150 Bde position in the Gazala Line. Taken by Germans to an Italian HQ N’Singale on the afternoon of the 5th. Handed over to the Italians and stayed the night at this Berseglieri HQ. Morning of 6th moved to Derna after being searched at Timimi on the way. Arrived at Derna evening 6th left for Barce morning 8th arrived the same evening. Moved to Bengazi afternoon 14th. Left Bengazi by air for Italy on 18th arriving at Lecce airfield in Southern Italy on the same day Stayed one night in a tobacco factory at Lecce. Left by train for Capua on the afternoon 19th

[digital page 2]

Arrived at Capua on the morning 20th taken to Camp P.G 66, stayed at Capua until 30th Nov then moved North to Campo 17 at Rezenello 10 miles SW of Piacenzia, Moved to PG 49. 30th March Fontanellato 10 miles E of Parma, remained there until the Italian capitulation 8th Sept 4. Free in Italy until being recaptured in Piacenzia on 17th Dec, stayed one night at the fascists HQ in Piacenzia, Taken to the citadel in Parma and handed over to the Germans on 18th Dec. Taken to Stalag 337 at Mantova on 22nd Dec Left Mantova by train for Germany on 28th came through the Brenner Pass and arrived at Moosburg Stalag VIIA on 30th. Moosburg is 30 miles from Munich. Left VIIA on 21st Jan and arrived at Mähr Trubah Oflag VIIIF on 26th Jan. Mahr. Trubah is near the Chech frontier in the protectorate between Prague and Breslau, Left VIIIF on 29th April. arrived Oflag 79 3 kilos from Brunswick on May 1st. Liberated by U.S. 9th Army April. 12th 1945.

[digital page 3]

[Chapter title] Summary

[Table showing Camp number, geographical place and dates from and to]:

CAMPPLACEDATES FROM – TO
 DERNA6 June 1942 – 8 June 1942
 BARCE8 June 1942 – 14 June 1942
 BENGAZI14 June 1942 – 18 June 1942
 LECCE18 June 1942 – 19 June 1942
PG 66CAPUA20 June 1942 – 30 Nov 1942
PG 17REZZANELLO1 Dec 1942 – 30 March 1943
PG 49FONTANELLATO30 March 1943 – 9 Sep 1943
 PIACENZIA17 Dec 1943 – 18 Dec 1943
 PARMA18 Dec 1943 – 22 Dec 1943
Stalag 337MANTOVA22 Dec 1943 – 28 Dec 1943
Stalag VIIAMOOSBURG30 Dec 1943 – 21 Jan 1944
OFLAG VIIIFMÄHR TRUBAU26 Jan 1944 – 29 April 1944
OFLAG 79BRUNSWICK1 May 1944 – 12 April 1944
On Route home

[digital page 4]

Food Rations

[Chart of German POW Food Rations]

Cheese: 1/2 oz per week
Meat: 1 oz 3 days per week
Potatoes: 14 2/7 oz per day
Bread: 12 1/7 oz per day
Sugar: 5/7 oz per week
Barley Peas and Millet: 1/2 oz each per day
Jam: 6/7 oz per day
Veg (Dried): 1 1/9 oz per day
Margarine: 17/28 oz per day
Wűrst: 1/4 oz per day
Cooking Fat: 1/3 oz per day

[Chart of German Rations after cut in Feb 1945]

Bread: 1750 grs, 3 3/4 lbs
Turnip: 1800 grs, 4 lbs
Barley: 100 grs, 3 1/2 oz
Pea: 75 grs, 2 1/2 oz
Dried Veg: 30 grs, 1 oz
Flour: 18 grs, 3/4 oz
Cooking Fat: 50 grs, 2 oz
Margarine, 120 grs, 4 1/2 oz
Potatoes: 2800 grs, 6 lbs
Sugar: 105 grs, 4 oz
Tea Ersatz: 10 grs, 1/2 oz
Coffee Ersatz: 10 grs, 1/2 oz
Treacle: 140 grs, 5 oz
Meat: 220 grs, 8 oz
Cheese was issued if available

Total weight per week 16 lbs
Estimated calories per week 130

[digital page 5]

On Feb 16th we ran out of Red Cross parcels, at the same time owing to the Russians overrunning large territories in the East the Goon Ration was considerably reduced. For the following month our Menu was as follows:

[Chart showing the day, the meal, the food and remarks. Breakfast was always 1 cup of Ersatz coffee, lunch was 3 boiled potatoes and hot water, mint tea was available at tea time although it was considered undrinkable, and dinner comprised 1 plateful of thick soups and stews.]
And So on each week the menu was the same.

