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Newscutting of a cartoon in the Deutsche Inselzeitung der Evening Post depicting [Winston] Churchill and King George VI. Includes articles in German and English.
Date: August 9th 1940 - August 9th 1940
Typed War Diary of Henry Walter Ernest Gosselin. Recounts his experience of the Second World War as a soldier. Details include his decision to join up and leave his family in Jersey, going to England and training in Cornwall, whilst training he went on leave to stay with a family in Bristol where he met his future wife Hilda Dorothy Noakes. He went on to Liverpool before being shipped to Sierra Leone with HMS Hood and four destroyers. From there he went to Durban, South Africa before moving on to Bombay, India. In India he met up with his brother Joe who was also stationed with The Cornwall's. He trained for mountain warfare before going to Baghdad where he was involved with digging tank traps in the desert. He recalls dealing with sand storms and extreme weather conditions. He became the batsman for a Guernseyman called Captain Brett with the unit involved with escorting convoys through Iraq and guarding hundreds of miles of oil pipelines. He volunteered to be in a platoon as an anti-tank unit. He travelled through the Middle East, arriving in Egypt and on to Libya before going to the frontline. He fought in a battle and was taken as a prisoner of war. He was marched with his unit as a prisoner of war with no water or food across the desert, being attacked by Allied planes on the way who didn't realise they were POWs. He dropped out of the column of prisoners but eventually found the energy to rejoin the march. He found and staying together with his brother Joe once more before being handed over to Italian soldiers. The prisoners were not given any water and were desperate to drink. He arrived in a prison camp in Tripoli and was then shipped to Naples before moving to a prisoner of war camp in Capua. He met up once more with his brother Joe in the camp before being moved once more to a camp near Rome. He describes the terrible conditions in the camp and being moved to the hospital when he was suffering from illness. He recalls prisoners attempting to escape and the entire camp being punished as a result. There was gambling in the camp in order to win cigarettes to barter and the prisoners hunted for fuel everywhere. The camp was later inspected by the Red Cross and conditions improved as a result. He was moved once more and was put to work on rice farms. He attempted an escape but his partner fell ill and so they had to cancel it. When Italy stopped fighting he escaped the camp and went on the run with other POWs across Italy. He met with the mayor of a village called Canale who was also one of the leaders of the underground who agreed to help him and his fellow POWs. They were hidden at a Franciscan monastery before being moved when the Germans heard rumours of this. They joining up with a Partisan group in Italy and were transported to a mountain village in the Alps called Damiani. He was involved in a number of raids with the Partisans and got to know some German prisoners that had been caught before they were executed. Eventually the village was attacked and he was taken prisoner once more. He was about to be executed when he said he was and English POW and was spared by a Ukrainian officer. He was interrogated by the Germans before being transported to Germany to another prisoner of war camp. He mentions the terrible condition in which Russian prisoners were held. He was put to work in a coal mine. He remembers raids on the area by Allied aeroplanes and hiding to avoid being injured. He escaped from the camp when the Allied soldiers were near and was liberated by American troops. He was transported to Brussels where he was deloused and given a new uniform. He was flown back to England, arriving back and staying in Bristol with the family that he had stayed with previously, including his future wife Hilda. He was given notice that he could travel back to Jersey and arrived back on leave, going back to his family's house in Le Breton Lane for an emotional reunion with his family who thought he had been killed. At the end of his leave he returned to his barracks and later got engaged and married to Hilda. He was told that he had to stay in the Army until 1947 and continued to serve. He later found out what had happened to the people he had met in Italy. Includes photographs and copies of letters relating to the experience and a family tree and note on the Gosselin family in Jersey.
Date: 2009 - 2016
Date: September 2nd 1965 - October 20th 1965
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