Staff-Sergeant Ralph Gordon Bishop
Unit : No.10 Flight "G" Squadron, No.1 Wing, The Glider Pilot Regiment
Army No. : 1872087
I will not go into the history of the Glider Pilot Regiment, or how the first nucleus of volunteers were selected, it is a known fact that from all the men who attempted to become an army glider pilot only 9% succeeded in their endeavour. The Regiment was formed as a war time expediency and its short career (15 years) was never well known by the general public or even serving military! It is regrettable that most people have no conception of a load carrying military glider, termed "motorless aircraft" by the RAF, less still of what they carried and what was involved.
A first Battalion, consisting of 6 Squadrons (numbered 1 to 6), each of 100 first pilots, was trained and formed, and became part of the 1st Airborne Division and sent out in various batches to North Africa. A second Battalion was started, but before completion the GPR was reorganised into Wings and lettered squadron identities; A, B, C etc. I was among the last to make up No 6 Squadron and although sent out to North Africa was too late to be involved in the Sicily operations.
Towards the end of 1943 various units of specialist troops were returned from the Central Mediterranean Force to the U.K. (to help in the D-Day invasion) and most of the 1st Airborne Division were among them. There was a convoy of 7 fast liners, 'Troopships', and some hours after passing through "Gib" and out into the Atlantic the ship I was on, 'The Monarch of Bermuda' was rammed by another, 'The Duchess of Bedford', in broad daylight! I suppose the skipper got his zigzag course out of sequence. Our ship was damaged and we had to return on our own to Gibraltar for repairs. We were in dock there for some 2-3 weeks, eventually coming back to U.K. alone where we landed in Liverpool on 24/12/43.
We were not allowed immediate leave; I was sent to RAF Shrewton and RAF Thruxton for flying practice and did not get any home leave until late March 1944. Whilst on leave I was ordered to report back to RAF Leicester East. It was there that I discovered that the War Office had decided to introduce, train and use 2nd pilots with limited flying hours and experience and so I was "allocated" a second "Dickie" as they were soon nicknamed. After a few days at Leicester East we flew a Horsa with a few RAF ground crew and stores on board to RAF Fairford where we were to form "G" Squadron of the Glider Pilot Regiment. There were 2 Flights of the ex 1st Battalion (ex Mediterranean) and 2 Flights of the 2nd Battalion.
The invasion of Europe was rapidly approaching and time did not allow for training of fully qualified pilots so introducing 2nd pilots was a means of doubling the number of crews available in a very quick, if unsuitable time.
Note: Staff-Sergeant Bishop and Sergeant A. North flew a Horsa glider (Chalk Number 201) to L.Z. "W" in Normandy, as part of Operation Mallard, at 21:00 on the 6th June 1944. They carried elements of the 211th Battery, 53rd (Worcestershire Yeomanry) Airlanding Light Regiment, Royal Artillery, who they delivered safely. They were both then returned to the U.K.
Four or five days before Arnhem I flew an empty Horsa from Fairford, where 'G' Squadron was based to RAF Brize Norton, the following day I flew a Horsa with a number of airlanding troops from Brize Norton down to RAF Manston in Kent. While at Manston for 2 days I was able to have a "gander" at the newly developed RAF Jet Engine Fighter which was being used to combat the then V1 Rockets.
The first lift to Arnhem went off in good weather on Sunday the 17th September 1944, later I went to my billet at Manston to sleep only to be awakened at about 2 or 3 a.m. on Monday 18th and told to get ready to move. With my 2nd pilot [14269986. Sgt. A. J. W. North] and a few other crews we were ferried by army lorries through the night from Manston to RAF Keevil. Why us? Who knows? Just the roll of the dice I guess. After some rest we were called to a briefing room and given some "gen" about Arnhem and told we were take-off on Tuesday 19th carrying the Headquarters section of the Polish "para's", with their heavy supplies of jeeps, trailers, stores, 'ammo', etc.
To this day I have no recollection of what the briefing entailed except that I knew the aerial view and location of the proposed L.Z. I did not recognise any of the other crews in the operation, which as you know became another "cog" in the whole debacle. On reflection, the crews, passengers and equipment of the Polish Para Brigade HQ were literally "thrown to the dogs" as out of 36 Horsa's carrying these elements only 21 ever reached Arnhem! 2 returned to base due to tug engine problems, 2 were shot down and 11 had broken tow ropes (an exceptionally high percentage) and to cap it all the Polish Para's did not go in until Thursday 21st and then at a completely different D.Z.