In addition to the above we were issued bread – the ration being equal to a large Roll per day, enough margarine to spread on the bread very thinly 1 spoonful of Jam, 4 spoonfuls of sugar per week. On this diet the average loss of weight over the month was 10 to 14 lbs.

[Chart showing different weights of food in columns headed ‘British’, ‘Canadian’ and ‘New Zealand’.

BritishCanadianNew Zealand
Sugar 4 oz
Bully 12 oz or M&V 12 oz
Meat Roll or Sausages 10 oz
Marg 1/2 lb
Jam 12 oz
Chocolate 4 oz
Condensed milk 12 oz
Salmon or pilchards 7 3/4 oz
Cheese 1/4 lb
Dried fruit 4 oz
Biscuits 1 lb
Tea 2 oz
Porridge 12 oz
Soap
Sugar 6 oz
Bully 12 oz
Kam 10 1/2 oz
Jam 1 lb
Butter 1 lb
Klim 1 lb
Chocolate 1/2 lb
Salmon 7 3/4 oz
Sardines 4 oz
Cheese 1/4 lb
Raisins 1/2 lb
Prunes 1/2 lb
Biscuits 1 packet
Coffee 4 oz
Soap
Sugar 4 oz
Bully 14 oz
Tongue 1 lb or Lamb & peas 1 lb or Corned Mutton 1 lb
Butter 1 lb
Jam 12 oz
Chocolate 1/2 lb
Honey 12 oz
Cheese 1 lb
Peas 1 lb
Tea 4 oz
Condensed milk 12 oz
Cafe au lait 12 oz
50 cigarettes per week or 2 oz tobacco

[digital page 6]

[Chart titled] Rooms I have occupied as a P.O.W.

Brunswick R42

Capt Flood RWK
Lt McCubbin Recce C
Capt Tufnell RTR
Capt Colbeck RTR
Capt Pritchard RSAP
Lt Flannigan RIASC
Lt Cundy RA
Capt Ramsay R Sig
Lt Rider R. Sig
Lt Smith RA
Capt Edwards KRRC
Capt McNamara Loyals
Capt Emery N’hamptons
Lt Watson R. E

Brunswick R67

Capt Tufnell R.T.R.
Capt Colbeck R.T.R.
Capt Cole-Biroth Queens
Lt Watson R. E.
Lt St George M’Sex

Brunswick Attic 6

Capt Caldwell
Capt Gillison
Capt Colbeck
Capt Tuffnel
Capt Edwards
Capt Emery
Capt McNamara
Capt Pritchard
Lt Smith EW
Lt Smith G.A.
Lt Rider
Lt Flannagan
Lt Renwick
Lt Ruddock
Lt McCubbin

Capua

56 others

Rezenello Room 66

Lt Roques RE
Lt Vian RA
Lt Dean RA
Lt Marshall RA
Lt Millington-Buck GH
Lt Player R.T.R.
Lt Burman R.T.R.
Lt Carr R.T.R.
Lt O’Brien-Swayne KRRC

Fontanelatto Room 46

Capt Williams DCLI
Capt Jobson DCLI
Capt Pryke DCLI
Capt Stericker DCLI
Lt Carr R.T.R
Lt Player R.T. R.
Lt Burman R.T.R.
Lt Roques RE
Lt Hoy EYs
P/O Dawson RAF
Lt Smythe RA
Lt Tunnage DCLI
Capt Hood HLI.
Capt Werner Gurkas
Capt Smith Gurkas

Moosburg

120 others

Mahr Trubau R

Capt Colbeck R.TR.
Capt Tufnell R.TR.
Capt Emery N’hamptons
Capt Cole Biroth Queens
Lt McCubbin Recce C.
Lt Watson R.E
Capt Edwards KRRC
Capt McNamara Loyals

