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15 October 2014
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Chapter 16: Another camp, another Polish home

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Ron Redman
Location of story: 
Poland
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A9035183
Contributed on: 
01 February 2006

Anyway, they eventually came and put me on a truck and took me to another camp, another Polish home, which seemed better organised. There were lots of people there, lots of refugees of all types, even French people. I can’t remember any British there.

But then I was interrogated by a Russian girl Major, because they’re so ignorant, she was probably the only educated person around at the time. And I told them my story, that I was English and so on. She probably organised me to go on another truck to another prison camp, it was a hospital prison camp, where there were Australians and New Zealanders mainly. Again they weren’t very friendly. I was given a bed, with Aussies each side of me. They’d all been there for some time, they all had something wrong with them, they were in hospital. But I was a Limey! Again, I wasn’t very comfortable. And even one of the orderlies who came round, said ‘What’s wrong with you? You shouted during the night?’. I said, well, I shouted because I was in pain! I didn’t do it to attract any attention!

Sue: Were you given anything for the pain? Did you have any pain relief?

Ron: No, they looked at them and gave me some pills, that’s all. Obviously there were people worse than me and I had nothing to show for it except the feet used to go blackish and, as I say, the feeling was…

But then came the order — I must have been there about a week, I think. The food was all right, sometimes. There were no Germans there, it was run by the orderlies, British orderlies. The Russians had arranged for us to go to a place called Czestochowa (sp?) where they were organising a train back to Russia, the Britishers and anybody else who was a refugee. So, in I went again, and eventually arrived at somewhere near Krakow, the biggest town, where they were going to organise this trip to Czestochowa.

Again it was like a Third World country. Everybody was walking around; it was like a black market area and nothing was important. Nobody was anybody and it was just a case of surviving — getting some food and surviving. But I did meet an Englishman, luckily, and we palled up together [1.08.00] We were told where to go to see about this train to Czestochowa, from Czestochowa as well, and we were put in an empty hotel, devoid of furniture, but just laid on the floor with a blanket. And there were French women in there. It didn’t matter who you were, you were just thrown in… Poles, Russians, all sorts in there.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Sue Craig on behalf of Ron Redman and has been added to the site with his permission. Ron fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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