Michaelmas daisies in the garden at St Cross by quietpurplehaze

Michaelmas daisies in the garden at St Cross

I discovered that Michaelmas, the feast of St Michael and all Angels, is celebrated on 28th September.

Which leads me to my dad still in the PoW camp at Benghazi on this day in 1942:

"Towards the close of Sept 42 hot meals arrived daily and carried on right through Oct with the exception of 2 days when we moved to another camp.

At this period, my pal, Jack was not eating his rations and was very queer. I think it was a touch of sunstroke he was suffering from. I often persuaded him to eat a little bully and bread when he had said he did not wish for anything but he seldom ate all his hot meal whilst he was sick.

I had a blister on my right foot which turned septic and caused me considerable trouble. Everyone at that time was running about in bare feet and I did not need to wear my boots which would have caused me a bit of pain. The sand got into my blister and the M.O. had no dressings and I used to bathe it with water and used my one and only handkerchief to cover it.

We struggled along however - ‘a couple of crocks’ we called ourselves!

One day our group commander asked if anyone had had any experience at clerical work as some men were required to go out and work. I applied successfully and on Mon 28-9-42, I went with about 40 men to the place I have marked ‘building, stores’ on the map. The work was straightforward, copying details off the cards which prisoners had filled in. We went out at 8 a.m. returning at 5.30 p.m. We received no food at mid-day and consequently we had to take our own lunch. At the end of each day however, we received the rewards of our labour. Every day I went out, we were given 10 cigarettes each but the food varied.

One day we had a little dry coffee and sugar and another day ½ a loaf of bread and ½ a tin of bully. On another occasion we received a little dry rice and a small amount of ghee. All this helped us along somewhat although it was so little. One day we had a small tin of fish between 4 men and I gave my portion to Jack who at the time was not eating very much. I made some toast and put the fish on it and took it to Jack who thoroughly enjoyed it. Another day Jack boiled up some of the rice and we gave him our sugar ration to add and he was able to eat all of it which he also said was very tasty.

I went out on this work 5 or 6 times and besides passing away the time for me it gave us a few extra smokes and a little more to eat. The days seemed terribly long when I did not go out, but all good things come to an end.

Hot meals continued daily and sometimes contained pieces of sliced potato which tasted good. Prisoners continued to leave Benghazi and this was speeded up towards mid October. Rumour had it that these men were going to camps in and around Tripoli. Our group still hung on at Benghazi."

from my dad, Bert Martin's PoW diaries
© 2017 The Second World War Experience Centre.
© 2017 IWM (5193) 1981.
Thank you for sharing, I am humbled and honored to read these words of your father and his story.
October 1st, 2016  
Hazel you have captured the purple ones (of course !! ) and I have the white one in the garden !
October 1st, 2016  
so lovely flower you captured!
October 1st, 2016  
@beryl

I didn't know they came in white!
October 1st, 2016  
Beautiful capture Hazel, love the detail, colour and depth of field thanks also for sharing more from your dads war diaries they are very interesting and revealing the life of a POW:)
October 1st, 2016  
@terrinorthwind

Terri, I much appreciate your comment.
October 1st, 2016  
@pcoulson

I'm glad you find the diaries interesting, Peter. And I think flowers will always be my first love in photography!
October 1st, 2016  
These are some of my favorite flowers at this time of the year. Nicely captured!
October 1st, 2016  
bep
Your dad's diary is fascinating, Hazel.
October 1st, 2016  
Sharp detail Hazel, very pretty colours!
October 1st, 2016  
Beautiful capture, lovely colour and dof :)
October 1st, 2016  
Fabulous...fav
October 1st, 2016  
Great shot of those lovely flowers.
October 1st, 2016  
These flowers are vibrant and so lovely they wait until the end of the season to show their faces
October 1st, 2016  
Lovely composition and dof
October 1st, 2016  
Lovely capture the Michaelmas daisies are a nice addition in the garden at this time of the year. An interesting exerp fom your Dads Diary.
October 1st, 2016  
Lovely shot and a really interesting instalment of your Dad's diary. I wonder what happened to Jack.
October 2nd, 2016  
Awesome picture. Congratulations on making the Trending Page. Well deserved.
October 2nd, 2016  
@onewing

Babs, I've often wondered that, and also about other friends he names in his diaries. I sometimes post a public ref to these extracts on 365 on my Facebook page but no luck so far.
October 2nd, 2016  
Lovely colours and dof. Your Dad's diary entries are amazing. 😀
October 2nd, 2016  
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