History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

22 May, 2012


A series of photographs following newly repatriated New Zealander prisoners of war as they arrive back in Britain (specifically the town of Margate, Kent, England), April 1945.

From the Imperial War Museum

The New Zealander ex-POWs (NZPOWs, as I shall refer to them) jump from a truck upon arrival at the Grand Hotel in Margate. Source

The men climb the steps of the Grand Hotel, being used as a reception centre. Source

Then, a queue inside the hotel as the arrivals are registered. Source

Staff take the particulars of the NZPOWs. Each man is allowed to send two free cables home to New Zealand. Source

The NZPOWs are interviewed by a major. Source

They receive a medical examination, performed by a doctor who was himself once a POW. Source

The Quartermaster's store, where the men are equipped with proper, New Zealand-made equipment. Source

A private is helped into a New Zealand-made pair of trousers. Source

Trying on new New Zealand-made shoes (they also get boots). Source

Leaving the Quartermaster's store freshly equipped. Source

The NZPOWs have their first meal back in England (usually poached eggs and toast). Source

NZPOWs relax in the Rest Room of the Norfolk Hotel. Source

In the writing room of the Margate YMCA, NZPOWs write letters home. Source

The men read copies of "The Southern Cross", a paper put out by the Educational Rehabilitation service providing news from back home in New Zealand. Source

At the YMCA, NZPOWs receive rations of chocolate and cigarettes provided by the National Patriotic Fund of San Diego. Source

NZPOW S. Smith smiles, arms full of chocolate and cigarettes. Source

A local family happily welcomes several NZPOWs into their home for tea. Source

Also cake. Source

The NZPOWs enjoy a well-deserved drink at the pub. Source

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search This Blog