Behind The Wire: Everyday Life As A Pow

Behind The Wire: Everyday Life As A Pow
Tags: Tom Guttridge

When Tom Guttridge returned from war in the early summer of 1945, he brought home not only vivid memories of the battlefield and his five years in prisoner-of-war camps but a unique collection of photographs obtained from his German captors by trading items from Red Cross parcels. These included battlefield scenes of Calais, where Tom was captured in May 1940 after fighting to hold up the German advance during the evacuation of Dunkirk, and pictures illustrating both the horrors and the lighter side of daily life in the two prisoner-of-war camps where he spent most of the war – Stalag 8B in southern Poland and Stalag 383 in Bavaria, Germany. Together with his written memories, the pictures provide a rare visual insight into life in PoW camps, including daily chores, funerals and celebrations, camp entertainment and football matches between former professional players.