Work Camp 11022 GW
Location: Glandorf/ St Veidt
Type of work: Railway
Man of Confidence: Sgt Norman Oxley, 2159
Number of Men: 63 (10 in a separate work-party nearby)
|R.J.||Bridges||Pte||2/8 Inf. Bn.||7462||Australia|
|George W. 'Bully'||Hayes||Pte||2/11 Inf. Bn.||3700||Western Australia; also 11089/GW|
|Thomas Dudley||Jones||Gnr||RA||5205||Wales; also 1107/L, 1715/L|
|Lawrence Oliver||Kerrisk||Pte||2NZEF||7499||New Zealand|
|Basil A. 'Silver'||Lacey||L/Cpl||19 Bn.||222||New Zealand|
|Claude Cecil||Lewis||Tpr||Div. Cav.||1516||New Zealand|
|J.P.||Malone||Pte||2/11 Inf. Bn.||5089||Australia|
|A.E.H. (Shorty)||Newsome||Gnr||RA||5062||Isle of Man|
|Norman||Oxley||Sgt||RASC||2159||MOC; also 10305/GW, 11093/GW|
|Eric H||Pooley||Pte||H.Q. 17 Inf. Bde.||3654||Australia|
|Geoff J.||Sands||Pte||2/2 Inf. Bn.||3494||Willaura, Australia|
|G.O.||Stevenson||Pte||H.Q. 6 Div AASC||1519|
|Frank C.||Thompson||Sgmn||1 Cps. Sigs.||3466||Australia; also 12040/L|
|Ernest||Wright||Pte||2/11 Inf. Bn.||3781||Australia|
|T.D. Jones||B.T. Shoult||N Oxley|
|Back row: Malone, Lacey, unknown,
Stevenson, Pooley, unknown
Mid row: Hayes, Brown, Wright, Bridges
Front row: Lewis, unknown, Thompson, Miller
The following is an excerpt from the diary of Thomas Jones for the Christmas period of 1942, supplied by his daughter, Audrey Shanton.
“In October, we moved our barracks from Glandorf to St. Veidt, and believe me it was a great improvement as we had new beds, stores, etc. to make us as comfortable as possible. Up to the present day of my writing this (December 17th, 1942), things are great as we have plenty of food (Thanks to the Red Cross) and the news of the war we get is well in our favour so we feel certain that the New Year will see us home. We are busy preparing for a Good Christmas, as we have all clubbed articles out of our parcels for the past month so as to have Big Eats over XMAS. We are also arranging a Concert, Games, etc., so as to make life as merry as possible.
Well, it’s now January 1st today and I am going to describe how Christmas Eve and New Years were spent. On Dec. 23rd we got issued with a Red Cross XMAS Parcel which contained XMAS pudding, Xmas cake, chocolate biscuits, Milk, Sweets, Meat Pies, Chocolate, Cheese, Sugar, Steak and Tomatoes Pudding, Tea, Ovaltine, Jam, Butter.>
Our Spokesman and Confidence Man (Norman Oxley) is by trade a baker, so with all the conserve that us boys had been contributing each week from our parcels towards a Xmas party, Norman made Cakes and Pastries of all descriptions, also Jellies, Custards, Blancmanges, Sandwiches, etc. On Christmas Eve, seven boys and myself were busy getting our Concert ready as we had prepared to give the Boys a good show. Well, on Christmas morning, the guard comes to unlock our doors and also says that ten men are wanted on a special job to unload a few trucks of coal. Well, of all the boys, we draw lots on what ten is to go. The ten is drawn for and I am amongst them, so off the ten go to the railway goods yard and find there are ten trucks of coal, each containing 20 tons a truck, so we get two boys to a truck and get stuck into it. We got finished about 1:30 and believe me we were in a mess all blacked up as if we had been down a coal pit, but never mind, we had that happy XMAS spirit in us.
We got bathed and changed into clean clothes. I put on the shirt I had from my Wife, with the loose collars, and put my posh tie on. Also, I wore the pullover I had from my Wife. I looked posh as all the boys passed remarks. HA. HA. (Good Mrs. Jones XXXXX).
