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Remembering - Jack H. Alcock
Jack, from Sunneycroft, Mansfield, was taken prisoner by the Germans during World War One.
Second Lt Jack Alcock fought with the 8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (63rd Brigade, 21st Division) at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, where he was taken prisoner by the Germans and moved to various prisoner of war camps in Germany.
He kept a diary of events during that period and here he recalls what it was like spending Christmas Day in captivity.
Jack H Alcock in uniform
25 December 1915
We have really had a very good time today – much better than ever expected.
We started with a service at 11 this morning. We had a good Christmas hymn "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "Come Let Us Adore Him".
It seemed very strange singing them in a makeshift chapel. Old wine in new bottles!
Afternoon passed much as usual, but in the evening we had a great time in the restaurant. We had table cloths, flowers, crackers, and a Christmas tree!
I had ordered pheasants, but couldn’t get them, so we had venison cutlets and goose.
Our menu was soup, venison cutlets, goose, plum pudding, dessert and coffee.
Everyone got very merry towards the end (the good Rhine wine!) and after various toasts (the king, the tsar, the allies, the fleet, etc) we started various national anthems, from which slipped easily into ‘John Peel, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ etc.
The commandant was distinctly annoyed, he said the noise we were making could be heard in Gutersloh itself, a mile away.
After 9 o’clock we continued the festivities in the house itself, much to the amusement of the German porters.
One merrymaker who was pretty far gone was found with his head in an empty lavatory basin. He replied in answer to enquires, that he was trying to escape down the waste pipe!
To read more extracts from Jack Alcock's click on the link below.
last updated: 04/11/2008 at 09:21