Lance-Corporal J. J. W. Green
National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3324/26
Name: 5383370 L/Cpl. Green, J.J.W.
Unit: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
Captured: 19th May 1940.
Escaped: May 1940.
Left: Brussels, 18th September 1944.
Arrived: U.K., 26th September 1944.
Date of Birth: 3rd July 1919.
Army Service: Since June or July 1938.
Peacetime Profession: Mechanic.
Private Address: 4 Anchor Lane, Aylesbury.
On the 18 or 19 May 40 my unit was cut off at HAZEBROUCK (N.W. EUROPE 1:250,000, Sheet 2, H 3349) and a few of us in a chateau just outside the town were forced to surrender. Some of my companions were Cpl. ROSS, S.; Pte. FRENCH, T.; and Pte. TAYLOR, J - all of my Regiment. (I believe these men are now P/W).
We were being marched to MONS (J 3213) when TAYLOR and I escaped into a wood, where we hid until dusk. We then found a house (name of people and location of house unknown), where we were given civilian clothing and food.
Walking by night and hiding by day we reached OSTRICOURT (H 6617) about 16 Jun. Our regiment was formerly billeted there, so we looked up the wife of Pte. FRENCH, who in turn looked up an Englishwoman whom he had formerly known (name unknown). She took us to her house, where we stayed until the middle of Jul.
At that time we set out for CALAIS hoping to reach the U.K. We arrived at CALAIS about 25 Jul and found it occupied by the Germans, so we started to return to OSTRICOURT. On the way we stopped at a farm near HAZEBROUCK (name of people unknown) and the second day we were there Pte. ROYSTON, Fred, of The Buffs, joined us.
Two days later a woman came from LILLE and accompanied us to that city. She took us to the house of a lady at LILLE where we arrived about 10 Aug. We stayed there with five other Englishmen for about eight days. On the night of 18 Aug the house was raided by a party of Germans. TAYLOR, ROYSTON and I escaped to the attic of the house next door. The other men were taken prisoner.
On 19 Aug the girl of the family (name unknown) took us by tram to ROUBAIX and thence to TOURCOING to the house of a lady where I stayed until about Oct 41.
About the middle of Nov 40 ROYSTON left with a lady and stayed at her home in TOURCOING. In Aug 41 TAYLOR left to try and reach the U.K. I have since heard he was taken prisoner.
In Oct 41, with the woman who was sheltering me, I moved to a new address in TOURCOING where I stayed until 26 Dec 43. We must have been denounced by a traitor, for at 0430 hrs (26 Dec) a party of about 20 Germans arrived and arrested us both. I was taken to the poste de police Petain at ROUBAIX and thence to LOOS (H 6635) where I tried to convince them with my carte d'identite and my carte de travail that I was a French civilian. They told me my name, number and regiment and put me, after some questioning, in which they were a bit rough, in a civilian jail at LOOS, where I remained until 12 Jun 44.
On that date I was taken with the political prisoners to BOURG-LEOPOLD (Sheet 3, K 2883) where I was kept in a prison camp until 5 Sep, at which time I was released by the Belgian Police. I went into the town and asked some police (name unknown) for help. I stayed at their home until 11 Sep.
I then left for TOURCOING by getting lifts in British lorries. I arrived there on 12 Sep. There was no one at the British Commandant's place that night, so I reported to the Commandant at ROUBAIX on 13 Sep. I was ordered to report to LILLE and there ordered to report to BRUSSELS, which I did, arriving on 16 Sep. I left BRUSSELS on 18 Sep and arrived in the U.K. on 26 Sep 44.
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