Well, we had dinner and the XMAS pudding that Oxley made. “It was great!” After dinner, we played games, etc. I also had a lay on the bed reading Nancy and everyone’s letters and looking at photos.
Well, tea time comes and the tables are decorated and filled up with cakes of every description, Jellies, Sandwiches, etc. and tea. We all got stuck into it and all finished up with our bellies as full as an egg. HA. HA. We then had the beer barrels opened. (We had four but started off by opening two). We were getting quite merry and singing and playing games.
Well, at 7:00. we concert party were getting things all set for the” Big Show” HA. At 7:30 we open the show with out opening number “Sing as we go”. Well the concert ends at 9:00, and then we continue with out Beers, Games, and Sing Song, until it got time to go to bed. Well, it was an enjoyable day as everything went off grand and plenty of food. I forgot to mention that we had a large Christmas tree and every man had a present off it.
Boxing Day, we spent in a similar way except that instead of a concert, we had a tombola. On Boxing Day was my Mother’s birthday, so I wished her Many Happy Returns of the Day and prayed that I shall be home for next Christmas. We had Sunday again to ourselves, so I had a good lay in and did a bit of writing to my Wife, Mother, Frank, etc. I forgot to mention that on Christmas Eve, I got some letters and cards from Nancy, Mother, and Violet. I was sorry to hear of Poor Miss Phillips having passed away, also of Peggy being in hospital, and of Frank being called up into the Air Force, but even with this disheartening news, I kept my spirit up.
Well, I now get back to my story! For working on Christmas Day, we ten boys got the Monday off, so that was OK. HA. HA. On the Tuesday we again got a Red Cross Parcel. We concert party are again preparing a Concert for New Year’s Eve. Well, we do a bit of work on Wednesday, then on Thursday we get half day. Friday is New Year’s Eve. So that night we have another four barrels of beer, Cakes, Pastries, etc. of plenty to eat and at 7:30 the concert is all set to begin. So the show goes on again and it was a great show as the boys thoroughly enjoyed it.
Afterwards we had our beers and eats again, and sing songs up until midnight. Then at midnight we all linked hands and sang “Auld Lang Syne”, etc, then off we go to bed! I lay awake for a long time thinking and wishing that I was with my Wife and all, because we would have such grand times. I thought lots of our future and things we have coming to us.
New Year’s Morning, I got up at 10:30, had a breakfast of Bacon, tomatoes, Bread, Butter, Jam and Tea, and then had a bath and got dressed into my shirt, collar, tie and posh pullover, had dinner and then enjoyed the afternoon reading Nancy and all letters and looking at photos. I did also drop off to sleep dreaming of about you all that I love so dearly.
The first time for us to have the snow was on Dec 29th, as this winter it’s kept away grand and thank goodness too, because the snows here are terrible, as last winter the snow started in early October and was on the ground until April. Oh it was a terrible winter, especially when we prisoners had to go out and work in it, day after day.
On January 2nd, which was again supposed to be a holiday, the guard comes in at approx 8:00 a.m. and says that twelve men are wanted for work to empty more coal trucks. Well, we draw lots and again I am one of the twelve. (Aren’t I an unlucky fellow? HA.) We get to the railway yard and there are six (twenty tonner) trucks, so Shorty and I get on a truck together and get stuck into it. Shorty’s real name is Newsome and he and I muck in together on food and parcels. Newsome is from the Isle of Man. Well, we get finished on the coal at 3:00 p.m. and we are all blacked up but we soon get bathed and cleaned up, then I get to read through my Wife’s letters and photos and I eventually drop off to sleep.
Shorty and I had a good tea of Bacon, Tomatoes, Meat Roll, Christmas cake and tea. After tea, I played games until it was time to have some more to eat. HA. So Shorty and I had a Ginger Pudding, biscuits, bread, Jam and Ovaltine, and then off we go to bed, where I had a read at a Cowboy story, then I drop off to sleep.
