L/Cpl. Walter Charles Blake
British Army Signals Regiment
Possibly like most fathers who endured the absolute horrors of war, my dad who was Wally Blake - POW No. 10196 at Stalag 20b, Marienburg maintained his silence and right up to his passing away in 1980, he said absolutely nothing of his experiences except that he flew home in a Lancaster Bomber.
To this statement I assumed that at the end of the war he just hitched a ride home on whatever mode of transport was available but later learnt that he took part in the “Long March Home” and that after the war Churchill had instructed anything that could fly to be used to ferry the troops home.
The uncanny part of his detainment was that during the making of this excellent and for me highly informative programme concerning the dire plight of POWs, one scene showed a photo of happy free prisoners waiting transport home and perhaps somewhat spookily, out of this group I was immediately attracted to one particular individual who I am convinced was my dad.
Thanks to modern technology this remarkable image was captured, framed and now takes pride of place in my house for, without the dogged determination of my dear Dad to return to his bride who he married only days before going off to war, I would not be writing this article.
Therefore, to him and the unwavering love and devotion of my mother during his incarceration and in particular to the Red Cross for eventually advising her that my Dad had been found alive and well as a POW in Poland, I am more than eternally grateful.
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