I am sending you a treasured letter from my friend Mike King whose Father Charles King (Ibbetson House, School Capt 1928) a Rector was taken in as POW in Nazi Germany during WWII.
((A very close and wonderful friend of mine based in Baumberg Germany translated the first page. I can also understand my friend’s emotions as she was not born during those days; she is truly a remarkable person Regine Ullrich Zollmarsch who walked the Camino Francis with me on the path to Santiago de Compostela in Spain)).
Many Thanks for your efforts in keeping our website in its finest…
[Vivek Bhasin – Lefroy 1961-1970]
Prisoner of War Post
To : Mrs Katherine King stamped: 4.12.44 (1944) after checking
Destination: Ideford Rectory
Community: Newton Abbot
Place: S. Devon
Checked with Camp Stamp: M-Stammlager
XX8 (5888) Passed P.142
From: Rev. (Capt. ) C.J.W. KING C.F.
Prisoner no: 1088
H. Stammlager XXB
Ld Prisoner of war camp
In Marienburg (Poland today), Danzig
My Dear Kate,
I was so pleased to hear from Vera that you and (dated 30.11.44) young Bill had gone to stay at the Rectory. I feel an awful responsibility towards you two now I’m the second head of the family, and wondered how I was going to fulfill my obligations. I don’t know how long you mean to stay with us but I feel that both sides would benefit if you made your home with us. We shall always have houses which will be too big for our needs, and you the problem of company for yourself and Bill while the lad is growing up. But you and Vera must decide that. Things happen Kate, to people big enough to carry them. That is the conclusion I have reached here, where I have had so much time in which to think. The loads are never more than one can bear, however heavy they may seem. Strangely enough too, the load becomes lighter with carrying and one becomes stronger. And don’t my dear, make young Bill into old Bill. You’ll never be able to make anything more than a good copy, and the child will be far more worth to you as just himself. Winter our greatest all round enemy comes and goes. To kill my disappointment I have dug myself into work and am trying hard to improve my own, and other people’s knowledge of French, German and English. I make some progress in each. My headaches fortunately have been very infrequent so far. They have in past captivity winters been my greatest curse. I did hope to be home this year! But I’ll see to it that the extra time is put to good use. Doing an hour’s Physical Training each day. At the moment I feel I am coming apart, but am, nevertheless. Much better for the exercise.
My love to you both, Charles.
The original letter:
[click to see a larger view]