Today, January 3rd, I have breakfast, get washed and polished my two suitcases with brown polish. Then dinner and off I go to sit on the bed and write a grand letter to my Wife, and afterward drop off to sleep. Shorty and I then have our tea of another Ginger pudding, Bacon, Tomatoes, Meat Roll, Bread, Jam, and Tea.I then do a bit of tidying and sorting in my suitcases, until it is time for supper and afterwards, I get to bed, have a read at my cowboy story until I get sleepy, then off to sleep I go and dream about all the folks at home.
Well, that’s my Christmas and New Year’s, and indeed I was quite thankful for it being so good, because I always give a sympathetic thought for all that are even worse off than me.”
There are two wooden barracks and a small shed for the storing of Red Cross parcels forming this compound, which includes some small ground as well. It is situated near the railway station of St Veidt.
Lighting and heating are adequate. One of the barracks is rather old and dark. The Accompanying Officer on the request of the delegate of the Protecting Power arranged that some more windows should be put into the wall of the old barrack.
Bathing and washing facilities
The washroom is in the old barrack. The Man of Confidence claims that there is not enough water for their daily cold showers and that the hot water boiler is far to small to allow even for a small number of prisoners to wash themselves with hot water. The water supply is not sufficient as the whole area lacks water because of dry weather for more than 4 weeks. As the whole country suffers from this, one has to put up with the situation.
These are satisfactory and there is plenty of lime.
Food and Cooking
The food is cooked by civilians and stated to be clean and at present much better prepared than in the past. There is a large heating plate in the old barrack for the cooking of private food by the prisoners.
Medical attention and sickness
There is a daily sick parade. Those wishing to see a doctor go to Dr Brandel in St Veidt any day they like. First Aid is given by the Man of Confidence himself who disposes of an adequate supply of medicaments. The officer commanding the watch company in this district arranged for the prisoners to receive dental treatment by a civilian dentist in St Veidt, but this arrangement unfortunately does not always work satisfactorily as this dentist is badly overworked.
Laundry is washed outside the camp.
Money and Pay
The camp has no canteen but beer is always on sale.
A visit by one of the padres at Stalag XVIIIA will be arranged as soon as possible.
Recreation and exercise
There is a small football field at the disposal of the men. During summer, swimming will be allowed.
Mail is coming in poorly.
The Man of Confidence asked urgently for private kitbags for his men as there re no cupboards or suitcases in which private and personal papers as well as other things can be kept.
The camp's strength has risen to 102 British and one United States prisoners of war, of whom 60 have recently arrived from Italian captivity. The men work for a sub-contractor of the Reichsbahn with whom they have considerable difficulties regarding their work. This point was fully discussed with the Zahlmeister (Paymaster?) from Stalag who will deal with the matter.
A new barrack with sleeping accommodation, a washhouse, a new hit with latrines and a kitchen barrack had been added since our last visit.
Bathing and washing facilities
Adequate. There are about 20 taps with running water in the new washhouse. 25 washbasins were ordered to be available for washing with hot water which is supplied by a boiler.
Food and Cooking
The men do their own cooking now. The have some difficulties with the works' kitchen to get the full rations, but the Man of Confidence assisted by the Kommandofuhrer were ordered to control the daily rations and inform the company commander of any differences. Red Cross parcel issue is in order. The Christmas parcels will arrive the very next day.
Medical attention and sickness
A civilian doctor and a civilian dentist are in charge of the men and they report a very good understanding and treatment. The medical supply is adequate.
Except for the newcomers from Italy, the clothing position is satisfactory.
The laundry is sent out for washing at reasonable prices.
Money and Pay
The canteen is very poorly stocked. They receive some goods from Stalag; besides the Man of Confodence can go shopping to the village.
No attendance so far. Stalag will be informed.
Recreation and exercise
Sunday walks are organised. Football can be played on Saturday afternoons.
Incoming mail is reported to be very slow at the moment.
Arb. Kdo. 11022/GW is a fairly good camp although there are many difficulties with the firm. The prisoners of war are strongly supported by the military authorities who do not wish to have them under continuous pressure. The Man of Confidence emphasized that good understanding with his Kommandofuhrer and the Company Commander. Should matters not improve, Stalag will be asked to have this work-camp dissolved.