[digital page 7]

[Concentration camp ticket PG49 (in Italian) with caption] Italian Camp currency Rate of exchange 72 lire = £1. above note is worth 5d

[Voucher (in German) with caption] German Camp Currency Rate of exchange 15 Marks = £1 above note worth. ¼

[digital page 8]

Parcels Received

[Chart titled ‘In Italy’ showing the quantity of parcels he received each week]

June 42 – Oct 42, 1/5 parcel per week
Oct – Nov 42, 1 parcel per week
Dec 43 – April 43, 1/2 parcel per week
May 43 – Sep 43, 1 parcel every 10 days
Sept – Dec, Free.

[Chart titled ‘In Germany’ showing the quantity of parcels he received each week]

Jan 44 – Aug 44, 1 parcel per week
Sept 44 – Feb 15/45, 1/3 parcel per week
Feb 15 – Mar 17, Nil
Mar 18 only, 1/2 parcel per week (Eng)
Apr 5 only, 1/6 parcel per week (Amer)
Apr 11th only, 1/3 parcel per week (Amer)

[digital page 9]

[Chapter title] Cork Boats

A short story of Italian prison life by Lt V. J. Roques (Posty):

Many are the devices of men in prison to defy monotony and kill time. From time past we learn of captives whose tame mice did all but speak whilst one King took lessons in patience from a spider. Exhibitions of work done with primitive tools form a feature of modern War prisoners Exhibitions but a few of the less practised time killers are worth recording.

Challenges and wagers has always been typical of British life and the POW version of the Yankee pea-nut rolling took place at an Air Forces Officers camp in Germany when a Pilot Officer successfully rolled a golf ball with his nose around the inside of the camp perimeter, a distance of 1½ miles for a modest bet.

At Oflag 8F in Moravia captive mice were regularly raced but more particularly made money for camp funds by being released from a trap like greyhounds, bets being taken on their preference for a particular playing card. This sport was known as mouse Roulette, the plumpest mouse ran under the title of Senior German Mouse or SGM since the army

[digital page 10]

Jargon prefers initials.

Italy is a land where water is harnessed to provide electric power on a big scale but a most original use of water power occurred at a British officers camp near Parma, where in anticipation of a drought the Italian engineers sunk an artesian well in the prisoners compound. Pending the connection of the water to the building a period elapsed for test and approval by the Grand Council Rome. Delay in matters like this are common in all armies but in Italy with its siesta complex an unconceivable amount of time elapses ere decision is made, meantime the water bubbling from the earth to the earth returns.

This interim was turned to good account on the part of the British officers by the construction of a 100 yd water course down which the uncontrolled water was diverted, so that it cascaded over sandbanks through tunnels down miniature falls until it was finally lost to use though its passage under the barbed wire. Boats, which comprised corks from wine bottles were constructed and raced down the course. From simple corks elaborate carved or streamline affairs emerged some being given ballast from a nail or drawing pin, whilst others developed tiny sails cut from a cigarette carton. Bets were placed boots changed hands like racehorses until the sport rapidly became a craze. It was my privilege to judge a classic event for charity in which a well-known British jockey racing his boat against a Scots padre with the son of a Minister of the crown cursing his craft pinned to a sand- bank by that of the only American pilot racing To add to the incongruity the Italian Camp commandant grey-haired be-medalled veteran of Caparetto turned up to investigate and remained to applaud.

Victor J. Roques
23/7/44

[digital page 11]

Norman Carr

The above signed Norman Carr is an officer in my own regiment. I first met him partaking of some refreshment at the “Duke” Bratton whilst he was with the training regiment near there. I next saw Norman when he joined my regiment in Middle East during the summer of 41. He still enjoyed partaking of refreshment but owing to temporary lack of funds due to the 6 weeks trip from England he was somewhat restricted in this respect. Norman is 31 years of age married and has a daughter of 6 In peace time he worked for a firm of motor engineers and retailers. He was a member of the Westminster Dragoons a territorial until in London He is about 5 foot 9” thin, fairish wavy hair turning slightly grey thin face with fine bristling moustache. He would look distinguished in decent clothes. Very keen sense of humour, taste very similar to mine in books and music (rather low). Favourite beverage Gin but if this isn’t available will drink anything alcoholic. Keen on good food, Educated at Eastbourne College, Plays golf considering himself to old for rugger. A wonderful “ticker” on occasions

