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ABarrettWWII29 karma

He laughed and said "that's no sacrifice, there's fellas fighting those stupid wars like Afghanistan and getting blown up, very difficult wars, you don't know who your friends are. They aren't in Uniform. That's very difficult."

ABarrettWWII25 karma

No no, you were on your own in regards to that.

They were going berserk once because we refused to work - we found out they were making us make wood wool to help the German war effort, so stopped as it wasn't right. After Stalingrad the Army was about where we were threatened, they were going to shoot us, we were against a wall and had to the count of three to move and get back to work, they had machine guns pointed at us. At one some moved, at two more moved, at three we finally all moved.

We burned the factory down after that, but they couldn't prove it was us. When they rebuilt it, I was responsible for the dome as I was a joiner and I managed to partly saw through the joists so that when it snowed the roof would collapse. I warned the lads so they could stay clear. After that I had to go back to the main camp because of my eye, but they got word back to me that it had happened.

ABarrettWWII22 karma

Well it was all mixed up like a dog's breakfast, you'd been knocked about and you'd been living with guys all the time. All the language was "any grit?" "any news?" all the time.

I came back on my own, I'd been discharged and I managed to find a boat going back to the Isle of Man. When I got back there was an American guard on duty and he said "What army you been with, Soldier?" I said "The one that's been doing the fighting, soldier" (My Grandfather is a perpetual joker). I was 6 stone and some people were quite alarmed to see me.

Some of the farmers felt said things about me being in a holiday camp.

ABarrettWWII21 karma

There was one or two, but some of them were a bit silly about it. One fella just went up in the hills with his guitar and was playing it up there and got sent back to main camp.

There was a New Zealander who was being picked on all the time, so he did a bunk and was sent back to main camp. He was glad to get away from them.

They tried to dig a tunnel so we all slept on bunks with only a few slats. The guards fell straight into the exit hole the night before we were supposed to go out.

ABarrettWWII20 karma

They made us sit out in the sun in Selonika, and in Selonika it was sun, they made you sit for ages with no hats or coverings, and then they would make you stand up fast. You'd fall straight over and that was a game for them.