Please note change of contact email address below


This is the transcript of a notebook, handwritten in


pencil by my late father, Bill Clark, whilst in Stalag 383, a prisoner of


war camp in Hohenfels, Bavaria


Although Bill was one of many photographers in the camp, he gave


most of his collection of photos to the Red Cross about 30 years ago


as he felt that they would be best used in some way by them.


Links to more photos provided by relatives of POW's can be found at


the bottom of this page, plus links to useful associated websites.


If you have any photos or stories that you would like


to see on this website,


 please contact me on


Let's make this website a tribute to our prisoners of war in


 Stalag 383           


Please read and sign the Guestbook at foot of this page







Bill Clark

The Clark brothers

John , Jim , Frank and Bill





Page 1


Bombardier W. R. Clark  :  Royal Artillery T.A  :  101st L.A.A and A.T Regt. R.A  T.A


Captured 12th June 1940   :  Released 1st May 1945


Reg No. 1434128  :  Prisoner No. 18974  :  Oflag No. 3433


Captured at St. Valery, North France.




Bill Clark, back row, 6th from left, taken in Stalag XXB





Page 2


Up to the 8th June 1941, have received 16 letters and 2 parcels.


Xmas Day 1941




Breakfast: Tea, Bread and Jam, Mc Vita biscuits.


Dinner: Mashed potatoes, sourkraut cabbage, roast pork and beans.


Dessert: Xmas pudding and Nestles milk.


Tea: Tea, fruit cake, chocolate biscuits, bread and jam and Canadian butter.


Total: Full up all day, no pint to finish off.






Bill Clark, with cigarette






Page 3


A short summary of events in France from

17th May to 12th June 1940.


We came to France on the 17th May and landed at Le Havre.


From there we went to Fauville and stayed there for 3 days where our guns were landed.


From there we went into action in the Moselle sector.


We were in action in the Moselle for about 3 days and then came back to the Somme.


We were in action in Londinieres and came away when it went up in flames.


Coming back to Blangy the gun went out of action and we were in Blangy for 3 days while it was being put right.


Coming out of Blangy we were heavily bombed and I narrowly escaped being wounded.


After being in action at Blangy for 4 days we again dropped back to a place near St. Valery.


We saw Blangy and Oiusmont go up in flames and what a sight it was.


Near St. Valery we were in action continuously for 6 days and the gun team were dead beat.


We used a terrific amount of shells during the 6 days.


The Jerries advanced quickly and we retired into St. Valery.


All this time we had no aerial support at all.


We were in St. Valery on the morning of 11th June.


We were firing practically all day and night and we were ready to drop out.


On the 11th we were told that we were surrounded and were told to destroy our guns.


This was done by all gun teams and we were then marched to a wood where the French surrendered and Jerry walked in.


 I destroyed all my maps and personal letters also all papers relating to the regiment.






Bill Clark, back row, middle






Page 5


From capture to POW Camp


June 12th The surrender of 9th French Corps at St. Valery


The March




 June 13 Yvetot France


June 14 Forges France


June 15 La Faire France


June 16 Formerie France


June 17 Houte Somme France


June 18 Doullens France


June 19 St. Pol France


June 20 Bethune France


June 21 Seclin France


June 22 Tournai Belgium


June 23 Renaix Belgium


June 24 Ninove Belgium


June 25 Aalst Belgium


June 26 Lockerin Belgium


June 27 Marbeck Belgium


June 28 Walston Holland    Approx 279 miles so far


July1 Wesel Germany


July 2 Hemer Germany


July 14 Thorn Poland


Sep 5 Shaplitz Danzig Free State


Nov 2 Thorn Poland


Nov 23 Bromberg Bartleser Poland




Feb 22 Thorn Poland


April 18 Marienberg West Prussia


April 18 Willenberg West Prussia


May 12 Marienberg West Prussia


Sep 15 Willenberg West Prussia




Oct 29 Hohenfels Bavaria











Page 6


The Wife’s Commandments


  1. Thou shalt cherish the companion of thy misery.

  2. Thou shalt love but me alone for I am a jealous wife and an angry wife as occasions arise.

  3. Thou shalt look on no other woman except with thine eyes shut, nor shalt thou admire blue eyes, grey eyes or hazel eyes or thou shalt wear black eyes.

  4. Remember the Sabbath day, more especially the day before the Sabbath, for that is the day of all days.

  5. Thy life must be insured and thou shalt honour thy mother-in-law so that thy days may be short in the land of the living.

  6. Thou shalt arise early every Sabbath morn, light the fire, cook the food and give of the same to thy better half in her bed.

