Birdwatching in WW2

Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    From page 42 & 43 of 'Charlie Company' by Peter Cochrane .
    As mentioned in this thread.

    2 Camerons have been moved from Eygpt down to the Sudan & he makes this observation.

    ''There was much more wildlife than in the desert ; on our route marches we saw hares, gazelle and ostriches.
    Our next move was to a curious forest with a sandy floor, I suppose a wadi where enough water lay beneath the bed to let the trees flourish. Here it was enchanting to see the birds , brilliant little creatures flashing blue and yellow and green through the dense shade. I realised how much I had missed bird life in the desert. There was no leisure to watch them ; we were making our final preparations and learning why we were in the Sudan.''
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    I shall never forget the wonder of seeing thousands of fireflies swarming just head high in the Italian marshes.

    We used to catch a handful, just for the immense pleasure of holding this freak of nature as a source of light.

    Owen likes this.
  3. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member


    I have read quite often, and of course it was in 'The Great Escape', that various birdwatchers were also involved in the forgery departments in POW camps. using their particular drawing skills to other uses and also providing a good cover story. I have just ordered my copy of 'Birds in a Cage'. It looks a very interesting read.

    In response also to an earlier question on this thread as well, there were lots of different societies and study groups within the POW's, from Motor Engineering, through fishing and farming and of course studying for various degrees and qualifications, covered by 'Barbed wire University'.

    Stephen P. L Johnson wrote A Kriegie’s Log, the lighter side of Prison Life, including his growing up, Eton, fighting in Sweden and RAF pilot training, upon his repatriation but more interestingly wrote 'Fishing From Afar' whilst a POW in Stalag Luft 3, Sagan. Still considered to be a great book on fishing exploits. Both well worth a read.



  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just read this in the 'after the battle' book on Cassino.

    page 221.

    Late on March 25, Lieutenant Richard Gade and Sergeant J Jessiman of the British Army Film and Photo Unit went into Cassino to cover the fighting. Gade reported......

    page 226

    'An odd thing I noticed at this time was that as nearby shells burst pigeons rose with the blast. After a brief recce they fluttered back to their roosts in the debris. Until a day or two before , the Kiwis said, there were ducks in the pools in the craters.
    I spent an afternoon taking pictures . Quite often there were periods of dead silence most often interrupted by the whoosh of a mortar bomb and then then a cascade of shattered brick and rubble. In quite patches the only sound was the singing of birds.'
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Other Lt. Gade results on IWM, incl some colour photos
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Gerry Chester mentions woodpeckers on his NIH website.
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Bought Bruce Campbell's ''Birdwatcher at Large'' (published 1979) for a quid last Sunday at Polesden Lacey.
    Read this bit on page 119 the other day & thought I'd post it here.
    He was working for the CCRPT ( Central Council for Recreative Physical Training) which was moved out to Cardiff from London in 1939.

    I found my first Welsh redpoll's nest in an ornamental shrub near the lake in 1943. I think this may have been the day I was accosted by two policemen not unnaturally curious about my activities, an experience birdwatchers all over Britain were having in those days, and continue to have in countries less familiar with the hobby.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    'Something About A Soldier' Christopher Bulteel MC page 112.

    This was Le Kef.

    Peter found more to interest him in the birds than in the soldiers.: here were golden orioles. bee-eaters , and great grey shrikes for him.
  9. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Via @RealTimeWWII
    Watch them, then destroy them, ruthlessly!

    CL1 and Owen like this.

Share This Page