Cheape, Hugh Bruce Ismay (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 31948
Department
Sound
Production date
2009
Subject period
Dimensions
  • whole: Duration 360, Number Of Items 12
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

© IWM

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Object description

British officer served with 8th Bn Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in France, 1-6/1940; POW in Oflag VII C, Laufen, Stalag XX1 D, Posen, Stalag XX A, Thorn, Oflag V B, Biberach, Oflag VI B, Warburg, Oflag VII B, Eichstatt and Stalag VII A, Moosburg, 6/1940-4/1945

Content description

REEL 1: Background in Wellfield, Fyfe, Scotland, 1919-1939: father’s military service during Boer War and First World War; family connections with Bruce Ismay and White Star Line; brothers; education. REEL 2 Continues: story of volunteering for Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at outbreak of war, 9/1939. Aspects of operations with 8th Bn Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in France, 1-6/1940: location near Lille, 1/1940; patrol duties; memory of cold weather; moved to Somme region; opinion of equipment and weapons; morale. Recollections of period as POW in Poland and Germany, 6/1940-4/1945: examples of ’goon baiting’. REEL 3 Continues: story of theft of Gestapo pistol; opinion of accommodation and commandant at Laufen POW camp; Red Cross parcels; trading goods with German guards; opinion of food; story of stealing wine from German officers’ cellar; transferred from Laufen to Posen and Thorn POW camps, 1941. REEL 4 Continues: camp news service provided by clandestine wireless; amusing story of being chased by German officer; learned Gaelic; story of learning to play bagpipes; escape committees; opinion of Douglas Bader; sporting activities; volunteered to work in vegetable garden. REEL 5 Continues: medical facilities; camp hospital; amusing story of padre in Laufen POW camp; story of POW Micky Sturton being shot; story of German NCO shooting two POWs in Eichstatt POW camp; parole walks in country to collect firewood. REEL 6 Continues: role of Senior British Officer; memories of Christmas, 1940; homemade alcohol; story of being attacked by US aircraft during march to Moosburg POW camp, 1945; morale among POWs; further comments on goon baiting and punishments; parcels from relatives; personal possessions returned on liberation. REEL 7 Continues: story of Rolex watch; gambling in camps; storage of tins from Red Cross parcels; opinion of sanitary facilities; personal hygiene; communication with family. REEL 8 Continues: Further aspects of operations with 8th Bn Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in France, 1940: story of being captured; casualties from mortar bombs; story of Willy Kemp and grenade. REEL 9 Continues: story about Brig Lorne Campbell VC. Further aspects of period as POW in Poland and Germany, 1940-1945: description of journey to Oflag VII C, Laufen, after capture, 6/1940; attitude to surrender and captivity; story of brother’s escape from Milag Nord; description of arrival at Laufen; heads shaved; accommodation allocated by rank; problem of fleas. REEL 10 Continues: attitude to 51st Div surrender and BEF operations in France, 1940; opinion of food; treatment of other nationalities by Germans; comparison of regimes in different camps; question of identifying POW camps to prevent Allied bombing; opinion of treatment by Germans; attitude to duties as officer; living conditions at Biberach POW camp. REEL 11 Continues: living conditions at Warburg and Eichstatt POW camps; role of Senior British Officer; description of digging tunnel under stove in hut; watchtowers and sentries; method of removing spoil from tunnels; use of bed boards to reinforce tunnels; lock picking skills of POWs; story of return to GB after liberation, 4/1945. REEL 12 Continues: Aspects of period in GB, 1945-1946: deloused; issued with new uniform and kit; returned to family in Scotland; reaction of parents; repatriation leave working on farm; description of duties with Army Claims Commission; question of remaining in Army. Post-war life in GB: adjustment to civilian life; work as farmer.

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