Long March POW Casualty 1945: John Antony Ronald Coulthard, Stalag XXA, Thorn

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by dbf, May 9, 2010.

  1. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Thanks Andy
     
  2. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Thanks Barbara
     
    BarbaraWT likes this.
  3. billminer

    billminer Member


    On all your research Steve, did you find out who column was liberated by. My dad was on same march from XXA and was liberated by American army he said around that area on river Elbe. Thought he said 10 army? Not sure what time exactly, think around end april. 5 year pow.
     
    BarbaraWT likes this.
  4. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Hi Bill,

    I think that there were so many small columns marching from XXA/XXB, each changing guards regularly, that it is hard to determine which column was where. I have two bits of contradictory evidence about where the column Antony was in was liberated but it was definitely the American army and not the British or Canadians.

    The first is a statement by Hauptman Mackenson, who S/Sgt Aitken in his affidavit believes was responsible for the deaths of 30 British soldiers in his column so I guess was in charge of Antony's column. I have just attached the part that states where his column marched and you can see they got to Leherte on the outskirts of Hannover before they turned round and were finally found by the Americans at Wittengen on the way back to the Elbe.

    The second is the memoirs of Pte Dennis Bonner who was next to Antony when he died in the barn in Kaltenhof on the Elbe. I have attached the relevant page which indicates they were liberated by Americans in jeeps only two days after Antony died in the barn on the Elbe. If you look carefully he has added "of the 6th Army". So that is miles away from Hannover and Wittengen.

    I guess we will never truly know what happened in March and April of 1945 to the West of the Elbe unless we track down the Regimental Diaries of the US units involved.

    Hpt Mackensen statement 2.jpg Dennis Bonner 1.jpg

    Steve
     
    BarbaraWT and dbf like this.
  5. billminer

    billminer Member

    Great job Steve, look forward to your book when comes out. Keep digging this side world, in his case was definitely liberated by American army not quite sure which one. Like you say info out there somewhere. Always scanning for more pictures etc.
     
  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    I cannot recall ever seeing photos from the March so these caught my attention:

    march.jpg march1.jpg march2.jpg march3.jpg
     
    4jonboy, Incredibledisc and BarbaraWT like this.
  7. billminer

    billminer Member

    Keep them coming. Seen the first two but not the last two. Has to be more out there.
     
    BarbaraWT and canuck like this.
  8. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Incredible ordeal Bill. How was your Dad after the War?
     
  9. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    canuck likes this.
  10. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Steve, if Dennis wrote the 6th Army, is there any reason to doubt it was the 6th?
     
  11. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    BarbaraWT likes this.
  12. billminer

    billminer Member

    For him he suffered from
    For him like many suffered from PSTD , I would say it effected the family like most. Mother once woke to my dad trying to strangler her. Him screaming in the night different times don’t remember much of that stuff to young. Flash backs that type thing right after war. Seemed to mellow out more by time 1970’s came. In his last 10 years of his life flash backs seemed like he couldn’t hide them as good as when he was younger. Always keep blinds of the condo where they lived in closed, thought snipers might shoot him, mistook tree seedling protectors coloured white on logged off areas as mass graveyards when taking him drive out bush. He would do weird stuff middle night have baths put lotion all over his body. Imagining burning probably according to doc. When he couldn’t manage any more after few strokes and was in hospital he was evaluated by psychiatric doc for veterans affairs and final they analoged he had severe PSTD. They had him in ward with 4 other people had to move him out to his own room ,driving everybody crazy because all flash backs. He was imagining all buildings were burning around him and snipers were trying to get him, that type thing. Doc had given him drugs said normal person knock them out, not him. Always trying to escape out Hospital almost made it few times. Never spoke much about march etc younger years except only when friends that lived in hell came by then he opened up, but must humorous sides mostly but he did tell some pretty grim stories to about March. You asked you received. Mind you I could fill few pages. All & all good father taught us ultimate in survival.
     
    Alucard likes this.
  13. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for openly revealing the details of your Dad's troubled days following his experiences. When you say you could fill a few pages, I am sure it would be of great interest if you were to write more of his experiences that you know of. If of course that is ok with you..
     
    BarbaraWT likes this.
  14. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    canuck likes this.
  15. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Hi Bill
    I’m sorry you all went through that. Your Dad suffered even more. I’ve read a few accounts of POW life and the forced March. It was far worse for men who weren’t officers, even if they were lucky enough to have family at home to send parcels.
    I remember visiting Stalag XXA in Poland about 5 years ago and being shocked at the conditions the POWs endured.
    Thanks for the account.
    Barbara
     
  16. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    canuck likes this.
  17. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    We're quite alright with the world thinking it was Steve McQueen, James Garner and Charles Bronson who saved the day. It's part of the plot in lulling the Yanks into a false sense of security. :)
     
    BarbaraWT likes this.
  18. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    So easily done...
     
    canuck likes this.
  19. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    We are all looking forward to the release of Steve Foster’s book on our 2 relatives. Stay tuned.
     
  20. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Getting a little nervous now Barbara! I really hope it lives up to expectations.
     
    canuck likes this.

Share This Page