  7. Thou shalt do the family washing, nurse the baby, sweep the floor and empty the coal scuttle.

  8. Thou shalt be mine and I shall be any others I like.

  9. Harken unto thy wife for her words are wisdom, therefore bestow thy affection on the companion of thy pillow.

  10. Seek not to spend money, it is a snare, but give it all to the missus, who will lay it out and you also if you don’t.










Page 7


The R.A Driver’s Crash


A young R.A driver lay dying

At the end of a bright summer’s day

His comrades had gathered around him

To carry his fragments away


The motor was piled on his wishbone

The rifle was wrapped round his head

He wore a spark plug in each elbow

 Twas plain he soon would be dead 


He spat out a valve and a gasket

As he stirred in the sump where he lay

And then to his wondering comrades

These few parting words he did say


Take the manifold out of my larynx

And the butterfly valve off my neck

Remove from my kidneys the cam rod

There’s a lot of good parts in me yet


Take the piston rings out of my stomach

And the cylinders out of my brain

Extract from my liver the crankshaft

And assemble the engine again


Pull the driving shaft out of my backbone

And the cog wheel from out of my ear

From the small of my back take the handbrake

There’s all of your motor car here


I’ll be riding a cloud in the morning

With no speedo before me to cuss

Take the lead from your boots and get busy

There’s another lad needing this bus






Bill Clark, far right






Page 9


Working Parties


Thorn Poland

Danzig Poland

Thorn Poland

Bromberg Poland

Thorn Poland


Marienberg Prussia

Willenberg Prussia

Marienberg Prussia

Willenberg Prussia


Hohenfels Bavaria NCO’s Camp

Regensberg NCO’s Camp






Bill Clark, back row, far right






Page 10


Lili Marleen


6 verses of Lili Marleen were written in the Diary, in German, but written by my dad with inevitable mistakes as his German was not perfect. Here are 2 slightly differing translations, draw your own conclusions as to what my dad was trying to say.


Version 1


Child, I love you so much, sweet little mouse

But I cannot stand the streetlamp any longer

If on the organ they start playing

That we are standing under the streetlamp

Then bye-bye, Lili Marleen


Rattling streetlamps, they are everywhere

Love under the stars – that would be my wish

Let’s walk towards the front door

And stand under the streetlamp

Be clever, Lili Marleen


Just look how they gape, those handsome gentlemen

You’d better keep them off, those apes

Because if we stand here much longer

I may have to stand in line

For you, Lili Marleen


Brave soldiers need something for their hearts

They want some juicy roast and no pain from love

When they blow the evening trumpet at ten

Then our little sparrow will be taken

Then she falls asleep, Lili Marleen


Come out, lass, be friendly, give up the battle

Take me, it’s so cosy, up to your den

And if some misfortune should happen

I will stand by you

Everything’s clear, Lili Marleen


Just believe, we soldiers, always ready to fight

As scout troops we always want love

Before we mount an attack

We earn, you will understand

A kiss from Lili Marleen.


Version 2


Kid, I like you a lot, sweet little mouse

But I’m sick and tired of this lamp ( lit. it hangs around my neck )

When it first touches the street organ ( ? Barrel organ )

It is then that we stand near the lamp

? sweet Lili Marleen


Worn out lights are everywhere

Love under the stars that will be my downfall

Then let yourself go into the hallway

? so that we stand near the light

Be clever, Lili Marleen


Look ? how they gape, those fine gentlemen

Do they know these apes ( fools/dopes ) keep you away from love ( or don’t really love you ??)

Then if we stand here longer

Well perhaps I’ll form a queue

For you, Lili Marleen


? Soldiers need something for the heart

They only want juicy roasts and to know sinewy ( ? ardent ) love

? Let us blow out the match ?

Then our fun happens

Then sleep, Lili Marleen


Come lass, be friendly, give up your fight

Take ( or give ) me, something cosy/comfortable, set out your stall

And should trouble happen to you

I would stay true for all this

Understood ? Lili Marleen


Believe me, we soldiers are always ready for the storm ( attack/assault )

Would rather have loving things, than to look at rough things

So before we go into the attack ( ? into action )

Before everything grows dark, you will understand

One kiss ( ? my kiss ) Lili Marleen





Bill Clark, back row, middle





Page 12


O’ Flanagans Band


Flanagans Band ( Chorus )


Oh’ the drums were banging

The cymbals clanging

The cornets had the way

Diary Oh’ here upon the floor

Just as the fight begun

Oh’ there was O’Larny

Fighting Old Barney

He could hardly stand

A credit to Ould Oireland

Were the boys of O’ Flanagans Band









Pages 13 &14


The Letter


Translation of a letter from D. Rly to Camp Commandant regarding the conduct of British POW’s


