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A christmas letter to Mrs King sent from a prisoners war camp in Marienburg (Poland today)

Webmaster OCA

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…
Warmest Regards,

Vivek
[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
England

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]

They obviously opened, read and approved it before sending.

Similar & related:

Mike King: Another precious letter

Attached is a letter from Mike King’s father, Charles King, to his youngest brother Noel who left BCS in 1934 to move to England with his parents. He was a Captain in the British Airborne Forces and saw action at the Battle of Arnhem and was actually present at the Japanese surrender in Rangoon in 1945.
Love, terrible Wars…
and then Peace….
Finally a Servant of the Almighty
Amen
Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970
[click for full view]
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About an Old Cottonian – Lt. Sharif Khan aka Sharifo

J. S. Grewal [1970 Batch] sent in this very interesting excerpt from a book he is reading “The Frontier Scouts” by Charles Chenevix Trench, in which he came across a reference to an Old Cottonian – Lt. Sharif Khan aka Sharifo . There was an incident [1942] where he [Sharifo] was burying a fellow officer Andrew McKenzie, he mentions the Lord’s Prayer and  how  remembered  the prayer from  his days  at Bishop Cotton School Simla:

Additional reading: Quoted from THIS webpage

In 1944, Khojak Brigade on Baluchistan frontier was disbanded.  In March 1945 Tal Brigade was disbanded and some of its units were assigned to Kohat Brigade.  In April 1946, Indian army Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Claude Auckinleck presided a high-level conference at Peshawar.  It was attended by Governor NWFP, Agent to the Governor General Baluchistan, British counsel at Kabul and senior military and civil officers.  A unanimous decision was reached to replace regular troops in tribal areas with scouts and khassadars.  It was to be gradual withdrawal in five phases and to be completed in two years.  It was with this background that Pishin Scouts were raised and decision was made to raise Central Waziristan Scouts and retrain Malakand battalion.  Khyber Rifles was re-raised on 26 April 1946.  The nucleus was from war time raised Afridi battalion.  Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Sharif Khan ‘Sharifo’ (5/10 Baluch Regiment) was appointed commandant of Khyber Rifles.  Khassadars were to be trained and disciplined to make it a reliable partner of scouts.  To achieve this objective, in 1946, a new position called district officer in charge of Khassadars was created.  In 1946, in North Waziristan about two thousand khassadars were put under the command of Frank Leeson.


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BCS introduces Scuba-diving

Bishop Cotton School Shimla is the first school in the country to introduce SCUBA DIVING as an adventure sports activity. BCS is expected figure in the LIMCA Book Of Records for this achievement. Congratulations to all!

Click the picture for a full view.

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Robin Gupta – “Unrepentant Civil Servant”


Robin Gupta I.A.S (Retd.)
CURZON 1965
Formerly Financial Commissioner – In the rank of Chief Secretary
Govt. of PUNJAB.
Honorary Adviser Development
Arpana Group of Trusts

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