Showing posts from April, 2017
In the middle of January 1943, Sidney sent a post card and letter to his parents and a letter to his fiance Amy. In January 1941, Sidney had obtained a marriage license for Amy and himself, but he never used it.
10th January 1943 Dearest mum & Dad, I have only had 1 letter this week - Mothers of 26th Nov. Sorry to hear you are not getting my mail regularly - things seem to be so disorganised at present. This week has been one of continual snowfall as we have quite a depth on the ground now. Last night I went to a lecture - "Experences of a Reporter in New York" which was very good, and that is about all I have to tell you this week. I hope no-one has any ill effects from the Xmas Rush. I am still very well. Give my love to all - Your Loving Son - Sidney 16th January 1943

18th January 1943

It appears from this letter, that Amy has called off her engagement to Sidney and this is his reply to her.

Sidney's first letter home on the 4th January 1943 was to his parents and he describes how he spent Christmas and hoped that business in the family shop was good over the Christmas period.

Christmas 1942 arrived and it was Sidney's second one as a POW.  Below are the final two letters home that Sidney sent in 1942.

The below postcard was sent to his Aunt and Uncle Mr & Mrs T. B. Illingworth

As November 1942 progressed, Sidney was heading towards his second Christmas as a POW of the Germans.  Sidney managed to send three more postcards home before the month was out, one to his sister Barbara, who was working at the Children's Hospital in Bradford and two to his parents.  In both of the postcards written on the 22 November Sidney mentions that football is now finished as the pitch is under water.  In the bottom postcard, dated the 30th November, Sidney mentions that they had a Bridge tournament and that they were putting on Aladdin for the Christmas panto.

13th September 1942

My Dear Barbara,

Thanks for yours of 21-8-42. Thank Margaret for her P.S. but tell her the only future I'm interested in at present seems hell of a long time coming. Glad to hear you passed your Exam, you see you can do it when you want to. They are not as hard as people make out. You seem to be having some lovely walks lately, the weather must be good. It has been here for quite a time, but seems to be breaking now a little. This afternoon we had a Boxing show & tonight I have been to a Choral Concert, both of which were very good. Well keep smiling dear. Be seeing you - Love - Sidney

After being captured, Sidney remained in the transit camp on Crete for five months before being moved to a permanent camp.Eventually he was allowed to receive post from home while he was in the transit camp.

When it was time for Sidney to be moved to a more permanent camp in Germany, Sidney was shipped from Crete to Greece and then he was moved on to Atheneum Greece to Salonika.  While he and the rest of the prisoners were in Salonika, Sidney mentioned that the beds in which they were given were full of bed bugs.  To try and prevent them they used to stand the beds in tins that were full of petrol.  After Salonika Sidney and the other prisoners were piled into cattle trucks and were transported to Silesia via Vienna on the trans-continental railway.  There were about 40 people in each truck and apart from straw on the floor; there was nothing else in the trucks.  Every so often the prisoners were allowed off the trucks in order to go to the toilet.
Sidney arrived at Stalag VIIIB at Lam…
After Sidney had been captured, and before his family had been told of his capture, his sister Barbara sent him the following postcard from the Duchess of York's Hospital in Levenshulme, Manchester, where she was training to be a nurse.

June 2nd [1941]

My Darling Sidney,

Here I am again 7 about time too I'm thinking, although it is only a p[ost] c[ard] still I'll get quite a bit on. How is life with you old boy!? Its not treating me so badly either, I have quite settled down here. Some of the Babies & older children, (we have ____ to the age of 3 yrs) are adorable. I'm in the operation & surgical wards & its frightfully interesting. The only thing that bothers me is when we have our sleep disturbed by the air-raids. Mum & Dad have not sent me your last letter as I am going home this weekend or rather from Friday night to Saturday night. I have to be back here at 9.30 Sat night. I wanted Wednesday , off really, my birthday but haven't got it. Sheila …
The battle for Crete started on the 20th May with the early morning waves of airborne landings[1]. When the British Army realised that the battle of Crete was a lost cause, they tried to evacuate the troops from Crete back to Egypt.  This meant that Sidney and his fellow colleagues had to march from the north of Crete to the harbour of Sphakia in the South of the island, a distance of around 50-60 miles.  While they were marching to Sphakia, the British Army were being bombed by Stuka bombers and at times Sidney and the other troops had to lie flat on the ground while they were being shot at.  At one point, due to the bombing, Sidney said that he was going to climb down a limestone gorge to get away from the bombing.  Some of the soldiers that were with Sidney were unsure about this as they had never climbed before, but Sidney managed to lead about eight or nine men down the gorge.  At the bottom of the gorge they met a number of Special Operations Executive Officers hiding out in a ca…
One of Sidney's first letter home to his family was sent on the 4th May 1941 from No.7 General Hospital, Middle East Forces "Z".

Dear All,

I suppose by this time Amy will have received my first letter sent my this method and told you about it and I do hope that it is possible for them to be sent from England out here. First of all I must apologise for not writing to you for so long, although you will get this before you know that there has been a gap in my correspondence, but I will tell you quite frankly that I have not written to you for over three weeks, but as I have been on the move and only reached here about 10 days ago, since when I have been very very busy, you must excuse me. We have at last reached out destination and set up hospital and as you will know doubt have gathered from the past week's events we have been very busy in fact for the last 8 days I have not been to bed before midnight at all and on one night we worked right through and never went to b…