At the time of writing Ralph Bishop did not have the full information about the 3rd glider lift to Arnhem. The full facts are: 36 Horsa gliders despatched; 26 reached L.Z. 'L' intact and 2 landed just to the north of it. 3 returned to base with tug engine problems, 2 were shot down and 3 had broken tow ropes. He and Sgt. North flew Chalk number 143 with elements of the 3rd Polish Parachute Battalion HQ on board.
On Tuesday 19th September 1944 the take-off from RAF Keevil was delayed for about 3 hours due to weather conditions and aerial visibility was not good when we eventually departed.
Crossing the Channel I could not even see my tug aircraft, the pilot tried getting above the cloud and also below, but to no avail. As it is necessary to maintain an optimum position of the glider in towed flight either above or below the slipstream I was forced to "buzz" the tug-pilot on the intercom line which went down the tow-rope and which was fortunately working on this occasion, so often it was non-functional. I asked for a red Aldis lamp to be placed in the astro-dome so that I could maintain position - breaking the tow rope and dropping into the "drink" in the weather conditions prevailing was not very appealing. We continued our flight and eventually the cloud did break up as we were crossing the Belgian/Dutch frontier, but on looking around me in the sky I could not see another single glider!
Over Holland and at the objective I concentrated on finding the correct L.Z. and pulled off to go in, making a good approach I finished as near to the edge of the ploughed field as possible. A military glider weighing approximately 8 tons had only a downward path and at an air speed of 90 plus miles per hour the pilot has only one chance! There was no going round again!
On landing we immediately set about getting the tail off and dropping the ramps in order to unload the jeep and two trailers. There was a crackle of small arms fire around and the 2 non-English speaking Polish para's were only too eager to start up the jeep and head for the cover of a small wood. The terrain in the area was interspersed with pine/fir trees and 10-20 acre grass/ploughed fields. The Polish lads took off and before long we heard much firing and screaming as though they had come to an unexpected and untimely end.
My 2nd pilot and I set off through the wood and came to a rising grassy slope with a cluster of shrubs in front of us, dashing to this cover we found 2 British para's and one para officer letting rip with a 2" mortar, when suddenly over the brow appeared a German patrol and we were soon firing away with our rifles. The para lads "swanned off", no doubt to avoid the return mortar fire which would inevitably follow and we did not hang around either. We set off in the direction of Wolfheze and we found a sandy track along which were a motley bunch of troops heading our way, there did not seem to be anybody in charge and little seemed to be known as to what was going on. A few houses appeared in the woods and troops began taking up positions to form a defensive perimeter, we joined about 4-5 other lads and found a deep bunker some 300 yards out in the wood, resting and lying up until night fall.
Wednesday morning and we are peeping out of our foxholes when a mass of field grey uniforms began advancing towards us almost shoulder to shoulder, we only had rifle fire and our position was a bit vulnerable, one stick-grenade would have seen us all off so we decided to crawl back to the buildings when about 4 or 5 Bren guns opened up and soon halted the enemy. We crawled to the better position under cover of the Bren gun fire; mortar weapons were also banging off in various directions.
We could see the Dakota's dropping supplies, the majority of which fell into the German lines, the cloud base was low and the RAF were doing their best in poor conditions.
Later on we somehow found ourselves with 6-7 other glider pilots and took up a position on the edge of the wood. There must have been some organised detachments around holding key positions and we as "odd bods" were filling in between - but at no time did we come into contact with any senior officers or really know what was going on - the main army advancing through Holland should have relieved us, by now.
Later that day a German O.P. [Observation Post] must have pin-pointed some movements in our location and "bang" over came a salvo of their 9 barrelled "moaning minnies" and we were caught - one pilot was killed outright and the remainder of us were wounded to some degree by the shrapnel, only one man escaped unharmed. My right arm was useless, my rifle was shattered into matchsticks, my 2nd pilot had a wound in his spinal area and could hardly move. We made our way to a first aid post in a large house on the edge of Wolfheze [this would have been the 1st Bn The Border Regiment's Regimental Aid Post actually on the edge of Oosterbeek], which was full of wounded personnel.
