German PoW album - Camp 307, Egypt

German PoW album - Camp 307, Egypt

Code: P23638

£200.00 Approx $249.07, €233.37
 

Board backed, loose-leaf, approximately 33 x 21.5cm.  Marked to the front cover 'Performances In December 1946'.  Dedicated on the frontispiece 'With Compliments to Major G.R.C.D. Lindley, Assistance Commandant 307 P.O.W. Camp'.  This album is essentially a record of the plays and shows staged at 307 Prisoner of War camp in December 1946. The entire thing is handwritten / handrawn in superbly neat artistic script with excellent 'posters', watercolours and results from sporting fixtures.  Events covered include 'A Mad Idea' - a comedy in four acts , 'Poet and Peasant' - a comedy in three acts, 'Othello' presented by the Ensemble of the Theatre-Group Cage 7/307, and 'Scenes of Dom Carlos' presented by the Theatre Group of Cage 8 /307 POW camp.  There are also results from football, handball, fistball, running races, boxing, table tennis and chess games.  No fewer than 18 theatre performances, 4 concerts, 1 variety performance, 21 football matches, 10 handball matches, 1 boxing match, 2 fistball matches, 6 table tennis games and 2 matches took place during December 1946.  Tucked in the back of the album is a form 'Daily State Of Prisoners Of War', filled out for the Germans at 307 POW (Fayid) in February 1946.  At that point there were 26 officers including 12 Luftwaffe, 463 other ranks including 16 Luftwaffe.  Camp 307 was one of ten situated in Egypt (Fanara/Bitter Lake region).  50,000 men were housed in these camps, mainly of German, Austrian, Italian and Yugoslavian origin.  The camps were divided into wired 'cages'. Each cage holding approximately 400 men sleeping 10 per tent.  The POW's worked for the British Army constructing quarters and roads, repairing vehicles, tanks and aircraft, diffusing bombs etc.  Morale in the camps was boosted with sporting events and shows such as those detailed in the book.  With it came a handwritten letter in German, dated Easter Day 1948 to 'Myra' from 'Alfred' at Holsworthy/Devon with a translation in English.  Holsworthy, known as Camp 42 Prisoner of War Working Camp, held thousands of prisoners from the defeated Axis forces - mainly Italian and German, between 1942 and 1948.  This might suggest the prisoner who created the book was moved from camp 307 to camp 42?  Another insert is a poem written to the same woman from from a different chap in April 1947. To the reverse of this are various German signatures and mention of Belton Congregational Church German POW Orchestra, Ripon, February 14th 1948. Ure bank POW camp (No.247) at Ripon was in good order in the 1977s when I had a family caravan holiday there.  Many of the huts remained and the bases of others served as hard-standing for the caravans.  I recall another holidaymaker telling my father that when they started going to the site there were still wartime menus and other paperwork on some hut walls!

The album covers are waterstained and the frontispiece wrinkled from being wet at some point but the rest of the book is in excellent condition.  A fabulous, incredibly rare and unique piece of prisoner of war history.  Stock code P23638.