Thursday 12th December 1918
Today has been spent in getting into the camp as much British Red Cross Parcels as possible and it has been arranged that before distribution all goods such as tea, cocoa, bully beef, sugar and any other things that could be used in the cook house, (for we had to have cooks on duty) so that the cooks could make them up into a decent meal. So after these articles had been extracted, we were at liberty to have as much bread, margarine, dripping, cheese, biscuits, cigarettes and tobacco as we liked and really what we do get is far in excess of our present requirements, because each man now is issued every day with:
Two loaves of milk bread,
One tin of Cheese,
One tin of dripping,
One pound of Huntley & Palmers Biscuits
Four Packets of Woodbines,
One tin Margarine,
One tin Jam.
These of course were only the dry goods, after that came the tea and stores which was the cooks part in the programme, so we are not taking any harm.
Strict orders have been issued from Battalion Headquarters that under no circumstances is any food to be sold or given to the German troops, but it was needless to make such a decree after the treatment they had given us. Never the less we had plenty of beggars round at all times of the day and I felt that I should like to do something desperate.
In the evening we go down to Lager 1 to a cinema show, it is to be in aid of the memorial which we are going to erect to our pals before we leave Germany. It proved to be a fairly good show, excepting that all the titles and the reading on the screen were in German so we failed to follow the pictures, also we were not allowed to smoke as notices were painted in two places either side of the stage “Rauchend ist Verbotten”.
After the show, a party of six, of which I was one, adjourned to a small pub and had a sample of Beck Beer. This was forced through the pumps by the use of gas from a cylinder alongside the small counter.
In the far corner of the room, sat a party of Jerry troops drinking and singing to the music supplied by a melodeon played by one of the party altogether everything seemed to be in a happy state, but sometimes we were the recipients of some vicious glances from them, but we took not the slightest notice of them for we were free men now, and didn’t care for all the German notions, till one of our party voiced that view, and then we thought it was time to get a move on in case it came to something worse, so we went back to camp, had a good supper of stew, and highly satisfied with our days work, went to bed to dream of the day when we should be aboard the train for merry England.
Sgt. Thomas William Chisholm (POW),
The Northumberland Fusiliers
5th Battalion, B Company
Lager 3A, Barrack 126,
Lamsdorf O/Sch., Germany.