[digital page 12]

Norman (continued)

likes dances provided there is a bar very handy. Has been troubled for years with Farmer Giles. Smokes both pipe and cigarettes but mostly the latter Nick-named in his room “The Colonel” Tells a good story. Norman was taken prisoner whilst with a column in April 42. I met him at Capua on June 19th, he had been in Tripoli for the previous 2 months. As far as one can gather in peace time he lived at least a fortnight ahead of his income. To sum up: Norman is a very good chap but he drinks.

Written by me and read by Lt N Carr on 23rd July 1944.
A. Steven,
Certified that no offence had been taken !!!!
L. Carr.

[digital page 13]

[Chapter title] My Biggest Day

Thursday 12th April 1945, at 0920hrs Sgt Jacob C Troop 125th Car Regt at 30th Div 9 U.S. Army entered the camp at 0930hrs, thereby releasing approximately 2500 POW officers (English American South African, New Zealand, Canadian Australian) The jeep in which Sgt Jacob was travelling was spotted ½ mile away and was frantically cheered until he actually entered the camp. The rest of the troop with the help of 3 rounds mortar took the adjacent aerodrome and the guards. We were free men again I had done 2 years 10 months and 1 week (less 3 months free in Italy) as a P.O.W. Very few officers, even the most unemotional, were able to keep dry eyes and the lump out of their throats. These Americans brought us news of amazing advances across Germany by all armies. We examined their equipment and crowded round our first contacts with the outside world. At lunch time a radio correspondent entered the camp and took photos and recordings. The Director General came in at 1500hrs. We were given a wireless hourly news bulletins were issued. It was very difficult to fully appreciate the full significance of the fact that we were free and would be home within a few days, (four years after leaving England). A great calm was experienced as the day wore on no more hunger, air-raid worries etc, we were free men at last, the day we had imagined in our thoughts dreamt about had at last arrived My weight on being captured was 12st 4lbs. on 12th April it was 9st 1lb I had lost 3st 3lbs since capture.

At 2100hrs I heard Big Ben. what a moment! It was only when I woke up on the morning of 14th that I realized how badly I had been sleeping since I have been a prisoner, for I woke up having had 9 hours dreamless, warm, undisturbed sleep, on waking up my first thoughts were, I am a free man, I can get up when I like, no roll-call, I will soon be home amazingly wonderful thoughts for a man who has had 3 years in captivity. Food from captured dumps came rolling in all morning, tins of liver pork, etc. our food worries were over, instead we had the worry of over-eating, which of course I did.

[digital page 14]

Then American type C rations came in and were issued. An issue to 1 man for 24hrs is about equivalent to a whole Red Cross parcel which has to do a POW for a week or more likely 2 weeks. To eat such things as sausage and beans, meat and spaghetti was delightful after our starvation diet of the last 3 months, in 24hrs everybody looked visibly fitter, colour appeared in people’s faces. All found themselves with more energy and felt warmer, an average weight of 5 lbs was put on over-night.

During the afternoon we were put on 20 minutes notice to move, however later in the evening an British Lt/Col informed us that owing to the rate our armies were advancing a move was unlikely for some days, 30 Div moved on to the Elbe and a British commission took over Brunswick. Officers who had been outside the camp on various duties told us of the amazing chaos in Burck owing to the 100,000 foreign workers looting everything they could lay their hands on, the also brought us in wine, foodstuffs and souvenirs.

Another wonderful night’s sleep 13/14 April no more news of our move, so we were allowed outside the wire for walks, also to scrounge anything we wanted. People came back laden with all manner of junk, which will all be left in the camp when we move. This unlimited food is still a novelty, and we are all still overeating. Hoping cigarettes will arrive soon as we are getting short. People are very on edge and finding this period of waiting very trying. Personally I am perfectly calm and contented, and now no longer excited, after all what is 2 weeks after 3 years.

