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WW2 - People's War

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Slave workers laying railway

by Guernseymuseum

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Archive List > Prisoners of War

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06 May 2005


As a pastime the Germans built past my uncle’s gate the railway track for the train to run through to the various parishes. But I myself stayed in, round Cobo. Every evening that train passed at dusk and my cousin and I used to sit outside and we had a penny each, we used to put it on the rails, and let the penny, see who got the biggest penny, let it get bigger and bigger. I don’t even remember who won.

Anyway, during the building of this railway line, it was done by prisoners of war, I remember them very well because they were all dressed in rags. I remember vividly the sacking on their feet, they were very very thin, like you would see in a Belsen Camp. The officers were going up and down with the sticks under their arm and as soon as the prisoners of war slacked or stopped for a minute exhausted they were given a whack to carry on. On one particular day we saw one prisoner of war and he actually fell down, he couldn’t work any more, so a lorry was called, with an open back, and he was thrown in and driven away.

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