Today again the British prisoners do as they want. The continuation of this condition is not tenable. If this condition is allowed to go further, one fine day we shall be doing the work ourselves and the prisoners watching us. In spite of the fact that we have often shown them the correct way to work again and again, they will not understand. They pay not attention to the arrangements of my foreman and they just do what seems right to them. The working performance of the prisoners is such a small amount that one cannot speak of performance at all. They strive with all means to do as little as possible. My foreman can do what he will but they persist in their standpoint. In spite of the fact that from 9 till 9.15 we allow a lunch period they still eat the whole day. Feeding is their only performance during the day. We are absolutely at the discretion of the English prisoners. If it occurs to them not to work, then apparently they will not work. The conduct of the English prisoners shows that they sabotage the work as much as possible. Only today a light rain set in and although and although it was not necessary to shelter, the Confidence man was the first to run to the hut with naturally quite a number behind him. For more than an hour this man was not disposed to work.

Suggest a remedy.

H… H…  Sgt 






Bill Clark, far left






Page 16


Charlie Mott


1.    Some time ago upon this earth there dwelt in misery.

Some people who were used to drinking ginger ale and tea

Until along there came a man whose name was Charlie Mott

And he invented a wonderful drink by the name of beer and hop.



Now he ought to be an emperor, a sultan or a king

And all his praises we’re always ready to sing

For look what he has done for us he’s filled our hearts with cheer

It’s old Charlie Mott, he’s the man who invented beer


2.    There are some great inventions that have come about of late

The Movietone, the Wireless, the Talkies that are great

But the greatest invention of them all to me is very clear

It’s old Charlie Mott, the man who invented beer



3.    Now there was a man named Billy Corndrunk who lived on half and half.

When he used to take a drink, he used to take a bath

But when we’re both together and we’re filled right up to here

We roll in the gutter and cheer the man, the man who invented beer



4.    Now when beer was first invented it was very, very clear

Fancy paying a quid for a glorious pint of beer

The people of that time of life were silly I should say

They used to chew the hops and throw the glorious beer away







Bill Clark, 3rd from left






Pages 17 to 19


With the 51st Division at St. Valery, June 12th 1940


1.    We were captured in France at St. Valery

Surrounded by infantry and tanks

There were guns, mortars and machine guns

Spitting death in the midst of our ranks


2.    Our boys were doing their damndest

To stem the Jerry attack

They were fighting the rear guard action

To let most of our boys get back


3.    There was Jock, there was George

Paddy and Taffy the Welshman too

Fighting shoulder to shoulder

Determined to see the fight through


4.    The French on our flanks had weakened

And let the enemy through

With our backs to the wall we were fighting

As Britishers only can do


5.    Our allies the French had the wind up

And thought the battle was lost

So they waved a white flag in surrender

The men we had been taught to trust.


6.    A white flag appeared on the church spire

It was held by a froggy we know

Till one of our boys aimed a bren gun

And the Frenchman fell headlong below


7.    A disorganized mob with no leader

The town we held was in flames

We were bombed, shelled and machine gunned

The enemy’s usual games


8.    We retired into the valley

The Valley of death it was called

Our comrades lay all around us

Some dead, some dying, some maimed 


9.    All through the night we stuck to our guns

We held on as long as we could

Hungry, tired and sleepy

Half dead but our hearts still game


10. Then came the dawn with a kind of relief

We fought to the eleventh hour

The battle was lost but we did our best

As the bugle sounded “cease fire “


11. The hearts of our boys were heavy

May an eye shed a tear

As we smashed our rifles and machine guns

The weapons we had held so dear


12. Our Air Force when needed was missing

Our Navy was far out to sea

With most of our guns out of action

What little support had we


13. And so we had to surrender

But we had come up to par

The help we had been promised was far out to sea

So near and yet so far


14. Then we started marching

Out from the town we had tried to hold

With nothing but our steel helmets

We were lucky it was not cold


15. But we boys can hold up our heads

We did not fight for fame

We fought for our homes and freedom

“Yes” and we would do it again






Bill Clark, middle






Pages 21 to 26

Names and wartime home locations of dad's friends in the POW camp ( I have full addresses )

Allen. H. J. from Hendon, London

Balch. J. from Dalston, London

Batt. Leslie A. from Walthamstow, London

Bellamy. W. from Bow, London

Best. R. J. from Ringwood, Hants

Bird. James. from Croydon, Surrey

Blanshard. R. H. from East Grinstead, Surrey

Botoshaner. J. from Stamford Hill, London

Broadgate. G. from Holbeach, LIncs

Bullock. Harold. from Burnley, Lancs.