Just met an American Piers correspondent who gave me 40 cigarettes so situation in that respect is temporally eased. On the 9 o-clock news to-night 14th April we heard the following statement: “American 9th Army have released Oflag 79 5 miles from Brunswick, the camp contained 2500 officers and 400 ORs mostly British, Nominal rolls have not yet been received but as soon as they are N of V. will be notified. The number of the camp was Oflag 79”. Relief in the camp was tremendous, we all imagined our people listening to this news and imagined their relief, Coffee and brandy to-night to celebrate!

15th. A bad night’s sleep no doubt due to the coffee. The first party left for England this morning consisting

[digital page 15]

of a few hospital cases in need of immediate treatment, There is a rumour that we may leave by plane, I hope so as it will be a quicker and more comfortable Journey. Had a long walk over the aerodrome in the morning, and in the afternoon, went out on a ?fatigue to collect fodder for the horses, managed to get myself some eggs and apple Jam, the Germans are very helpful and will give you anything they have. I also called in a pub and had a pint, incidentally had it on the house, as we have no money. Rumour of air transport gaining strength.

16th. Had a fresh egg for breakfast the first since I was free in Italy, as my digestive organs are a bit ropey I had it poached, very good it was, It never ceases to be a joy to eat of a plate again and to drink from a china mug. In fact all the small things that are normally taken for granted, Went out in the horse and cart to fetch apple jam for the camp managed to get myself a magnificent bottle of cherries, which I had for lunch. A few more left to-day from the hospital I managed to get one of them to take a letter to post in England, which I hope will get back to-morrow. The entire camp organization has fallen down owing to individual looting, everyone who was meant to procure goods for the benefit of the camp has used the transport provided for feathering his own nest” It makes me absolutely sick to watch it going on, private cars keep coming in loaded down with loot, much of the stuff is of considerable value, they hope to get the stuff home by labelling it heavy baggage I only hope its confiscated. More rumours of Dakotas landing on the nearby airdrome to take us off, hope its soon, as in many ways these last few days have sickened me, I never would have believed that U-Jacking could reach such astronomical proportions.

17th. Terrible indigestion kept me awake all night the trouble is that having been permanently hungry for such a long period and never having a meal that satisfied you, the temptation now is never to have a meal that doesn’t completely blow you out and if you

[digital page 16]

feel hungry between meals, instead of waiting, you feel you must have a “snigget” just because it’s there to have The first party of 125 left this morning, they are going to Hildersheim and there to fly to England, Wrote to Rod this morning and managed to get a staff officer from 2nd Army to post it for me. Crump heard from his brother this morning, he wrote back telling of our cig shortage, so hope it bears fruit, Got given an excellent chicken this morning by an American, we boiled it for dinner and found it delicious. Still living on looted goon food, hope we soon get onto English rations, It now seems fairly certain that we are to fly home, with a good prospect of leaving from our local aerodrome. Hope its soon as U-Jacking is carrying on completely unchecked, life is rather unpleasant for all.

18th. Woke up to hear that 3 3ton trucks from 155 Div were in the camp, it was a present of compo-rations and 100 cigs per man from the Div, very welcome as we were right out of cigs. Went off in the morning with a foraging party in an American lorry. we got three thousand tons of bacon for the camp from the meat factory, I got a crate of frankfurter sausages for the room which were delicious we then called at the armoury and I got myself a good 12 bore, then got a bottle of hock per man from the wine cellars, the place was a shambles I got my feet wet wading through wine which was swilling around the floor, brought myself back a crate of gin and some apple Jack, During the afternoon Crumps brother turned up from 2 Army HQ with a note for me from Dicky very shaken to hear that the unit had been split up, sent a note back to Dick and one to Rod. Paddy brought us bags of cigarettes, in the evening had a party with Willie who had got hold of some excellent beer, a very merry affair especially as we heard that it is fairly certain that we will fly home to-morrow. This has been my best day for feeding and drinking, smoking and lack of indigestion. Eggs milk and fresh meat are now rolling in.

