Work Camp 1735 L
Location: Ober Rakitsch
Type of work: Farmwork
Man of Confidence: Sgt L.R. Tillbrook
Number of Men: 12 approx.
|Fred C.||Bee||Sgmn||R Sigs||4850|
|Eric T.||Blackbourn||Pte||3981||New Zealand|
|Eric D.||Dandy||Cpl||R Sigs||4986|
|Edward Ewart (Brownie)||Dann||Pte||4550||New Zealand|
|Tui E.||Rayner||Pte||4353||New Zealand|
|A.G.||Wadelton||Cpl||2/8 Inf. Bn.||3873||Australia|
The British prisoners of war in this district are generally lodged in farmhouses where they occupy one or two rooms.
Bathing and washing facilities
The bathing facilities are non-existent but generally the men can get hot water in the farms where they work for their ablutions. Running water is found nowhere. The supply has to be fetched at the pump and carried ion the rooms where the men live.
Special latrines exist.
Food and Cooking
The men eat with the farmers where they work and the food is not refined nor very plentiful. But the private food can be cooked in the room where they sleep.
Medical attention and sickness
When ill, the prisoners of war are allowed to go to a civilian doctor who also gives urgen dental care.
As soon as it can be arranged, it will be possible to have some order and speed in the issue of the new and the exchange of the working uniforms.
The laundry is generally well done in the farms where the men work.
Money and Pay
Regular and in order.
The religious activity is regulated in principle, i.e. the padre from Stalag 18A/Z Wagna is supposed to visit the different work camps, but practically this has only been done for the camps in short reach of the Stalag. As the padre has to be accompanied by an interpreter the visiting trips can only be arranged very seldom.
Recreation and exercise
The mail question is much complained about. As the issue is now concentrated in Stalag 18A there is hope very real amelioration. There was difficulty with the outgoing mail as official forms (letters or cards) had not been distributed in sufficient quantity. This however is now straightened out.
The main complaint aws that the working hours could not be fixed and that not sufficient time was given for the midday meal. In agriculture it is not possible to fix the work to so many hours per day. It varies from day to day and those of the prisoners of war who are farmers themselves understood the difficulty even if the peasants' methods in this country differ from the work in England or Australia. The time for the midday meal was fixed to half an hour for the whole district.
On the whole the conditions of life for the prisoners of war in these camps can be called good. The stay behind barbed wire is reduced to the sleeping hours mainly. So the time when they are working in the fields represents some likeness of freedom.