Christmas rose  by quietpurplehaze

Christmas rose

in the work camp at Cossebaude, near Dresden, at the cement works of Dyckerhoff & Widmann

"During December our rations were being cut. On Sat 16-12-44, we were informed of another cut. We were told on parade by the corporal in front of the commandant. Bread ration was now 421 grms daily and margarine 20 grms daily. One fellow called out, ’Is there any cut in the cement?’ That was an example of the spirit in which we received the news.

Christmas Day arrived and we had no work to do either Christmas or Boxing Day. In the evening, the R.A.F. came over twice and we guessed someone was getting a good Christmas ‘gift’. Our parcel store was almost empty by that time and so we decided to have a good feed and say hang the New Year. So we each received Red Cross parcels: 1 Canadian, ½ an English and 1/5 of an English parcel.

Here is what my pal and I did with ours:

Christmas Day 1944
Breakfast: Toast. Tea
Lunch: Shepherd’s Pie, Potatoes&Gravy. Home-made pudding & milk. Tea.
Tea: Meat Roll & Chips. Tea.
Supper: Home-made Cake. Tea.

Lights out at 2 a.m.

Boxing Day
Breakfast: Toast. Tea.
Lunch: Pork & Potatoes. Tea.
Tea: Salmon & Potatoes. Tea.
Supper: Tea & Cake.

Lights out at midnight.

We made our own amusement but did not have the canteen as in the previous year. In spite of that we enjoyed ourselves under the circumstances although we could not forget there would be no parcels after the New Year had arrived."

~ from the PoW diaries of my dad Bert Martin,
a signaller in 67th Med Regt., Royal Artillery


1944 was the last Christmas my dad spent in captivity. In May1945 he arrived home in the village of Claydon, Suffolk.

His last 3 weeks in WW2 were, I think, the most eventful. I documented them, in daily posts, with images from the time, starting here:
I simply love this capture and presentation of this beautiful Christmas rose I love how you have captured the shadow over the rose to correspond with the great shadow that marred your Dad's life that Christmas of 1944
December 24th, 2015  
December 24th, 2015  
Beautiful capture
December 24th, 2015  
Gorgeous, we have some coming out in our garden this year as it has been so mild, they are early. Happy Christmas
December 24th, 2015  
Happy Christmas Hazel
December 24th, 2015  
Happy Christmas to you.
December 24th, 2015  
Wonderful picture, Hazel. Thanks for sharing your dad's story.
December 24th, 2015  
We read about the history of the war as it effected the general public but to have this very personal account is wonderful! So glad your dad was freed five months later Hazel.
December 24th, 2015  
Lovely shot, details
December 24th, 2015  
Very pretty capture and framing. FAV
December 24th, 2015  
Your story is captivating
December 24th, 2015  
Beautiful Christmas rose and it is with relief to know this would be your dad's last Christmas in captivity.
December 24th, 2015  
How interesting! What lovely memories
December 24th, 2015  
It is so good that you keep your Dad's stories alive. Have you put them together in a book or just transcribed them?
December 25th, 2015  

Babs, I have the diaries in a bound printed form with illustrations, not exactly like a usual book. Quite a few family members and friends have a copy or have borrowed one to read.
December 25th, 2015  
Lovely sentiments.
December 27th, 2015  
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