[digital page 17]

I must have put on a stone since I was liberated 19/4 My weight stripped to-day 9st 7lbs. therefore put on 6lbs in the first week of liberation, the whole camp was under orders to move to-day by air from our local aerodrome but the order was cancelled at 1000 owing to the planes having been put on a more important job, this rather upset our calculations as we had eaten all our food, however should be able to forage some more easily enough, My breakfast this morning consisted of stewed apple rhubarb and thick cream, 2 eggs boiled, 2 frankfurter sausages 2 tinned English sausages and some tinned potatoes. To-day has been a quiet day I’ve not been outside the wire, a small gin sessions at lunch time gave me a glorious insight to days ahead, in the afternoon I read “I was an eighth Army Soldier”, a book Paddy Colbeck brought yesterday. It disturbed me, the man couldn’t even get his facts accurate

20/4. Woke up at 0630 to the sound of tanks on the autobahn outside and saw for the first time a Sqn of U.S. M24s they leagued in a nearby village so I saw one close too later in the day, was very impressed. A very quiet day, a new order has been received to-day for a move by air to-morrow from here direct to England certainly looks hopeful this time, I hope so 9 days is quite enough of this life especially as the news keeps speaking of Goon counter attacks in this area, Good food keeps rolling in the country for miles around has been looked except for this indigestion I feel fitter daily.

21/4. Just another day. at 0930 the move was cancelled, owing to British planes not being available, they’re going to try and lay on US planes for tomorrow, Everybody getting very bored and fed up we’ve been promised this move so many times always to have it cancelled at the last minute more and more people are making their own way back, although they’ve been promised a courte martial if they do, Rained all day so I stayed in and listened to the wireless, still a novelty. Perhaps we’ll be in England to-morrow, but I fear another disappointment.

[digital page 18]

22/4. I was right move cancelled at 0900hrs everybody very browned off. However move definite for to-morrow!!! It poured with rain all day so I stayed on the sack all day, very bored as no library and the wireless has broken down. Food stocks are getting low.

23/4. Four years to-day since we sailed down the Clyde, Quite unexpectedly at 0930hrs the order came through that weather permitting, British aircraft would take 1000 officers off to-day, in view of our previous disappointments we viewed this new order with reserve, at 1130 nothing had happened so we started a beer party 2 hrs latter when everyone was very happy, we saw streams of Dakotas arriving, a most tremendous flap ensued, we cooked a quick meal of German bacon (very fatty) and sausages fried, we packed and rushed onto the aerodrome, there to see the magnificent sight of lines and lines of Dakotas we were rushed into a plane piloted by a Canadian and within 5 mins of getting to the drome were in the air, we had a very comfortable Journey although a little bumpy, (I felt very fit the whole time) arriving at Brussells 2 hours latter i.e. 5 o-clock, we had a wonderful birds eye view of some bombed Goon cities and of the Rhine battle fields, bomb and shell craters showing up very clearly as did the Goon defensive system. An unbelievable welcome awaited us at the Brussels airport, we lined up at a Red Cross table were we given 30 cigs ¼lb choc a handkerchief and a packet of gum then on to a mobile NAAFI truck to receive 10 cigs a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits, at last we all felt well and truly free men. I felt tremendously happy. We were taken by 3 tonnes to the Army barracks, were we were first deloused unnecessary in my case then tea and buns cigs tobacco and matches. We then signed particulars and drew 800 francs. Then the Red Cross presented us with a pullover, scarf, a pair of socks and a magnificent bag containing 50 cigs ½lb choc soap comb, face flannel, shaving soap,

[digital page 19]

brush razor and blades, 2 handkerchiefs, tooth brush paste and a pipe, altogether we were given 100 cigs since arriving, everyone gave us a tremendous welcome tried to help us in every way. We were impressed how fit everyone looked, a normal colour was unnatural to us. We were given a room for 4. Crump Tuf Gordon and self after wash, we were given an excellent dinner, the first time we’ve been waited on and had the dishes washed for us for months, it really was terrific. Although it was now 2200hrs we decided to have a look at the town, we cadged a lift down in a Belgium car and found a good drinking dive with a radio gram, we had an amusing time taking pidgin French to the girls, I kept on lapsing into Wop, we finished drinking at 0230hrs and found there was no means of getting back to the barracks miles away, so after spending an unsuccessful hour in the town Mayor’s office trying to lay on transport we walked it arriving back at 0515, the sentry on the gate told us there was an early move laid on to fly back to England, everyone was to be out of bed by 0630, we therefore decided not to go to bed at all, so went to the cookhouse and cadged a cup of tea or a “wad”, then I came back to my room to write this. A tremendous day I feel 100% fit and am very excited about hitting England tomorrow, the one thing I want now is to get away from the milling hoards of PoWs and to finish with queuing for a bit, even now my prison existence is fading into the past.