We were there two days when a large salvo of mortars struck the place although it had been adorned with Red Cross flags, some men were re-wounded and the place was not tenable as before. All walking wounded were told to go and find their own salvation. Some of us went back into the wood and discovered another isolated house where we laid up not knowing what was going on until the morning of Sunday the 24th, when with great commotion the place was surrounded by dozens of German troops with their officers bawling orders in a language we did not then understand and we were then prisoners of war.
During Friday the 22nd the weather was getting worse, but rocket firing RAF Typhoons were doing their best to pin down the German tanks and transport when it appeared. We had been there nearly 4 days and were obviously on the perimeter area of ground still held by the 1st Airborne Division.
Apparently a decision was taken to withdraw as many as possible of the Division across the Rhine via Oosterbeek, which I learned later was HQ and where most of my Regiment who made it were operating. The Germans knew they had us trapped and I think they could have closed in earlier, but were mindful of their own casualties.
Staff-Sergeant Bishop was taken prisoner. The following is a diary that he kept from 16th September 1944 to 10th April 1945.
SEPT 16th SAT
Wrote to Dae
SEPT 17th SUN
1st Airborne Div landed at Arnhem
SEPT 18th MON
SEPT 19th TUES
3rd Lift - containers
SEPT 20th WED
Mortar shrapnel wound back of right shoulder. Containers
SEPT 21st THURS
Containers. Moved from Borders R.A.P. to an MDS - Shelled and moved again
SEPT 22nd FRI
SEPT 23rd SAT
Containers (tld same in)
SEPT 24th SUN
Containers Gerry over ran area. We were P.O.W. W.W.marched to Arnhem. Ted and I in nearby hospital. Shelled!!
SEPT 25th MON
Shelled again. Evacuated in trucks to Appledorn !?
SEPT 26th TUES
Entrained in cattle trucks
SEPT 27th WED
Saw Munster! From train
SEPT 28th THURS
Arrived Stalag XI B Nr Hanover. Red X parcel. 10 Players
SEPT 29th FRI
Wound dressed. Roll call for list to Geneva
SEPT 30th SAT
15 Players. Band played from opposite compound. Church service
OCT 1st SUN
Cooked and ate porridge
OCT 2nd MON
Wrote card to Dae (1)
OCT 3rd TUES
OCT 5th THURS
OCT 6th FRI
R X P. Moved to opposite compound. 15 cigs Saw P. Clarke Watty + Turner + Bib
OCT 8th SUN
Church + HC
OCT 10th TUES
Wrote to Dae (2)
OCT 11th WED
Shower + de-lousing etc @ 357
OCT 12th THURS
OCT 13th FRI
RX Bulk issue.
OCT 15th SUN
Church + HC
OCT 20th FRI
RX Bulk issue
OCT 21st SAT
Wrote postcard to Dae (3)
OCT 22nd SUN
Church + HC
OCT 23rd MON
Baths etc 357
OCT 24th TUES
Moved from XI B to VIII C via Soltau. Berlin & Frankfurt/ Oder
OCT 25th WED
OCT 26th THURS
Arrived Sagan 0800HRS Dae's Birthday. Bread & Honey
OCT 28th SAT
RXP each. Invalid Parcel/4 baths
OCT 29th SUN
OCT 30th MON
Concert, Library Book Heather Moon. Drew Shirt
OCT 31st TUES
RC Bulk issue 50 Fags
NOV 1st WED
NOV 3rd FRI
RC Bulk issue 2nd 1/2
NOV 4th SAT
Wrote Dae (4) Mum (Both)
NOV 7th TUES
NOV 8th WED
1/2 RXP English
NOV 10th FRI
1/2 RXP Canadian. Saw show:- The Pirates of Penzance.
