Bandsman Owen Charles Delvoir
Unit : 1st Battalion The Border Regiment
Army No. : 3596809
Bandsman Delvoir was taken prisoner in Sicily. The following is the Prisoner of War Questionnaire he filled in on his repatriation. My thanks to Bob Hilton for supplying a copy.
General Questionnaire for British/American Ex-Prisoners of War.
1. No. 3596809 RANK Bdmn SURNAME Delvoir CHRISTIAN NAMES Owen Charles DECORATIONS Nil
2. SHIP (R.N., U.S.N. or MERCHANT NAVY UNIT (ARMY) 1st Bn The Border Regt. SQUADRON (R.A.F. or A.A.F.)
3. DIVISION (ARMY), COMMAND (R.A.F. or A.A.F.) 1st Airborne
4. DATE OF BIRTH 1-8-1917
5. DATE OF ENLISTMENT 9-5-1932
6. CIVILIAN TRADE OR PROFESSION (OR EXAMINATIONS PASSED WHILE P/W) Soldier
7. PRIVATE ADDRESS 27 Bourne Rd, Bexley, Kent
8. PLACE AND DATE OF ORIGINAL CAPTURE 10-7-42 Seragusa
9. WERE YOU WOUNDED WHEN CAPTURED? No
10. MAIN CAMPS OR HOSPITALS IN WHICH IMPRISONED.
11. WERE YOU IN A WORKING CAMP?
Nature of Work
12. DID YOU SUFFER FROM ANY SERIOUS ILLNESSES WHILE A P/W? No
(b) DID YOU RECEIVE ADEQUATE MEDICAL TREATMENT? Yes
GENERAL QUESTIONNAIRE PART II. TOP SECRET.
1. No. 3596809 RANK Bdmn SURNAME Delvoir CHRISTIAN NAMES Owen Charles
2. LECTURES before Capture:
(a) Were you lectured in your unit on how to behave in the event of capture? (State where, when and by whom). Barton Stacy Camp. 1943. By Major McKay Commanding Headquarter Company.
(b) Were you lectured on escape and evasion? (State where, when and by whom). No.
3. INTERROGATION after capture:
Were you interrogated by the enemy? (State where, when and methods employed by enemy). No.
4. ESCAPES attempted:
Did you make any attempted or partly successful escapes? (Give details of each attempt separately, stating where, when, method employed, names of your companions, where and when recaptured and by whom. Were you physically fit? What happened to your companions?) No.
Did you do any sabotage or destruction of enemy factory plant, war material, communications, etc., when employed on working-parties or during escape? (Give details, places and dates.) No.
6. COLLABORATION with enemy:
Do you know of any British or American personnel who collaborated with the enemy or in any way helped the enemy against other Allied Prisoners of War? (Give details, names of person(s) concerned, camp(s), dates and nature of collaboration or help given to enemy). No
7. WAR CRIMES:
If you have any information or evidence of bad treatment by the enemy to yourself or to others, or knowledge of any enemy violation of the Geneva Convention you should ask for a copy of "Form Q" on which to make your statement: (NOTE: Form Q is a separate form inviting information on "War Crimes" and describes the kind of offences coming under this title.)
8. Have you any other matter of any kind you wish to bring to notice? I escaped from my working camp Mainsdorf on the night of the 3rd of April 1945 and was not recaptured. On Easter Sunday, we in the camp got news that troops were not a great distance (200 km) away, so we all decided to attempt to reach our lines, the moment we got to know the position of our troops, before we managed to find out, our guard told us we were to pack our kit as we were to be moved further back. I then made up my mind that it was then or never. I asked the other 9 men of the camp would they come with me, and they replied let us wait a while for our farmer to bring our food. I had waited an hour when Pte Hatfield came in and told me that the S.S. were patrolling outside also the guard visited to lock the door. Once again I ask who is coming, and I received the same reply, so I waited no longer. I went out the door "leaving all my kid behind" onto the veranda laid down, and pulled myself round to the side of the building and dropped into the wine garden, got food from a farm and made my way into the hills. For a fortnight I stayed in the hills coming down now and again at nights to get food from a farm and to get a good sleep, by day searching for 5 other prisoners from another camp that I had heard was in the vicinity. I then found them: we stayed for another week in a small house we had erected in a very thick wood. When two of them got picked up by the Partisans and taken en route to England, us remaining four followed two days later, but we could not contact them. At the river Drau near Marberg we found it was too fast for us to get across, so we turned back and stayed in our hideout until the war finished. The Bulgarian troops took charge of the area, I reported myself and was told the English troops were coming, but after a week I got a pass from the area commander and made my way to [?]berg, where after a good deal of waiting on the Border got through to report to the 27th Lancers on the 17th of May. The same day got a truck into Wolfsberg. The 18th left Wolfsberg and arrived in [?]. The 28th arrived at [?] by plane. 22nd arrived at Rome. 28th arrived at Naples.
I fully realise that all information relating to the matters covered by the questions in Part II are of a highly secret and official nature. I have had explained to me and fully understand that under Defence Regulations or U.S.A.R. 380-5 I am forbidden to publish or communicate any information concerning these matters.
Date 23-5-45 Signature [Signed C. Delvoir]
1. Number 3596809 Rank Bdmn Name (BLOCKS) Delvoir Initials O.C. Unit 1st Batt the Border Regt. Private Address 27 Bourne Rd, Bexley, Kent.
2. If you personally witnessed the death, wounding or serious illness of any other PW since the Armistice of SEPTEMBER 1943, please write below whatever details you can. If you know any information of this sort from some other reliable source (e.g. the Partisan leader in your area), put this down as well, giving as many particulars as you can of your informant and witnesses. If you do not know the full particulars of the PW concerned - i.e. his full name, unit, and last PW Camp - then give as many of these as you can, and any other details which may establish his identity, e.g. home town or personal description. If you know his Regtl No, give that too. In the case of death, state place of burial and how the grave is marked, if known. No.
APPENDIX "A" GENERAL QUESTIONNAIRE. PART III.
Number 3596809 Rank Bdmn Surname and Initials Delvoir O.C. Unit 1st Batt the Border Regt
Give such names and addresses as you can remember of those persons who helped you during your escape journey(s), with the approximate dates of their help to you and to your companions (if any), a very brief summary of service rendered, amount of money or approximate value of clothing supplied (list of items of clothing and footgear to be stated if possible) and degree of risk incurred.
If you cannot remembered the names of your individual helpers, state the place where you received help, and what details you can about such help. State also if you or your companions did or did not leave "chits" with each helper, acknowledging assistance given by him, or her, or did these "chits" take the form merely of your name and home address? A specimen of what is required is given below. [Note: To avoid confusion with Bandsman Delvoir's reply, these examples have been omitted.]
Dates and period of help. From April 3-45 until May 16-45.
Name and address of helper (put Christian name FIRST and give Province if possible). Suarnge, Mainsdorf No.65, Post Schwanberg, Steiermark.
Type of Help given. Supplied food and a bed on average 4 times a week. Stole the key to the camp and got all my kit that I had packed but was unable to bring with me. Informed me as far as possible the movements of the S.S. troops in that area. Washed all my clothes and provided hot water once a week for me to bath. For the week following the close of hostilities, while I waited for the British troops supplied me with four meals a day. [Signed C. Delvoir] 3596809
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