Thursday January 24 2019

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In Full . . .

POW memories

Posted on October 31 2017 at 11:09:48

It was so interesting to read about “Our German gentle men” (The Village, September 2017). I, too, lived near the POW camp in Groveley Lane, Cofton Hackett.

In the mid-1940s food was rationed. I remember my mother had saved some “points” which enabled her to buy a tin of fruit and some evaporated milk to serve to expected visitors.

For some reason the visitors didn’t arrive, and we had no telephone by which we could have been contacted.

My mother, looking out for them, saw two German prisoners walking up the road. She said: ” I bet they wouldn’t say no to tea in a private house.”

She thought, rightly so, that they were very young and that their families must worry about them.

They accepted the invitation from my father who had run after them. Mother was right; they were only 20. They were George Bauer and Gunter Becker, who liked to be called Gordon Baker!

My mother wrote to Gordon’s family in Siegen. Luckily Gordon’s sister was fluent in English.

One day, Gordon brought us a large tin of pork received from his mother. Such a luxury for us. Our weekly meat ration for one person was about 1s 2d (about 7.5p!).

What a feast we had, with vegetables, home-grown of course.

Eventually Gordon returned home, but the letters continued. George married an English girl and went to live in Worcester.

A few years later, I visited Gordon’s family in Germany and was made very welcome.

Years later, again, I was to teach the Mader boys, from Alvechurch, at Cofton Primary School – their father had also been a POW.

Many memories of so long ago.

Audrey Court, Cofton Hackett

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