Clarke. Wesley. from West Kensington, London and Kidderminster, Worcs.

Clatworthy. George. from Exeter, Devon

Cockerton. Leslie. from Kilburn, London

Conway. Ronald. from Hull

Craddock. G. T. from Cannock, Staffs.

Craig. Robert. from Wishaw, Scotland

Daldry. Sgt. T. W. from Swanscombe, Kent

Davis. Leslie. from West Melton, Yorks.

Davison. E. from Worthing, Sussex

Day. A. F. W. from Hersham, Surrey

Donaldson. J. from Darlington, Co. Durham

Dove. Morris. from Stepney, London

Engwell. D. from Grays, Essex

Finnegan. from County Durham

Firman. Bert. from Twyford, Berks.

Freeman. G. from Old Kent Road, London

Gandy. Ivanhoe. Austin. from Darlaston, Staffs

Gilbert. H. G. S. from Stoke Newington, London

Gill. A. from Peckham, London

Harris. C. from Forest Gate, London

Heath. F. from Walworth, London

Hill. J. from Stepney, London

Hilton. J. from Wigan, Lancs.

Holland. A. from Clapton, London

Holland. J. from Ramsgate, Kent

Jacobs. Ralph. from Blackpool, Lancs.

Kebby. E. from Luton, Beds.

King. Albert E. from Elephant and Castle, London

Lilley. G. from Sidcup, Kent

Lines. G. A. from Marylebone, London

Lintern. E. from Hoddesdon, Herts.

Mann. W. from Stepney, London

Mansfield. D. from Hedcorn, Kent

Mc Carthy F. from Kennington, London

Miller. A. from Ealing, London

Newell. W. from Clapton, London

Noakes. C. from Hackney, London

Peacock. Sgt. P. from Winchester, Hants.

Pinn. L. C. from Kingsbury, London

Pope. E. from Widnes, Lancs.

Priest. P. from Southampton, Hants

Ralph. Herbert. from Snodland, Kent

Rider. L. C. from Battersea, London

Ridout. E.T.J. from Cardiff, Wales

Sandford. T. from Bermondsey, London

Scowen. G. from Wood Green, London

Settle. C. from Bolton, Lancs

Shaw. W. from Fleetwood, Lancs

Sidthorpe. G. from Deptford, London

Smale. R. from Wandsworth, London

Smith. R. from Defford, Worcs.

Stormont. Albert. from Golders Green, London

Taylor. Bill. from Ilford, Essex

Thompson. H. from Birmingham

Tompson. S. from Richmond, Surrey

Tuck. A. C. V. from Islington, London

Walker. James. from Bermondsey, London

White. R. from Kentish Town, London

Wilkinson. J. from Southall, Middx.

Wines. Peter. from Croydon, Surrey

Woolgar. L/Sgt. C. from Walthamstow, London

Yemms. W. from Stepney, London



Written on the back of the photo was as follows:

" Jock painted this on the shelter, before Bill arrived home.

It won't be removed until they pull the shelter down. Love Anne " ( Bill's sister )





More photos and Text

          Photo Gallery 1    Kindly provided by Duncan Brown

          Photo Gallery 2     Kindly provided by Duncan Brown

          Photo Gallery 3     Kindly provided by Mike Langford 

            Photo Gallery 4     Kindly provided by Linda Bootland 

            Photo Gallery 5     Kindly provided by Linda Bootland

          Photo Gallery 6     Kindly provided by Linda Bootland

            Photo Gallery 7      Kindly provided by Mike Scott

            Photo Gallery 8     Kindly provided by Steve Foster

          Photo Gallery 9     Kindly provided by George Drummond

          Photo Gallery 10     Kindly provided by Ann Reid

          Photo Gallery 11     Kindly provided by Dave Sharp

          Photo Gallery 12     Kindly provided by David Barnard

          Photo Gallery 13     Kindly provided by Anne Robson

          Photo Gallery 14     Kindly provided by Alan Kilby

            Photo Gallery 15      Kindly provided by Michael Jeanes

            Photo Gallery 16      Kindly provided by Grace Ormiston

            Photo Gallery 17      Kindly provided by Stephen and Creena Critchley








Website last updated on 17th January 2016

Links to other websites


Official 51st Highland Division Website and Online Museum


Part 1 ( of 20 parts )  My War as a Prisoner of War - Stalag 383 WW11 POW - by C. Denys Cook


Also 135 Stalag 383 photos on Flickr

by permission of Raine Alexander ( her dad's photos )


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