7. Jul, 2021

A Revelation and a Shock

I was hunting online to confirm the date my of my father's death for a record I am working on for my grandchildren. I came across the Auckland war Memorial site with a list of all the WWII soldiers who had been prisoners of war. My Father spent 5 years as a POW. This lead to further research and with his POW number and, knowing he was in Stalag XVIII, I found a contact that could supply photographs of the soldiers on interment. This is the photo that came back. I discovered he was taken prisoner on 29 April 1941 in Greece and then they were force marched on starvation rations over some mountainous terrain to a railhead where they were packed into cattle trucks and transported to Wolfsburg in Austria. The conditions were terrible - I think it can be seen by how gaunt he was on arrival. He never talked about his time during the war and maybe this explains quite a bit. I am a post war baby but my siblings were all pre-war and none of us knew of the conditions he was captured in. When I look at this photo I can see likenesses to my son. So now I will continue with the record and maybe try and capture some of this pathos in stitch