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Gnr. Roy Herbert Godfrey

British Army Royal Artillery

from:Suton, Norfolk

My late dad Roy Herbert Godfrey kept a diary during the war and in it he wrote:- On the 10th may 1940 Germany broke through Belgium and Holland, we were told to evacuate Arleux on thursday 16th may which we did, but we went the wrong way into trouble instead of out of it. We met the enemy for the first time on Monday 20th May, tanks etc, made a break for it with 3 others but it was no use, we were captured on Thursday 23rd May. Then for 17 days we had to march on average 30 kilometres a day without food, arriving at a place called Thorn in Poland on Saturday 9th June. The last 2 1/2 days spent in a railway truck, not being let out at all, our conditions by this time were very bad, we were so weak that climbing upstairs was hard work. Now we were fed reasonably well, but of course we didn't get enough 1/5th of a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup. Once we got out during the day we got a certain amount of bread etc. from the Poles. Of course our health picked up a bit, then on the 22nd August 1940 we went to Berlin as printers (my dad's job before the war) and stayed there for 24 days, arriving back at Thorn on Tuesday 27th September without doing any printing. Berlin was bombed every night we were there. Then on Friday 4th October we left Thorn again on a working party arriving at a place called Guttowitz to find it was a camp that was just being built. October 29th, been at Guttowitz over 3 weeks, the food is improving a little, any way it's better than Stalag, we have 2 tier beds to sleep in and are fairly comfortable in our quarters. Haven't had a Red Cross parcel for 5 weeks now, keep expecting it every day. We haven't started regular work yet,the camp is nearly finished being built yet.

Sunday 3rd November 1940, the bad weather seems to have started, anyway it's pouring with rain at present, it's been cold for a week (very cold). We got a Red Cross issue last Wednesday, 1 individual parcel between 9 men.

Friday 3rd January 1941 terrible cold over 30 below zero.

Monday 13th January we had to do 2 hours punishment drill because someone threw a snowball and hit the Commandant.

Tuesday 3rd June 1941 spent a day travelling to a place called Marienwerder, billeted in a barracks, 25 of us and 25 French.

Sunday 15th June been here nearly 2 weeks,the French have gone and 25 more men from Guttowitz have arrived. Tuesday 1st July 20 more men from Guttowitz arrive making 90 in total.

1942 Monday 19th October sent to work at Reisenburg sugar facgtory.

1943 Tuesday 5th January went to Stalag Willenburg.

Monday 11th january 14 of us went to work on a farm near Reisenburg.

As far as I know my dad spent the rest of the war working on the farm.

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