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

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

  1. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    It will Steve! Well done. B
     
  2. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    It’s sure to be a good read and I hope the Publishers are happy too.
     
  3. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    84C9468D-7E79-47CD-932C-DCD7D3767855.jpeg E0ACDDD1-22A2-4496-B3EB-87DA4E3EAC5D.jpeg 84C9468D-7E79-47CD-932C-DCD7D3767855.jpeg E0ACDDD1-22A2-4496-B3EB-87DA4E3EAC5D.jpeg
    Steve Foster has fittingly dedicated the book about this story to Staff Sergeant Thomas Aitken (see above images). I wonder where Aitken’s relatives are today?
    For any readers who are interested, the book is available now - see www.mirrorcollection.co.uk
     
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  4. ltdan

    ltdan Junior Member

    Hmmm...
    Hannover fell 9/10.4.45 to the US 5th armored Division, XIII. CorpsNinth Army, Celle fell 10/11.4.45 to the 5th Scottish Infantry Division
    Wittingen surrendered to US-Troops (5th armored Division) at 11.4.45.
    Left "Neighbour" was the British 21st Army Group. Army Border was roughly Celle - Wittingen - Salzwedel - Seedorf.
    At 20.4.45 the entire Region in the triangle Hitzacker - Wittingen - Seedorf - although British sector - became area of responsibility of XIII. Corps who mopped up the remaining "Bridgehead" .
    Regarding the Regimental diaries: I have all of them (GB and US) including all intel files. Unfortunately the entire region was literally swamped with PoWs and DPs so it´s nearly impossible to identify a certain PoW column.
    But in late March 45 and even early April the allied troops were far away from Dömitz, they closed the "Ruhrkessel".
     
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  5. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    I’m wondering if the movements of the US 6th Army are detailed in your documents for the dates we need? I think 24-27March 1945
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  6. ltdan

    ltdan Junior Member

    Sorry Barbara: The 6th US Army was at the Phillipines at that time
    But I remember I´d sent Steve a British Intel extract were they searched Hauptmann Mackensen. Must been around 20 April....
    attached: Front lines end of March 45, Doemitz approx. at the red marker
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Thanks for the information. Much appreciated.
    Barbara
     
  8. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    How’s this for a bus stop Ad in London? Originally posted elsewhere by Steve Foster :)
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. geejayboy

    geejayboy Junior Member

    Hello everyone,
    Just bought a copy of Steve's Book for my father in law, Gunner George McRitchie of the 1st Searchlight Regiment, RA, who was a POW in Stalag XXA (Captured in Calais 26/5/1940). He got it for Fathers Day and when my wife and I went to visit him again on Wednesday (His 99th birthday) he had read it.
    He told us that he knew of Steve's father and Anthony Coulthard (The Professor) during his time in captivity and said that the book brought back a lot of memories.
    I told him all about this website and he asked me to pass on his thanks and regards to Steve and everyone else who made this book possible.

    All the best,

    Gordon Johnston
     
  10. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Hi Gordon
    Great to hear from you! What an amazing man your father-in-law must be! 99 is a grand age too. The 1st Searchlight Regimant must have also had a hard time being caught so early in the war.
    I guess George endured the Forced March too? Does he ever speak about his time at XXA?
    Steve and Alan, the writers, will be pleased he appreciated the story.
    This thread is a real timeline of the search for Antony’s Grave. I re-read parts occasionally!

    I hope you and your wife get to read the book too. I think Steve will be really pleased to read your comment when he checks in.
    Thanks and regards
    Barbara WT
     
  11. Steve Foster

    Steve Foster Senior Member

    Hello Gordon,

    I am so pleased your father in law, Gunner George McRitchie, liked the book and it brought back memories, probably not all happy ones for him. It is very gratifying that a true veteran of those terrible conditions approves of the book - we tried to keep it as close to the truth as my father's letters would allow. It would be a real privilege to meet George. Best wishes to you and George,
    Steve Foster
     
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  12. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Hi
    Am fairly new to posting on this site, and read this story with great interest as many years ago I had a copy of the actor Sam Kydd's (ex QVR & pow at Thorn) autobiography For you the war is over. Sadly I can't find the book here now.

    But did find this link to Sam's This is your Life TV show episode which has still images of ex pows Bill Golledge, Freddie Foster & Richard Davies, who appeared on it.

    Its on this site & look in the subjects heading: www.bigredbook.info

    The same video of the This is your life book is also at the website of Sam's son: www.jonathankydd.com

    I was so pleased to see that the grave of Tony Coulthard was located, & accepted & marked by CWGC.

    This element of the story interested me as have helped to locate & get marked, the grave of a WW1 soldier who died of horrific injuries in 1916, a month after discharge from The Beds Regiment. His family had not known where he was buried. Our task of ringing around all the cemeteries in North London, does not compared to the travels abroad involved with the search for Tony's grave.
     
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  13. geejayboy

    geejayboy Junior Member

    Well.....he has finally done it.

    Gunner George McRitchie has just celebrated his 100th Birthday last Thursday. We had a big party for him and he had a great time. He was interviewed and had his picture taken for the local newspaper "The Dundee Courier" which is online should anyone wish to read about him.

    I am not sure whether this is the correct section of the forum to announce this news as the "1940" or the "Veteran's Accounts" sub forums would also be appropriate.

    Admin, please relocate as you feel necessary.

    Regards

    Gordon Johnston
     
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  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  15. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Congratulations George! What an amazing man. Dundee must be a good place to live!
     
  16. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    So Antony died a couple of weeks or more, before his fellow POWs were freed.
     
  17. Tim091

    Tim091 Member

    Just read this entire thread and have to register my utmost respect to you all for your dedication and hard work. I've just ordered a copy of Steve's book to add to the many books I have on XXa and XXb.

    A relative (Richard Farnden) was in both camps from 1940 - 45 and must have been on the Long March (unless he was one of the lucky ones evacuated from the hospital later). I never met him but the family story is that he never recovered his mental faculties as a result of his suffering.
     
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  18. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Hi Tim
    Richard must have been tough to survive all that. No surprise if he was badly affected though. The poor living conditions and nutrition would have to do a lot of permanent damage, let alone the emotional traumas.
    I sometimes wonder how my Uncle (had he survived) would have adjusted to peace time after all he went through.
     
  19. Tim091

    Tim091 Member

    Sorry, posted in wrong thread! Ignore this!
     
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  20. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Thank you!
     

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