Staff-Sergeant Ralph Gordon Bishop
Unit : "G" Squadron, The Glider Pilot Regiment.
Served : North-West Europe (captured).
Army No. : 1872087
Camps : Stalags XIB, VIIIC and IXB.
Staff-Sergeant Bishop participated in the Normandy Landings, flying in soldiers of "A" Company, the 12th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment, into battle with the Second Lift on the evening of the 6th June 1944. Three months later he flew to Arnhem, where he was wounded and captured. The following is the diary he kept.
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 never 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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