My father James Reilly (Dundee, RNVR) was a POW in Lamsdorf from 1942 to 1945. He was previously a POW in Bremerhaven, after his ship Voltaire was sunk in April of 1941.
I have just read “Sailors in Cages” by Roger V. Coward, who was a shipmate of my Dad. It is a very interesting story and made even more incredible by the fact that it is all true. I cannot imagine having to endure some of the trials through which these brave men passed. Particularly sad for me was the fact that so many prisoners died in the final months/days of the war, having survived 3 or 4 years in the camps. Mr Coward reports an incident where an American Dakota plane exploded shortly after take-off – the plane was filled with POWs finally on their way home to Great Britain…..
I am amazed that my father survived his experiences given the number of ways in which he could have been killed throughout the war. I am very glad he did – otherwise, guess who wouldn’t be here today?
My father died very suddenly this year on April 16th, aged 83. He always talked with great affection about the camaraderie between his fellow POWs at Lamsdorf. He had a very positive “never give up” attitude to life which I’m sure was developed during his time in WWII. I would be glad to hear from anyone who has a connection with Lamsdorf or who perhaps knew my father.
Received: October 2004
From: Roderick Reilly
On behalf of: James Reilly