Copies of the letters addressed to Hilda.

Mar 28th, 2013

Wilfred changes his identity.

Mar 28th, 2013

At some point in early 1944 Wilfred changes his identity from the Wilfred we know at ARB. KDO 7001 to addressing his letters Gunner Sidney D. Gallimore at ARB. KDO.7005 and signs himself Sid instead of Wilf.

This charade goes on for quite a few months and I have been at pains to work out the reason for it from the letters. There are a few clues but Wilfred is obviously guarded about what he is up to – after all his letters are read by his captors.

Three reasons occur to me and if anyone can spot any others from the following letters or has heard of a POW doing the same thing please let me know – admin.

1. To avoid an unpleasant job – Wilfred was a Private and could be forced to work.

2.  To get more Red Cross Parcels and more parcels from home.

3.  To help someone escape.

There is a bit of evidence for all three of these theories and I will point out the relevant bits in the following  letters that have led me to these conclusions. – admin.

As you can see from the next post the handwriting on the letters is identical – it is definitely Wilfred writing as Sidney Gallimore.

 

Tags:

A description of Wilfred’s Journey from Italy to Germany.

Feb 13th, 2013

I would like to give you a picture of what the Red Cross has meant to Prisoners of War and of our lasting gratitude to it. I should like to tell you how desperately necessary our food parcels are in our bad times and what a difference they made in our comparatively good ones.

Friday, the normal issue day, is always a good good day and the men are in great spirits as they unpack their parcels. We immediately begin to swap things – bully for stew, salmon for meat roll etc.  and to make a brew of tea which seems so homely for Englishmen every where.

Coming out of Italy into Germany our train was standing in the marshalling yard in Bolsano when the place was attacked by American bombers. The guards fled and we were left to break out of the cattle trucks and we scattered all over the  town. We were rounded up pretty quickly,of course, and were back in the railway yard almost  before the smoke and dust of the bombs had disappeared  I was amused to see dozens of men already kneeling by the train assiduously tending little wood fires on which their dixies were boiling for tea. I thought “nothing can break that sort of spirit’ and is made haste to join them. On that awful journey of days locked in a cattle truck we had at least some Red Cross food, leaving Italy with two parcels each. I was not only the food that kept us gojng but also the knowledge that we we not forgotten: that we were being looked after. The parcels formed a chain from England of which we hold the last link

Tags:

Wilfred is assigned to a work camp. ARB.KDO.7001

Feb 13th, 2013

On arrival at Stalag XI B non officers were assigned to a work camp. Wilfred’s is Arbietskommando 7001 Halendorf. I believe this was a steel works.[admin]

See this link.

Tags:

Map of POW camps in Germany

Feb 13th, 2013

Tags:

It is tougher than it was but I can take it.

Nov 13th, 2012

(Wilfred now puts his address as Stalag XI A – admin)

26th November 1943.

My Dear Hilda,

Please ask Rothman’s, 3 Pall Mall, London to post me one thousand cigarettes a week – this will cost £1 weekly – send them a cheque for three months’ supply. Also I should like more clothing – shirts, socks, handkerchiefs, towel comb, cardigan etc.  – I am beginning at the beginning again with my kit. It is tougher than it was but I can take it. Cold and damp. Beat wishes for 1944. I WILL see you again!

Wilfred

Tags:

We left Italy with two Red Cross Parcels each.

Nov 13th, 2012

25th October 1943

My dear Harvie,

I have been in Germany for two or three weeks but at present I am at a transit camp and have no permanent address to give you yet. The climate here is definitely northern, quite different from the smashing weather we had all year in Central Italy, but though it is chilly and very misty at nights, the afternoons are still warm and we can bask outside in the sunshine. The German rations are better than the Italians and more of them. I shall be glad to get settled down at a permanent camp however. Our journey here was long, rather unpleasant and much too exciting – more of that when I see you – but luckily we had stacks of food with us, having left Italy with two Red Cross parcels each. I have not much to say excepting that I shall reappear in blighty about the same time as Miles – not so long ago I thought I was going to be ahead of him.

I hope you have a nice Christmas. This will be my fourth away from home: one on a troopship, one on the desert in Libya and two in prison camps – I hope therefore to have the next one at home. I am quite well and cheerful still and feel that nothing can go wrong now. Beat wishes for 1944

Wilfred

Tags:

All Wilfred’s kit lost in transit.

Nov 11th, 2012
Comments Off on All Wilfred’s kit lost in transit.

18th October 1943

My Dear Hilda,

When you receive my permanent address please write to Rothman’s Ltd. 3 Pall Mall London and order them to send me 1,000 cigarettes a week. These are the best people – I received only two cigarette parcels from you in Italy but several from Rothman’s and it will cost only about 18 shillings a week for 1,000 cigarettes: send them a cheque for a few pounds or a bankers draft. I should like also other parcels – some more shirts, socks, handkerchiefs, soap, a comb chocolate etc.  None of these parcels, of course, may arrive: you never can tell; but send them just the same, regardless of the expense, especially cigarettes galore. I have lost all my other parcels and mail in transit from Italy and I abandoned a lot of kit on my way here, for one reason or another.

The weather is colder than in Italy, where the weather was smashing and I do not look forward very much to this one. I hope to go soon to a permanent camp where, when one has settled down, the time may go more quickly. There is not much else to say. I hope you are all well and have a decent Christmas, I think you will get this before. Please give the girls £10 each and other presents. I hope Mr Chadwick is still sending you cash.

Wilfred

Tags:

An unpleasant journey – far too exciting.

Nov 11th, 2012

7635484 PTE. Wilfred Tattersall

11 October 1943

No permanent address. (Wilfred has crossed out M.-Stammlager VII A. It was near the town of Moosburg in Bavaria ans a lot of POW’s from Italian camps passed through it –  admin)

My Dear Hilda,

I have already sent you a telegram to say that I am in Germany, safe and well and I hope you received that. I had an unpleasant journey – far too exciting, but more of that later. I do not think this  camp is my permanent address but will let you know as soon as I can. Treatment good and the food better than in Italy. I hope you have a good Christmas – please give the girls £10 and other presents.

Wilfred

Tags:

More about the lectures.

Nov 3rd, 2012

Capt. G Tattersll

H.Q. R.A.S.C.

7th Armoured Division

28th November 1943

Dear Harvie,

Thank you for your letter. I had heard of your fire fighting experiences in the Home Guard – well done. At the moment and I don’t know for how long we are in a large modern Villa, which includes Sitz baths but no baths proper. No water laid on. Electricity however. Tiled floors, balconies, flat roofs and lemons oranges and tangerines in the garden. Rotten rainy weather, chilly, but really I suppose very mild. No fireplaces in the house or heating. Therefore the winters cannot be considered long or chilly by the Italians.

I have been lecturing on V.D. I give them one and a half hours of this and far from boring the troops they have been delighted. In one lecture a man fainted and was carried out. This so impressed my audience that when I finished they broke into spontaneous clapping and I left the room amid scenes of popular enthusiasm. I make the lecture gruesome and draw on a blackboard and though never telling low jokes I manage by a turn of phrase to send them into fits of laughter. Rather tiring 1 1/2 hours day after day for me, but still…..!

Gilbert

Tags: