The feature page
1/8th Battalion, Lancs Fusiliers.
James Garner (Jim).Army
no. 4350469. POW no. 1206. Born Salford, Lancs in 1919. Enlisted T.A.
in May 1939; called for active service Sept 1939; transferred to the 1/8th
Lancs Fusiliers in Nov 1939.
Saw action in Belgium and France; taken prisoner on the outskirts of Bethune, France 27th May 1940. Met his cousin, Gunner John Goring (Royal Artillery) on the march.
After being in other camps, Jim
and John ended up at Blechammer, Poland and were made to work on the oil
My father was transferred to the Revier, Stalag 344, Lamsdorf and the convalescent block, where he remained until the evacuation of the sick and injured in cattle trucks on 2nd March 1945, ending up at Stalag XV11A, Kaisersteinbruch. On April 1st, he began the evacuation march, until being liberated by US troops on 4th May at Neukirchen.
Dad finally arrived home 15th
May 1945. He married my mum in 1946, had two children (my brother and
me!); joined the bus service in 1949 until his retirement in 1984. In
1990 dad was reunited with one of the men who helped rescue him from the
air-raid shelter when it was bombed.
They remained in touch until dad passed away in 1995.
As for the other photo of John
Berry, I only knew what Amy Swift found out:
However, on speaking with my
brother last week, John Berry was at the same camp as my father and did
survive the war, because the story goes that mum and dad were walking
down the road one day and John was coming in the opposite direction. Dad
said to mum, "Watch this guy's face". When John spotted my dad,
he stopped still and went white and said, "I thought you were dead!"
as he hadn't seen dad after the camp was hit either.
Written and sent in by James