wwiiPoW letter
Antique Prints

Since 1763 the name 'Russborough' has been synonymous with collecting and dealing in fine art. In the closing decades of the last century the historic town of Port Hope has become home to Lord Russborough's Annex, which specialises in an individual mix of antique maps, paintings and prints.

While Lord Russborough's Annex features a great many works of museum calibre, we also offer a wonderful selection of prints priced at under $100.

An extract of our prints currently available:
Pryde Prisoner of War letter & Post card

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Pryde PoW letter recto
pryde PoW letter det

 

Official Prisoner of War Mail.
Folding 'Kriegsgefangenpost'
WWII PoW letter from M-Stammlager Luft 3

SCARCE A one page holograph airmail letter written in graphite pencil on official Kriegsgenfagenpost folded printed form. Addressed in manuscript to Mrs. A.W. Smith, 164 Cumberland Street, Toronto, Dated29/7/44. Postmark frank stamp 14/9/[19]44. Postmark batch Geprüft 119. Examiners brand DB/250 and red Air mail brand stamps. "Mit Luftpost Nach Nord Amerika" from F/O Lt. William Pryde PoW#2923

Written in reply to Bill Pryde having received letters and cigarettes from Lois Smith, "Everything at the present, however looks so uncertain that I think it inadviseabe [sic] to mail any further parcels of any description ". He goes on to state,that “there really isn’t much to tell around here…. My thoughts at the moment have been what to apply myself to after demob. He inquires if the [Toronto] Arts club still going strong? He bemoans the boredom wishing that he could do something constructive here – “work of an interesting sort”. He goes on to state that I am now in a room of twelve. (different nationalities)”

13 1/2 x 5 3/4" ( 34.3 x 17.1cm.)  &    4 x 5 5/3" (19.4 x 14.8 cm)
   
Ref. GH 57 & 58 /DVL/g.ande RGL pr.   PRICE CODE B  Click here for price code guide

The letter and post card were sent by Flying Officer Lt. William Pryde  PoW #2933  to Mr. Arnold & Lois and Smith, 164 Cumberland St. Toronto on 14/9/[19]44 and 23/10/[19]43  from M-Stammlarer Luft 3. Lois was Pryde's married sister. Following the ‘Great Escape through tunnel Harry’ of PoW’s on 22/23 March 1944 and the resulting paranoia, on the surface at least, life at the camp had, by September, become routinely boring.
The Germans were still holding PoW mail though, in this case from July until September. As may be seen from the frank mark on the earlier postcard, written prior to the escape attempt, they let the card written on 23 October '43 go through with minimal delay.
Many PoW. letters & cards contained hidden codes and one has to speculate as to whether there might have been any hidden messages in the text of this somewhat cryptic letter.

Together with: Scroll down

Pryde PoW p/c recto Pryde PoWp/c verso

 

Official printed 'Kriegsgefangenpost' Postkarte
WWII PoW from M-Stammlager Luft 3

A post card written in graphite pencil from F/O Wm. Pryde  [His PoW (#2923) not then having been allotted]. Addressed to 164 Cumberland St. Toronto. Postmark frank stamp 2/11/[19]43 Post mark batch Geprüft 29 Examiners brand DB/454 and red air mail brand stamps. "mit Luftpost Nach Nord Amerika" from Flying Officer Lt. William Pryde PoW#2923 dated October 23 1943.
 This would appear to be the first correspondence sent and received by his sister Lois after Pryde had been shot down. “Don’t be too surprised at my present address. I turn up at the strangest places and surprise even me. Jerry determined we were going to stay here this last time we came over and he got his way – this time.  Life here is pleasant enough. My deficient literary knowledge is being corrected a bit Contact the Red Cross for particulars on writing.”Pryde would have been housed in the North Compound and attended literary improvement classes, amongst others, to relieve the boredom, meanwhile the digging of three tunnels was continuing in secret.

NOTES: Stalag Luft III (Stammlager Luft, or POW Camp for Airmen #3 ) was the Nazi Prisoner of War camp in German Military District VIII run by the Luftwaffe, located on 48 ha area of land South of Sagan (Zagan), Poland, along the road to Halbau (Ilowa). 100 miles southeast of Berlin,
In 1941, at the direction of Hermann Goering, an even bigger camp for Allied Officer airmen was built adjacent to Stalag VIII C in Eastern direction. This was Stalag Luft 3. The camp had six compounds, one of which was for German military. The East Compound (British) was first occupied March 21, 1942. The Centre Compound on April 11, 1942. First with British sergeants and later in 1942 with Americans. The North Compound (British) was opened on March 29, 1943. The South Compound (Americans) in September 1943 and finally the West Compound (Americans) in July 1944.

Stalag Luft 3 has become world famous because of the "Great Escape" in the night from March 24-25, 1944. It involved the construction of a 336 ft (102 m) long tunnel ("Harry") - the longest ever built in Germany during World War Two. Seventy-six officers escaped. All but three were re-captured and of these, upon the order of Hitler, fifty were turned over to the Gestapo and were executed by shooting.

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