NOV 11th SAT
WROTE CARD TO DAE
NOV 12th SUN
WROTE CARD TO DAE
NOV 14th TUES
NOV 16th THURS
NOV 17th FRI
1/2 RCP BULK
NOV 21st TUES
17 cigs!!….! 1/2 RCP Bulk FATIGUE Clean outside area
NOV 23rd THURS
CARD TO "DAE"
NOV 25th SAT
FATIGUE! Clean Ablutions
NOV 26th SUN
LETTER TO DAE
NOV 29th WED
Delousing & Baths
NOV 30th THURS
DEC 3 SUN
DEC 5 TUES
Radishes issue. Bulk remains issue
DEC 7 THURS
Innoculation Lt Shdr. Typhus, Cholera & Dysentry
DEC 8 FRI
SNOW. Touch of Flu - stayed in bed - some pleasure !
DEC 9 SAT
--- do--- Severe frosts FATIGUE/BILLET CLEANING
DEC 10 SUN
Much Better Thank God. Very Cold Weather
DEC 11 MON
Bath. Snow again, Very cold sleepy in my trousers.
DEC 12 TUES
Much warmer after the snow
DEC 14 THURS
Snow ! English film !
DEC 15 FRI
DEC 17 SUN
2 Letters to DAE. Very Homesick
DEC 19 TUES
Very miserable today but I guess its another day to the end of the war and to seeing Dae and all at home. How I long for some good appetising food and plenty of it, after fried potato peelings and boiled bread some
Moms food at Hookfield or Picklebatch will be paradise but most of all Dae I would like you to prepare all the nice dishes I shall like when I come home on leave. There are a few things and meals to note. Breakfast. Eggs, bacon, beans on toast, liver and onion. sausage, Mushrooms Porridge. Cornflakes, coffee, cream,sugar, toast and marmalade,chips, spam, Bully.
Elevenses. Hollicks Ovaltine Cocoa Bournvita with plenty of cakes and toast and marmalade
Lunch. Roast Beef, Pork or Lamb, spuds sprouts peas cauliflower, marrow chicken, liver and onions and bacon and sausage. Beans and bully. Chips, poultry, cold rice pud, spotted dog, jam roll, treacle tart, sponge cake and custard.)
Drink & cakes & toast in afternoon
TEA. Cheese, tomatoes, onions, crumpets eggs beans & bully cakes toast sardines fruit & cream, chips sausage & mash,pie & mash.
Supper. Chips, beans,cheese, toast eggs bacon, cold meats
MILK JAM + TREACLE + MARM CHOCOLATE MARZIPAN MARS CRUNCHIES MARSHMALLOW NOUGAT CONDENSED MILK + CARNATION CREAM + CREAMCAKES TOAST & MARMALADE PIKELETS & MARMALADE BEANS CHICKEN LYONS CHOC SWISS ROLLS, FRUIT & PIES, CREAM SLICES, CREAM DO'NUTS, CREAM BUNS, CUSTARDS, ECCLES, CHELSEAS,GINGER BISCUITS, PASTRY, MINCE PIES
DEC 20 WED
Cig off Bill !
DEC 21 THURS
RX parcels in - newsflash. FATIGUE / CP.
DEC 22 FRI
Severe frost overnignt - window & stove pipe !
DEC 23 SAT
Severe frost ! 5 cigs from Luft Stag. Parcel between 3 ! 16 cigs Red X
DEC 24 SUN
Severe frost 30 below ! Water steams. Scotch parcel ! Dumfries. Church & H.C. 1430hrs made pudding. Went to town on the 1/3 parcel with sweets & choc, Toast & Salmon, Biscuits & Cheese & Treacle, milk, marm pud & good brews. Vinegar off Bill Ramsey. Sing song. 1 PINT BEER. Church service & Communion.
DEC 25 MON
Good brews. Porridge, meat roll. Macaroni for soup. German sentry wished us a happy Xmas ! no smile ! Bacon, Toast & Xmas Pud with cream. 2 letter cards. Bread and meat roll. R.C. 0930 & 21.30 12 cigs for meat roll
Tues 26th DEC
Good brews. Toast & Meat roll Potato S.K & Oxtail Stew. Less cold today. RC. 0900 & 1430. Meat roll & spuds. Porridge
WED 27th DEC
Bath. What a skilly ?! Severe cold again. Meat Roll & spuds egg & toast.
THURS 28th DEC
Moved to A Block ! what a crush. Shaved. Bread and cheese ! Goulash. Snow. Mild night ! good sleep.
FRI 29th DEC
Cold again. Good swede soup.
