1941, Germany, Stalag XXA, “The Camp” Thomas Burke, WW II-Era Christmas POW Card


1941;Germany;Stalag XXA, “The Camp” Thomas Burke ; WW II-Era Christmas POW Card 
1941;Germany;Stalag XXA, “The Camp” Thomas Burke ; WW II-Era Christmas POW Card


Description

1941, Germany, Stalag XXA, “The Camp” Thomas Burke

NOTES




Lievin reports 2 examples. The first, shown, is return addressed Stalag Luft 1, posted 28 December 1941. The second, with a Stalag XXB censor handstamp, is posted on 16 Jan 42.


Stalag Luft 1 was located in Barth, Germany, while Stalag XXA was located in Thorn/Torun, Poland. How this card came to be used in camps located about 500km from each other is a mystery,


Information is available on the sender of the Stalag Luft 1 card:


Vickers Wellington Mk.1a P9227 (KO-C) 115 Squadron, RAF: Written off (destroyed) when lost (Failed To Return) from combat operations over Germany. All six crew survived, but were captured, and taken PoWs. According to the official Air Ministry file into the incident (File AIR 81/1144): "Wellington P9227 crashed near Oldenburg, Germany, 19 July 1940. Pilot Officer W H C Hunkin, Pilot Officer J Barker, Sergeant G Clark, Sergeant H Dickson, Sergeant J J MacGregor and Sergeant A Colley: prisoners of war".

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/230023


William Henry Clement Hunkin, POW #125, is also shown as having been imprisoned at Stalag Luft Sagan (which would have been Stalag Luft 3 – consistent with the temporary closure of Stalag Luft 1 in April 1942.

http://aircrewremembered.com/hunkin-william.html


Stalag Luft I: An Official Account of the POW Camp for Air Force Personnel 1940-1945, Frontline Books, 2018, viewable through

https://dokumen.pub/stalag-luft-i-an-official-account-of-the-pow-camp-for-air-force-personnel-1940-1945-hardcovernbsped-1526708795-9781526708793.html

mentions (pages 54, 57, 58) Hunkin as one of the officers who brought to Stalag Luft 1 the codes used to send secret messages to and from the UK


The sender of the second card may have been the Henry George Cooper mentioned at

https://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/ww2/pow/powcamp.php?pid=3341

and

https://wartimememoriesproject.com/ww2/view.php?uid=234454

More digging required on this one.


An illustration of GER4106 is shown at http://www.stalag18a.org/mementoes.html

with the notation “A Christmas card sent in 1943 by Gnr John Braysher, RA. The original was drawn by POW Thomas Burke in Stalag XXA and printed by the POW newspaper 'The Camp'. “


An artist’s drawing, used (with modifications) for the card is shown at

https://picclick.co.uk/Rare-Pen-Ink-Drawing-by-Artist-233024549894.html


Larry Nelson reports 1 example, postmarked 14 January 1942, from a Jewish POW to Palestine. Return addressed and censored Stalag VIIIB, which is over 400km from Stalag XXA.


This makes 3 cards, 2 used from camps far from Stalag XXA and even farther from each other. How they got there remains to be determined.


Nelson reports “The artist was a radio officer on the ship the Dalesman which was sunk off the coast of Crete in 1941. He died shortly after being release in 1945.”




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Updated 3/8/21, 9:35 AM