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Life As A Prisoner Of War

by ateamwar

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Archive List > Prisoners of War

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Robert Kyle
Location of story: 
Poland and East Germany
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 May 2005

I served in the army from 1938 until 1952. I was 18 years old, and living in Northern Ireland when I was captured as a P.O.W. in 1939. In Lille, France, the Germans attacked us and only a few of us were left. I was captured as prisoner, and taken to Poland for registration.

They sent me to work on farms straight away, and lived we in barns, where a guard looked after us. Some of the soldiers were sent to work in coal mines or factories in Poland.

After two years, I was sent to East Germany, where I was detained for a further three years. I was released in 1944, when the Russian Tank Army arrived in East Germany, and I stayed with the Russians in Dessan for about two weeks. I slept on the Russian tanks, even if they were on the move, and I was handed over to the Americans, and flown to Brussels by the American Air Force.

I was then taken by the Lancaster Bomber to Southern England, and from there took a train to Liverpool, and a boat back to Belfast.

I was given three months leave, and continued to serve in the army until 1952, when I was invalided out due to an injury received whilst playing hockey.

'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his / her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'

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