SAT 30th DEC
Moved next compound. SNOW
SUN 31st DEC
Blizzard all day. 50 mins on RC @ 0900. Good barley soup. 40 mins on RC @ 1500. Let us hope the New Year will bring a speedy end to this hellish war. In the meantime food, clothing cigs & mail are needed.
MON 1st JAN
Snowing still & cold. Pea soup very thin ATE BREAD WITH IT !
TUES 2nd JAN
FATUGE - CLEANING & CARRYING SPUDS. ATE Goulash & 9 big spuds. - roll on the bread ! All the time I am hungry and eat everything immediately it is issued with is a bad thing. Starting tonight I will try to get a grip on myself and establish a definite supply to my stomach instead of alternating. Roll on the food parcels. Issued with foot rags & a pair of long pants of German make.
WED 3rd JAN
On RC for 1hr 5 mins @ 07.30 45 mins @ 11.00 45 mins @ 14.00 A very miserable day, bitter cold standing in wet boots & sleet. 7 Men had tried for a break the night before.
THURS JAN 4th
19 cigs from LUFT. 3 Ate all my spuds & my tummy hurt because it is now small & was so full. Have not yet acquired the food control !
FRI 5th JAN
21/2 fags for spuds ! Spinach good !
SUN 7th JAN
Church service. R.Call 1700hre ! in the dark after parading from 2.30 - 3.30 to hard in Benches, Tables & Pillowcases as a reprisal against treatment of German Prisoners in Egypt 2yrs previously. What a ridiculous race. Doubled up with Jim. Spinach again not so good. Ate bread by 1500hrs. Sold F.P. for spuds had a good scoff. Wrote letter to Dae.
MON JAN 8th
Spuds for Breakfast. Xmas parcels in. Snow. Macaroni x2
TUES JAN 9th
No RED X Issue. No parade for GPs for transfer to Luft VII Jerry bugering thigs around trying ot bring down moral. ATE ALL SPUDS WITH GOULASH - NEVER AGAIN BOY WHILE A kg. Another NCO killed last night, being outside after 2000hrs.
WED JAN 10th
Very cold. Parcels commence! Rerisals are now against British NCOs not volunteering for work! Lights out 2000hrs. Parcel Issue started.
THURS JAN 11th
XMAS PARCEL BETWEEN 4. 25 cigs each. Xmas cake, pudding, custard. Pork & stuffing. Stewed Steak, Beans, Spam, Honey, milk, Butter, Sugar, Yorkshire Pud, Chocolate, Fish - Tea. 55 Greatcoats! FATIGUE / Ablutions
FRI JAN 12th
It thawed last night! 5 fags for bread.
SAT JAN 13th
SUN JAN 14th
Letter to Dae & Mum. Pea soup
MON JAN 15th
De-lousing. Real Sprouts in DH7 Skilley!
TUES JAN 16th
Macaroni Skilley. Best & Tastiest Supper since being a P.O.W Pork & stuffing & Yorkshire Pud. & toast - Xmas Pud + custard, cake + jam + custard. Honey + toast. Jam + toast. Honey + bread + butter. Jam + bread + butter. (Honey to finish) Red X issue 1 /4 again Bad stomach pains.!
WED JAN 17th
Stomach pains worse Diarrhea? Best gen yet on bartering deals - ?
THURS 18th JAN
25 FAGS 1/8 Bulk issue Prunes, milk, butter, corned beef M&V tea egg pdr, pea pdr, marmalade biscuits 2 types tea. Admitted Ravire with high temp MO says bronchitis - still eating well but stomach pains
FRI 19th JAN
5 Brews ! good. DHy Veg. NBG TOMS
SAT 20th JAN
1/8 RX Bulk issue - hardly makes a good meal. Good Honey & Butter issue
SUN 21st JAN
LETTER TO "DAE" Pea soup
MON 22nd JAN
DISCHARGED RAVIRE !! 9 MEN TO A LOAF ! macaroni
TUES 23rd JAN
No Gerry Tea. 0900HRS. Flour Soup. 1430HRS Goulash & Spuds - 1/4 RX issue. 25 Cigs ATE 6 Biscuits, 21/2 meat biscuits, Honey marmalade. 3 Brews. Chocolate M&V (1/2 tin), Cheese ! 9 to a loaf no jam
WED 24th JAN
Overcoat. Cheese issue. 9 to a loaf, flour soup DH veg
THURS 25th JAN
9 to a loaf. Flour soup ¼ Bulk issue Red X Spuds & Goulash
FRI 26th JAN
Admitted Ravire again ! Temp 103.8 ! 1/3 tin pinapple csush 1/4 tin creamed rice 1/2 tin lemon curd Brew tea & ovaltine
SAT 27th JAN
Temp down. Refugees going by on the march
SUN 28th JAN
TEMP UP! SLIGHTLY 2 Letter cards! NOT WRITTEN Refugees!
