The Long Journey Part Five

The Long Journey

The concluding episode in Michael Whiteman’s epic account of his days as a P.O.W

From the Danube to Rye

The next day, the same thing, but we had hardly started work when the sirens blared, we were taken under the sub-way at the station which we weren’t too happy about, as we thought that was what might possibly be bombed. Anyway, as soon as the all clear was shouted we came back over the river to the farm, we didn’t go back to the town again, thank goodness. At about six o’clock in the morning round about the 17th April we moved off to another ferry along the river, it brought us to the south side of the Regensburg, where we went into another farmyard. It had been kept very clean, the buildings were all the way around a central yard. We occupied one of the buildings away from the main house. It was while we were here that the air-raids started again over the town. The day after this nasty one, we were told that a party of POWs were crossing the Continue reading The Long Journey Part Five

The Long Journey Part Four

Michael Whiteman’s Graphic Account of His Days as a P.O.W. in World War Two.

Part Four: January 1944

Could the end be in sight?

So came January and towards the end a party was sent out to Sosnowiec. It was an iron works, electric plant plus it had its own coal mine, making coke. We were pulling down two areas for re-building. One morning we all refused to go to work, saying that they were making us work too hard, as we stood on parade the German in charge with a guard counted ten men, me amongst them, put us up against the wall – I thought “Iv’e been here before”. Threatened to shoot us if we did not go to work. Our Sergeant in charge said “OK lads, we’ll go back to work and see if we can get it sorted”. This we did to our advantage, early in May we were seeing train loads of political or Jewish POW s ¬†going to Auschwitz. Poor devils. We used to wave to them as our camp was close to the line. We did know what was happening to them because the Polish workers we worked alongside told us, they all seemed to know but kept it to themselves. Continue reading The Long Journey Part Four

The Long Journey Part Four

 

Michael Whiteman’s Graphic Account of His Days as a P.O.W. in World War Two.

Part Four: January 1944

Could the end be in sight?

So came January and towards the end a party was sent out to Sosnowiec. It was an iron works, electric plant plus it had its own coal mine, making coke. We were pulling down two areas for re-building. One morning we all refused to go to work, saying that they were making us work too hard, as we stood on parade the Continue reading The Long Journey Part Four

The Long Journey

By Michael Whiteman

As a young fellow from 1936 onward I was working as an under-gardener at Leasam House, Playden, Near Rye. I really enjoyed this work and each Friday morning I used to harness up the black pony onto a buggy trap, going into Rye High Street, to a greengrocers with any surplus vegetables, tomatoes and lettuce that was going at the time and come autumn 1938 the Government stated that all men who were twenty years old would be compelled to either the T.A. for weekend training or join the forces the following spring for six months training plus two weeks further training yearly. This I decided to do myself. If war was going to happen, I would be in it anyway. We would be known as Millitia Boys. Continue reading The Long Journey