Tag: Prisoner of War

M. V. Gripsholm Mail, Diplomatic Exchange Vessel, Far East WWII

M. V. Gripsholm Mail, Diplomatic Exchange Vessel, Far East WWII

When the USA entered WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, there was a need to repatriate diplomats, civilians caught in the Far East at the wrong time, and sick and wounded prisoners of war. The USA sent a message 8th December 1941 to the US Charge d’Affaires in Berne, Switzerland to start negotiations through their Tokyo Embassy. The result of this was that the M. V. Gripsholm (a vessel from neutral Sweden) was chartered by the USA for transfers of prisoners, mail and supplies.

It was agreed that the first exchange would be at the neutral port of Lorenço Marques, Portuguese Mozambique. The Gripsholm carried approx. 1500 passengers. The Japanese used two vessels, the M. V. Asama Maru with 850 repatriates from Yokohama, Hong Kong Saigon and Singapore, and the Conte Verde from Shanghai and Singapore with 640.

The second voyage exchange was at the neutral port of Marmagao (Portuguese India). The Gripsholm carried 1513 from New York, Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo, and the Teia Maru about 1500 from Yokohama, Shanghai, Hong Kong, San Fernando (Philippines), Saigon and Singapore.

Items of mail from the first voyage are particularly scarce. There was little time from the end of the negotiations to the sailing of the ship from New York to advertise that mail would be carried. Tett records 10 known items of mail carried on the first voyage.

This 16 page exhibit is a new exhibit and has been entered into the Ausvipex 2020 virtual one frame exhibition for its first showing. I am pleased to say I gained a Gold award with 86 points.

Correspondence and Photographs Stalag VIIIB, WWII

Correspondence and Photographs Stalag VIIIB, WWII

My interest in Stalag VIIIB, German Prisoner of War Camp, started with the fact that many New Zealand POWs ended up here, including some friends of my family.
Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf was a German Army prisoner of war camp, later renumbered Stalag-344, located near the small town of Lamsdorf (now called Łambinowice) in Silesia. The camp initially occupied barracks built to house British and French prisoners in World War I. At this same location there had been a prisoner camp during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.
It was opened in 1939 to house Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. Later approximately 100,000 prisoners from Australia, Belgium, British India, British Palestine, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, the United States and Yugoslavia passed through this camp. In 1941 a separate camp, Stalag VIII-F was set up close by to house the Soviet prisoners.
In 1943, the Lamsdorf camp was split up, and many of the prisoners (and Arbeitskommando) were transferred to two new base camps Stalag VIII-C Sagan (modern Żagan and Stalag VIII-D Teschen (modern Český Těšín). The base camp at Lamsdorf was renumbered Stalag 344.
The Soviet Army reached the camp on 17 March 1945.
Later the Lamsdorf camp was used by the Soviets to house Germans, both prisoners of war and civilians. Polish army personnel being repatriated from POW camps were also processed through Lamsdorf and sometimes held there as prisoners for several months. Some were later released, others sent to Gulags in Siberia

Prisoner of War Correspondence, Japanese Occupation of the Far East 1942 – 45

Prisoner of War Correspondence, Japanese Occupation of the Far East 1942 – 45


This is my exhibit which has done best Nationally and Internationally.

I started collecting this material in a round-about way. I was collecting New Zealand Prisoner of War Lettercards when I saw some interesting items on E-bay. They were part of the Percy Wellington correspondence that related to a New Zealander who was with the Royal Air Force in Singapore WWII, when the Japanese invaded. He escaped to Batavia, was captured by the Japanese and spent the rest of the war in a number of POW camps. The items were Lettercards produced for use to POWs in Europe, and some Postcards produced towards the end of the war for use to Asia. The seller was Mr Graham Reynolds, Kent, England. I purchased about three scarce items from him, and looked at what else he was selling on E-bay. There was a lot of other POW material relating to the Japanese occupation, and I contacted him asking if he was selling his collection. The answer was no,; he was selling his duplicates. I commented at the time, if he ever wanted to sell his collection, let me know. Some time later he approached me, and on a subsequent visit to England and Ireland, the purchase was made.Since then, the collection has been substantially added to including items from David Tett’s sale in Hong Kong which I was able to attend and buy some of what I thought were the better items.

Graham Reynolds accumulated his collection by writing in longhand to over 2000 known POWs from Britain and the Allies, using a list provided by the British Home Office. That would not happen today!

Awards for this exhibit have included:

Canberra Stampshow 2014, Large Gold, 92 Points, Special Prize

Baypex 2014 Stamp Show, Large Gold, 91 points, Large Gold

The Capital Stamp Show 2015, 93 points, Large Gold

Philataipei 2016 World Stamp Exhibition, Gold

World Stamp Show – NY2016, Large Vermeil

Melbourne 2017 FIAP Stamp & Coin Show, Large Vermeil

Bandung 2017 World Stamp Exhibition, Gold

Royalpex 2017 Stamp Show, 90 points, Large Gold

NZ 2020 Stamp Exhibition, Large Gold, 94 points, Special Prize

Stockholmia 2019, Large Gold 95 points

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