MON 29th JAN
Temp down! Refugees 4 Luft III ?! Flogged Ticker for 300 & a 2 Kilo Macaroni, Good barley
TUES 30th JAN
1/4 Red X Christmas Parcel Refugees Temp OK Bought 3/4 Xmas Pud 20 1/4 Bar Choc 15 Good Barley too, Spuds & Goulash Brew cocoa! Ate 1/4 Loaf. 1/2 Pud, 1/4 P+S, 3/4 Choc, 1/4 Sardines
WED 31st JAN
Ate 1/4 Loaf , 3/4 Pud, 1/2 Cake, 1/4 Honey, 1/4 Beans 1/4 Spam, 1/4 Steak, 2 Barleys, 4 Spuds Refugees. 1st day up No marg or Jam
THURS 1st FEB
Refugees. 1 onion! & vest from Frank 1/4 Red X Xmas Parcel + 25 Cigs Goulash + spuds. No marg - cheese issue. Big Thaw overnight
FRI 2nd FEB
Carrots + Barley. Discharged Ravire. 1 Pullover! Haircut. Big Thaw. 3 Onions! No marg.
SAT 3rd FEB
No snow left now. No marg
SUN 4th FEB
MON 5th FEB
10 to a 11/2 Kilo loaf. No marg. Pea Soup. 1/4 Red X Bulk issue. 13 fags
TUES 6th FEB
Spuds (less) & Goulash. Wrote letter to Dae. Cards to Joan & Mum.
THURS 8th FEB
Evacuated SAGAN. Marched 23 Kilos. Skilley. 1/6 loaf + marg.
FRI 9th FEB
Another 23 Kilos- Priebus. 1/4 loaf 1/6 Bully. Night in woods.
SAT 10th FEB
14 Kilos. 1/4 loaf 1/6 Bully. Night in French commando Camp - very fair. Muskau.
SUN 11th FEB
Spremberg - night on football pitch. Snow rain. 1 tin bully to 3 Marg to 9 men 4 loafs 7 men for 2 days
MON 12th FEB
Still marching, another football pitch, Seftenberg. More snow TUES 13th FEB Football pitch,1/6 loaf 1/6 meat 2 days
WED 14th FEB
Night in barns. Ortrard
THURS 15t FEB
Night in barns Oszenhein !. Marched on my own! Refugees Box spuds, 1/2 loaf.
FRI 16th FEB
Sick, 11 loaves 20 men Tin meat 4 men 2 DAYS Rested in Barn all day. Spuds & tea
SAT 17th FEB
Marching! Riesa ( fast attention!) River Elbe ? 3 Kilos outside a barn
SUN 18th FEB
Coffee NIX ESSEN! Transport to German Barracks @ Oschatz Ravire treatment - Skilley
MON 19TH FEB
12th Day. Wermsdorf 12 Kilos 5 loaves 11 men VG Bread In barns 8pm 5 men to marg
TUES 20th FEB
13th day. Walked all morning W spuds cooked Tractor thtough Grimma left of Liepzig road
WED 21st FEB
1/2 loaf & sausage 2 days coffee Tractors x2 to Braed for soup & coffee!
THURS 22nd FEB
Marched to Hauinburg. 1/2 loaf 1/4 bully - 2 days
FRI 23rd FEB
To Stalag IX C. Bad Sulza
SAT 24th FEB
1/7 loaf Pkt biscuits. Sausage 7hrs Apolda
SUN 25th FEB
Weimar 1/3 loaf sausage. 36 Kilos! Cheese sandwich. Nr ERFURT. Russian - bread. AIR RAID!!
MON 26th FEB
ERFURT. 1/4 loaf 1/8 sausage (x2) soup VG. Arrived Nr GOTHA. 2 Thunderbolts.
