WO 344-1-1 General Questionnaire for British Ex-Prisoners of War PART I 1. No.: 2719762 Rank: Guardsman Surname: ABEL Christian Names: David Decorations: - 2. Unit (Army): 2nd Battalion IRISH GUARDS 3. Division (Army): 20th GUARDS BRIGADE 4. Date of Birth: 6 July 1919 5. Date of Enlistment: 29 December 1939 6. Civilian Trade: Auctioneer 7. Private Address: Horstead Lodge, Coltishall, Norwich, Norfolk, England 8. Place of Capture: Boulogne, Frace Date of Capture: 23 May 1940 9. Were you Wounded when Captured: No 10. Main Camps or Hospitals in which imprisoned Camp No. Location From & To Oflag VIIC Laufen June 1940 - December 1940 Oflag VIIID Tittmoning December 1940 - December 1941 Oflag VIB Warburgh October 1941 - January 1942 Oflag XIA/H Spangenburg January 1942 - March 1942 Stalag IXC Bad Sulza March 1942 - March 1945 11. Were you in a Working Camp? Location From & To Nature of Work Sondershausen March 1942 - July 1942 Salt Mine Romhild November 1942 - November 1942 Stone Quarry Hambach November 1942 - August 1943 Salt Mine Marsbach September 1943 - November 1943 Stone Quarry Erfurt August 1944 - March 1945 Seed Factory 12. Did you suffer from any Serious Illnesses while a P/W?: Yes Nature of Illness Cause Duration Conjunctivitis & Corneal Ulcers (Eyes), Excessive Dust & general Condition, November 1942 - 11 August 1943 Did you receive adequate Medical Treatment?: Yes PART II 2. Lectures before Capture (State where, when and by whom) (a) Were you lectured in your unit on how to behave in the event of capture?: No (b ) Were you lectured on escape and evasion?: No 3. Interrogation after Capture (State where, when and methods employed by enemy) Were you specially interrogated by the enemy?: No 4. Escapes attempted. Did you make any attempted or party successful escapes? (Give details of each attempt separately, stating where, when, method employed, names of your companions, where and when captured and by whom. Were you physically fit? What happened to our companions?) 3 Escapes. From Sondershausen in August 1942. No companions. Recaptured at Gusten 2 days later From Hambach, November 1942. Recaptured G?, 4 days later by Police Officials. From Hambach, August 1943. Recaptured Hambach, 6 days later by Wehrmacht. From ? waiting on Salt transport to Switzerland. 5. Sabotage. Did you do any sabotage or destruction of enemy factory plant, war material, communications, etc., when employed on working-parties or during escape? No (Give details, places and dates). 6. Collaboration with enemy. Do you know of any British or American personnel who collaborated with the enemy or in any way helped the enemy against other Allied PoWS? No. (Give details, names of person(s) concerned, camp(s), dates and nature of collaboration or help given to enemy). 7. War Crimes. If you have any information or evidence of bad treatment by the enemy to yourself or to others, or knowledge of any enemy violation of Geneva Convention you should ask for a copy of “Form Q” on which to make your statement. - 8. Have you any other matter of any kind you wish to bring to notice? No SECURITY UNDERTAKING. I fully realised that all information relating to the matters covered by the questions in PART II are of a highly secret and official nature. I have had explained to me and fully understand that under Defence Regulations or U.S.A.R. 380-5 I am forbidden to publish or communicate any information concerning these matters. Date of Signature: 12 May 1945 ATTACHMENT To: D.D.M..I. (P/W), War Office, Room 327, Hotel Victoria, Northumberland Avenue, London, W.C.2. M.I.9/Gen/74277. In reply to your letter of the 14th inst. requesting information other than given on your questionnaire information which I completed on 12th May 1945 I have pleasure in giving you the following information which I hope will prove adequate for your purpose. 1. (a) From a Working Camp No. 739 Stalag IXC August 1942, exact date unknown. The escape was made from the Factory by walking through the back entrance in civilian clothes. (b ) No Companions. (c ) No experience of any note worth recounting. Three days freedom. Re-captured by German Railway Polce, owing to lack of identification papers. (d) Assistance given by Lieutenant Colonel SWINBURN i/c Escape Committee, Oflag IX A/H. Supplied with Compass, Map and Currency. All of which retained after re-capture. 2. (a) From Working Camp No. 135b Stalag IXC November 1942, exact date unknown. Escape made by cutting wire of surround during the daylight. Actual escape made during the following evening. (b ) Regimental particulars of my three companions unknown. Number of persons escaping on the same evening was 34, 5 eventually reaching England. (c ) Owing to the lateness, conditions were extremely cold and as this escape was made on foot travelling was confined to the nights, taking to the woods in the daytime. Period of freedom about five days. Recaptured by State Police who were looking for slave workers, whilst we were resting in a field hut and sheltering from the persistent rain. Marched from this place to the town gaol, about three miles, without supports for trousers and no laces for boots, and hands above the head. 3. (a) From Camp 135b Stalag IXC July 1943. Escape with companion made while being taken out to work with a party of six men and a German Guard. We were in the first file and going round the corner of a building it was necessary to run about 15 yards before the Guard who was about 2 yards behind came round the aforementioned corner. Escape discovered about 2 minutes afterwards, but owing to the excellent concealment in a part of the factory, discovery was impossible, although search was made immediately by a number of military and civilian personnel for about 4 hours. Joined by two more companions following day. (b ) Regimental particulars of three companions not known. (c ) Owing to presence in the factory being known by the German Authorities we were enforced to stay in concealment until such times as it was possible to get through the net which was thrown round the factory. Searches were made every day, searching to within a few feet of our hide-out. After seven days of liberty, whilst replenishing our water supply we were recaptured by German Military personnel. Signed David ABEL, Guardsman, 2719762 Signal Platoon, No. 4 Company, Training Battalion IRISH GUARDS, Hobbs Barracks, Lingfield, Surrey.