6/4/45 - Through Jena to Trockfausen 27 k.

7/4/45 - Rested all day. Tired out.

8/4/45 - On to Neustadt. 26 k.

9/4/45 - To Ottersdorf. 20 k.

10/4/45 -

Rest day. No bread. I stole some flour and was caught by the Feldwchfel, threatened with a beating, managed to escape. Man shot through neck for cheeking a guard. Received one small food parcel between 8 men.

 

11/4/45 - Through Schleiz to Stelzen. 18 k.

12/4/45 -

To barn 13 k. Threatened by S.S. to be marched away if two pistols not returned. We returned them fast.


13/4/45 - Stole sack of spuds to keep us going.

14/4/45 - On to Oelsnitz Mechelgrun 17 k.

15/4/45 -

Stopped all day. Caught us a fowl which helped Joe and I to keep going.


16/4/45 - Monday. On to Rodewisch. 17 k.

17/4/45 -

Left at 10.15 and went 6 k to same woods. The Major told us there is a chance of our being left here. The Hauptsrann cannot get us any rations. Bags of shellfire and air activity in distance. Stopped the night in the woods. Shellfire all night.


18/4/45 -

A fine day. Joe and I built a shack out of trees and cedar boughs.


19/4/45 -

Thursday. Quiet day. Living on Potatoes and grain. No rations from the Germans. Alfie's pal Max was taken away to hospital with jaundice. Most of us in poor condition. Shellfire increasing. About 6 P.M. we are told to be ready to march over to the American lines at 6 A.M. and then at 8.30 P.M. told to finally move at 10. P.M. Packed small kit and marched to factory at 10.30 P.M. Halted until 04.45 A.M. Slept on cold pavement. I'm just about all in. Had word the German General would not send us over until the Yanks stopped firing. Shell burst over head scattering our party. Returned to camp in the woods.


20/4/45 -Men despondent. Joe and I slept all day. No food.

21/4/45 -

Rations arrive. 1/17 of a tin of meat per man. One loaf between 3 and 1/20th of block of marg. Rained heavily all night. Lay in wet mud for 8 hours. Our shack leaks like a bitch.


22/4/45 -

Wet day with showers. No place to find shelter. Hail and snow. Built a log fire and try to keep warm. Al and I raided spud dump, got a sack of spuds. Rebuilt shack got tip from the Russians on how to keep roof from leaking. Joe and I just about ready to make a break over the hills behind us. Men getting desperate. Made signal out of shirts S.O.S  for allied Air force. No food or shelter, now covered in lice. No soap. At 10.P.M. word reached us to prepare to march through to Yank lines. At 11 P.M. left with bare necessities. Marched through Rodewisch and out into country. Feeling very ill. Can hardly keep going. We march through German Lines, shellfire has ceased at 1 A.M. our guards leave us and wish us Aufweidesenn. We raise our white flags and shout out for recognition. Complete silence in the whole area. At 1.30 A.M. we are halted by the first allied soldier I have seen for 2 1/2 years, some of the lads for 5 years. An American advance patrol on the outskirts of Laganvelt. We are FREE men again  I smoke an American Chesterfield and already feel 100 % better. The grain cakes we made are called by the Indians "Chippattees" have however upset my constitution, feeling very ill. I think its jaundice. Slept in deserted German silk factory for the night. "Liberated" two bolts of silk to take home to my wife. Also a pair of boots.


23/4/45 -

Issued with Yank "K" rations and for the first time in 3 1/2 months have first decent meal consisting of a tin of chopped ham and eggs, biscuits, candy, gum and four cigarettes. We cannot realize we are free. "Liberated" a German sleeping bag. Yanks eager to  get us away, because we are too close to Jerry lines about the farthest point east in American advance. At 9.30 we are moved in lorries to Erfurt. Passed through Plauen which is a mass of ruins.


24/4/45 -

Arrived at Erfurt and I am sick with jaundice. Do not report it, don't want to be hospitalized. From Erfurt we are flown to 1st Army camp in France. Then by trucks to channel port. I arrive back in England and finally Lancaster, on a date I will never forget.
May 5th 1945. It's over!

 
 
 

 
My Father returned to England safely after the war and then on to Canada.  He was forever scarred and tormented by this ordeal.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, the highest medal for Flying Officers, by the King George V1.

 

Medals


 
 
My Father was married three times and had four children, of which I was the eldest. being born in 1941 while he was flying raids over Germany. He died suddenly in his sleep of a massive heart attack when he was only 54 years old. I have published this journal to remind us of the sacrifices that our Fathers and Grandfathers have made so we may live in peace.

 
 
IN FLANDERS FIELDS

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky.
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be your to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die.
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

{John Mcrae 1872 - 1918}


 
 
This page dedicated to my father
Henry Richard Sanders.
1918 - 1973

 Pamela Margaret Anderson-nee-Sanders. 
November 11th, 1998.


 
 

The men who died in the raid over Munich.

F/O Biggane (DFC)
Sg/t Pont
Sg/t Reid
Sg/t Imrie
Sg/t Cook

Candle

In Memory

If I should die
Think only this of me
That there's some corner
of a foreign field
That is forever England
 (Brookes)

It's easy enough to be pleasant
When life flows along like a song
But the man worth while
Is the man who can smile
When everything goes dead wrong.
 (Kipling)

My Brother, Dr. Bill Sanders added his voice
to this page .

Those who read this should know that Harry Sanders was a very
        accomplished actor, and went on to star in numerous stage and television shows
        in Vancouver in the 1950's till his death in 1973. Interestingly, while in P.O.W. he
        met a young man named Denholm Elliot who also had a budding interest in
        acting, and they were known to entertain the fellow prisoners with their thespian
        skills. Denholm went on to star in many Hollywood films, but is probably best
        remembered for his roles in the "Raiders of the Lost Arc" films where he played
        opposite Harrison Ford. Dad and Denholm kept in touch after the war and would
        visit whenever Denholm came through Vancouver. Just a little interesting trivia.
        Perhaps someone else out there knew Harry Sanders or Denholm Elliot while in
        P.O.W. camp.
Thanks again Pam, your brother Bill.

My Dad was proud to be a WW2 Veteran
 
 

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 This Web Page won 1st Place in the Military Web Wars Round 12

Winner of Round 12 1999
Thank you Al Varelas USMC
 

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