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WW2 - People's War

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One of the First POW's

by ambervalley

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Jack (John William) Davies and Mavis Davies nee Allard
Location of story: 
Sheffield & Germany
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
17 June 2004

Me and my husband Jack Davies in 1946

My husband John William Davies was always known as Jack and was born in Sheffield in 1921. When he left school at the age of 14 in 1935 he became a foundary worker. He joined the army on January 1st 1939, before the war started, he was in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, known as K.O.Y.L.I. and his army number was 4691178.

Jacks unit was one of the first to be sent abroad when the war started and was without any back up. He went over by ship to Norway and the ship had to be anchored off shore for about three weeks before it was deemed safe for the men to disembark. The caution was for nothing however, as Jack was captured straight away by the Germans. He spent the rest of the war in a POW camp called Stallag 1B.

During his time as a prisoner of war, Jack did many types of hard labour, some of the jobs he had to do were terrible, when bombing raids occurred his job was to retrieve any bodies that had been buried by rubble, he got two extra cigarettes a day for this. Once it was realised that a German soldier had been buried in a mass grave full of civillians by mistake, my Jack had to retrieve this body, it was a terrible job searching through all of the dead bodies to find the right one.

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This story has been placed in the following categories.

British Army Category
Prisoners of War Category
Sheffield and South Yorkshire Category
Norway Category
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