TUES 27th FEB
Arrived. 6th loaf+ 11/4 limburger. 1/4 loaf + 2 cheeses for tomorrow. Ate
WED 28th FEB
ARRIVED EISENACH + 4 kilos No bread now!
THURS 1st MARCH
Barley soup. Arrived Hestog ? + 4 Pea soup X country march at end 4 biscuits & fat
FRI 2nd MARCH
Days rest 2/5 loaf 1/2 tin cheese for 2 days ate all! Very bad remember "Dae" in future
SAT 3rd MARCH
No bread now. Start march
SUN 4th MARCH
Long March 3/4 loaf 3/7 Bully - 3 days I ate all - stupid !
MON 5th MARCH
V short march 3 spuds
TUES 6th MARCH
Rest day again
WED 7th MARCH
8th day of marching 2/3rds loaf 2/7ths meat ate all FULDA
THURS 8th MARCH
March no bread
FRI 9th MARCH
1/5th loaf days rest 3GP's died - Garth Statham, Gr---s, Hodges.
SAT 10th MARCH
1/3 loaf 1/6th meat Arrived Stalag IX B 1/5 loaf for tomorrow - ate ! Fleas are terrible!!!
SUN 11th MARCH
A good soup. De-loused? In middle of last night
Mon 12th MARCH
Skilley same 1/6 loaf. 1 cig
TUES 13th MARCH
1/6th loaf Skilley same --- papers. Weather warmer. Marg
WED 14th MARCH
250 GRAMMES MARG + JAM
THURS 15th MARCH
FRI 16th MARCH
250G's Butter Jam
SAT 17th MARCH
250G's Butter Cheese 1/4 Red X P American No 10
SUN 18th MARCH
250G's Marg + Saus
MON 19th MARCH
250G's Marg. I AM FEELING VERY VERY WEAK. I AM V. THIN
TUES 20th MARCH
210G's 1/2 litre skilley
WED 21st MARCH
250G's 15G's Marg (11AM!) Skilley 4pm 1/4 litre
THURS 22nd MARCH
250G's 250G's 20G's Marg Skilley 1 litre thick
FRI 23rd MARCH
3 more men died in Ravine 210G's 15G's Marg
SAT 24th MARCH
250G's 20 Marg 21/2 cigs. Letter Cd
SUN 25th MARCH
250G's 20G's Marg. 40G's Meat
MON 26th March
250G's 15G's Marg Thin skilley!
TUES 27th MARCH
210G's 20G's Marg 1/12 th Parcel!
WED 28th MARCH
1/7th loaf 20G's Marg
THURS 29th MARCH
1/7th loaf 20G's Marg "More" spuds
FRI 30th MARCH
GOOD FRIDAY Thick skilley No bread? Thin skillet 2 Fags 2nd ANNIVERSARY
SAT 31st MARCH
1/5 American parcel 51/2 cigs 40 French CIGS LIBERATED ? NOT YET Thick skilley no bread thick skilley
SUN 1st APRIL EASTER SUNDAY
Pea skilley 1/7 Loaf marg. 20Gs
MON 2nd APRIL EASTER MONDAY
AMERICAN TROOPS ARRIVED, LIBERATION DAY
TUES 3rd APRIL
C rations. Barteded rogan meal macaroni + spuds for fags Bought 2 mess tins, knife, mug Skilley bowl, Sugar, Treacle, coffee, milk Bad ORB. Started moving to Blighty by AIR
SAT 7th APRIL
BR. Di Su Grd Mt + Spag
SUN 8th APRIL
B Ham & eggs D Chicken + veg + Pork and beans ? C Cereal + Buscuits
MON 9th APRIL
AIRBORNE EVAC COMMENCED? MAIN BODY OLD TYPE C RATIONS B - Biscuits etc D - Chicken + veg - M+V S - M+V + Pork and beans
Bad Night ?!!!
TUES 10th APRIL
Breakfast -Biscuit burger Dinner - burger
1900hrs left camp by truck 25 - serial 25, Arrived Drome - de-loused into Red X tent - Bang on.
Staff-Sergeant Bishop rarely spoke of his wartime experiences, yet he was extremely proud of his association with the Glider Pilot Regiment. He died in 2004.
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