WW II, a British focus



Memories of Flight Sergeant Harry Tenny

Another thing that happened in the punishment block was some Russian POW had refused to do something or other and the Germans took advantage of the fact that they had no protection from Geneva.

The Germans loosed two big dogs on them but when they called the dogs to come out they didn't, because the Russians had killed them both and were preparing to eat them.

We were not around to see the fate of these POWs but I think they would suffer a terrible slow death.

We were called out one day and given our old uniforms back and told to wait for the camp Commandant to tell us where we would be going next. It turned out to be our old camp at Elstaverde and we once again met our oldpals.

We were soon planning another escape but this time we had to be better organized so it was going to take longer to do.

Luckily we were overtaken by events and one day we were shaken to hear gunfire in the distance and a lot of uneasy faces on the German civilians in the factory. Some muttered they were Russian guns and they were getting ever closer.

After three days we were all assembled and marched out of the camp and through the villages and towns guarded by remnants of the guards some of which had took off on hearing the guns so close, but they were caught and shot for deserting their post.

If anyone lagged behind the column they got left behind because the guards were just as anxious to put more miles between us and the guns. A few of the men risked running off, but Georges leg began to ooze pus as the prolonged marching opened up old desert sores that took years to heal.

We marched for about five days being joined by thousands of other POW from all the working commandos as we passed them until eventually we all returned to Muhlberg where I immediately sought out Tom Barker and we swapped uniforms and I became Warrant Officer Harry Tenny once again.

It caused quiet a stir as I was now the highest ranking Officer in the camp, my Promotion had come through during my absence, and I was indeed highly chuffed.

We were left pretty much on our own as the guards began to run on the second night.

In the morning there was one hell of a commotion as about two hundred fully armed Cossacks on horseback raced through our camp. One voice drawled lazily, "shute, looks like Doncaster bloody race course on a Saturday afternoon"

The riders soon herded up what was left of the guards and the Russian POW soon were very busy paying back old scores.