- Contributed by
- Northumberland County Libraries
- People in story:
- Joseph Victor Laws and Grace Lane
- Location of story:
- England,France,Germany and Czechoslovakia
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 10 June 2004
Joe and I knew each other from childhood because our dads were friends. First of all I had got engaged to his brother but broke it off and started going out with Joe. He was a miner, which was a reserved occupation, but, as soon as the war started, he volunteered for the Army. Miners were not allowed to do this later on in the war. He joined the Green Howards and, after basic training, he was sent into the front line. He was one of the soldiers holding the Germans back at Dunkirk and was captured. He was marched through France and into Germany. He was put into Stalag IVc and was there for much of the rest of the war. He was forced to work in the Dresden china factory for food (they still did their bit by smashing as much of the produce as they dared).He was then forced to work down the mines. He had no boots or shoes and had to wrap rags around his feet. His brother was posted "missing presumed dead" but turned up in the same prisoner of war camp.They had their photos in the papers in England.One day my Joe found his brother Bill being beaten up by a German soldier and Joe went to defend him. The soldier turned his gun around and fired at Joe but the gun didn't go off. While he was a prisoner of war he escaped twice and was given the address at the house of a Czech partisan.He knocked at the door and the knock was answered by the Gestapo.He was captured and sent to a Gestapo prison.
He came back home and we married on 16th. August 1945, the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
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