24/4.

[digital page 20]

[Chapter title] Remarks from German Papers

When the Russians started an offensive during the thaw of 1944 the Germans stated “There is no military explanation for this”

[Photograph with caption]: Tom Tufnell and myself taken during our period of freedom in Italy, from the Armistice 8 September 1943 until re-capture 17 December 1943. These photographs were taken in November at a small place in the mountains between Emilia and Tuscany.

[Photograph with caption]: John Colbeck and Norman Carr also had photos taken but these were confiscated by the Fascists at Piacenza after re-capture.

[Digital page 21]

[Group photograph with Caption]:
Capt Steven, R.T.R [Royal Tank Regiment], Lt Player, RTR, Capt Tunstall, RTR, Capt Colbeck, RTR, Lt Carr, RTR
In Italy 9 September 1943 to 17 December 1943. Taken Oflag 79, 1 August 1944

[Digital page 22]

[Group Photograph with caption]:
Room 44, Oflag 79 Brunswick, Taken early June 1944
Standing left to right: Flanigan (RIASC) [Royal Indian Army Service Corps], McNamara (Loyals), Watson (RE) [Royal Enginers], Emery (Northans), Tufnell (RTR), Cole-Biroth (Queens)
Kneeling: Edwards (KRCC) [King’s Royal Rifle Corps], Rider (R. Sigs) [Royal Corps of Signals], Flood (RWK) [Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment]
Sitting Rear: Cundy (RA) [Royal Artillery], Ramsay (R. Sigs), St George (Middlesex), Smith (RA)
Sitting Front: Pritchard (BSAP), McCubbin (Reece Corps), Steven (RTR), Colbeck (RTR)

[Digital page 23]

[Photograph of a play with caption]: Photos showing Theatre Scenes Oflag 79

[Digital page 24]

[Image of a German propaganda poster titled ‘The escape from prison camps is no longer a sport’]

[Digital page 25]

[Photograph with caption]: Off-whites XII Oflag VIII, 1944
Results: Played 11; Won 9; Drawn 1; Lost 1
Points: For 61; Against 14
Rear row: Gardner, Cooper, Pringle, Hick, MacVicar
Middle row: Williams, Steven, Bainbridge (capt), Tighe, Payne
Sitting: Cornish, Mitchell

[Digital page 26]

[Chart titled ‘Easter Sunday’ showing two teams named ‘England’ and ‘The Rest’]

[Digital page 27]

[Chart titled ‘Easter Monday’ showing two teams named ‘North’ and ‘South’]

[Digital page 28]

[Two prisoner of war post envelopes for Anthony Steven in PG49 and Oflag VIII F]

[Digital page 29]

[Letter to Anthony Steven addressed to PG49] and [image of a cigarette parcel received 4 December 1944].

[Digital page 30]

[Two letters presumably written by Anthony Steven with passages redacted]

[Digital page 31]

[Image of a label from a Red Cross parcel]

[Digital page 32]

[Image of front cover of Anthony Steven’s ‘A Wartime Log’]

[Digital page 33]

[Image of first page of ‘A Wartime log for British Prisoners]

[Digital page 34]

This book belongs to Captain Anthony D Steven, 42nd Bn Royal Tank Regiment. Captured 5 June 1942 in Libya.

Liberated by Sgt Jacob C Troup 125 Cavalry Regt U.S 30th Div 9th Army 21st Army Group at Oflag 79. Brunswick on Thursday April 12 1945 at 0930 hours.

[Digital page 35]

[Contents page]

Connect with us via Facebook or email - info@msmtrust.org.uk