Archive for the ‘08 Alan's letters home from Stalagluft 3’ Category

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Reverse of Alan’s letter cards

October 10, 2009


Reverse of Alan’s letter cards

Originally uploaded by justinehadden

This shows the reverse side of the letter cards that Alan sent home from Stalagluft 3.

Alan Birley Bateman’s letters home from inside Stalagluft 3, while held as prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945. These letters give a first-hand, fascinating insight into life in the camp, and covers the period of “The Great Escape”

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Reverse of Alan’s letters

October 10, 2009


Reverse of Alan’s letters

Originally uploaded by justinehadden

This is the reverse side of the letters that Alan wrote from Stalagluft 3, showing his home address and details of the camp where he was being held.

Alan Birley Bateman’s letters home from inside Stalagluft 3, while held as prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945. These letters give a first-hand, fascinating insight into life in the camp, and covers the period of “The Great Escape”

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Alan’s letters 21

October 10, 2009


Alan’s letters 21

Transcript of above

21st May 1943

Dear Bill, since my last letter I received ten letters from home, the last being yours of the 9th April. Thank you for buying the saving certificates, I agree that that is the best investment from all points of view at present. Incidentally, I assume you are drawing from my account to settle all my commitments including those to yourself. Please continue this entirely at your discretion rather than defer any matters for me. I have been wondering where my articles of clerkship are now. I am afraid I cannot remember whether I left them at home, at the station or with the society. If you could trace them and deposit them in a safe place, I should be very glad. I am now receiving cigarettes from home, Lucy and Hilda for which very many thanks indeed. Your inclusions of a pipe in the clothing parcel was a brain wave, and I have many an enjoyable fill. I am perfect in health and foot stands up to football now. All the best to you all, with love, Alan.

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Alan Birley Bateman’s letters home from inside Stalagluft 3, while held as prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945. These letters give a first-hand, fascinating insight into life in the camp, and covers the period of “The Great Escape”

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Alan’s letters 20

October 10, 2009


Alan’s letters 20

Transcript of above

8th April 1943

Dear Mum, since my last letter I have received your letters of the 17th and 29th Jan. and am glad to see you are still doing well. This week we moved to a new camp, the postal address being the same as before. I am now in a room of six, an Australian, South African, and four English so I am getting to know the Empire pretty well by degrees. I have just received Gibson and Weldon’s course for the inter exam. This is going to be very valuable. I cannot tell whether this is from home or from the red x society, but many thanks to those concerned. The only book not available here for the exam is Stephens Commentaries and I believe you have already despatched a copy of this. As regards studying, I must confess results were not very good at the last camp. If this surprises you just imagine one room used for sleeping, cooking and living for 8 R.A.F types including 4 embryonic musicians and you will realise the difficulties in studying. However, time passes very quickly this way. All the best to you both, love Alan.

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Alan Birley Bateman’s letters home from inside Stalagluft 3, while held as prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945. These letters give a first-hand, fascinating insight into life in the camp, and covers the period of “The Great Escape”

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Alan’s letters 19

October 10, 2009


Alan’s letters 19

Transcript of above

20th March 1943

Dear Bill, I hope you are both well and in training for the summer golf and bowls. Now Betty is away as well we rely on you both to represent the family in the sports field. I have been lucky with parcels lately, having received both July and September clothing parcels and cigarettes from Leslie. I see I omitted to say in my last letter that the blanket you sent has also arrived. All these were very welcome indeed and the chocolate was a godsend, but that in the July parcel unfortunately was missing. Very many thanks for your trouble in getting these things together and sending them, I expect it was a problem deciding what to send, but you certainly did well. Letters are not coming through well now, but I understand the hold up is in the censoring at this end, no doubt they will catch up again in time. I shall be glad if you can include some boot brushes and a few tins of polish and some tooth brushes and polish in next parcel as these things are all short on the camp. Well, mind you win all the golf and bowls competitions this year! With love to you both, Alan.

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Alan Birley Bateman’s letters home from inside Stalagluft 3, while held as prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945. These letters give a first-hand, fascinating insight into life in the camp, and covers the period of “The Great Escape”

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Alan’s letters 18

October 10, 2009


Alan’s letters 18

Transcript of above

7th June 1942

Dear Mum, your letter of 23rd April and 1st May received this week. January clothing parcel received and very welcome, the chocolate was a godsend, very many thanks. I have not seen John Pearce at all. I see from your letter that a number of P.O.W’s have passed exams in camp. This is a more remarkable thing than I expect is realised at home as, in addition to the difficulty of working at all under crowded conditions, the lack of any mental change in a prison is apt to produce bad results if a person tries to study much. Warned by cases of this, I do a steady two hours studying daily and enjoy the rest of the day I will write more about the results of my studying when the results are more apparent. Meanwhile, I have heard through the red x from the law society and hope to take at least a part of the exam this year and the rest next year if the war lasts long enough. Will write again soon, meanwhile, good golf, good bowls and good luck, Alan.

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Alan Birley Bateman’s letters home from inside Stalagluft 3, while held as prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945. These letters give a first-hand, fascinating insight into life in the camp, and covers the period of “The Great Escape”

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Alan’s letters 17

October 10, 2009


Alan’s letters 17

Transcript of above

7th September 1943

Dear Mum, I have just received your letter of 14th August. It is very interesting to hear of all the local activities and I am glad to see that your prowess at bowls remains undiminished. You ask about my sports activities here. As the camp is built on the old silesian desert you will realise that our playing field consists of barren sand with no vestige of grass, but we play rugger, cricket and soccer as best as we can and the Americans play the inevitable ball game. This is all rather an apology for the real thing, but we do the best we can under the conditions. We have just completed building a camp theatre and the shows brighten life up a little. I expect we shall soon have some debates which should give me a chance to force a few words on some long-suffering audience. I have just written to Lacock and only wish I could deliver it in person. I am sorry for Jim Pike – I know what is is like. Glad to hear Bule and Bone abound, you should get some good stories! Love to you both and good bowling, Alan.

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Alan Birley Bateman’s letters home from inside Stalagluft 3, while held as prisoner of war between 1942 and 1945. These letters give a first-hand, fascinating insight into life in the camp, and covers the period of “The Great Escape”

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