My father, Edgar Davies, was called up to join the Royal Welch Fusiliers in late 1939. I was only two at the time and too young to remember. My brother, Bryn, was born just after my father went to war, in December '39. My mother used to work around one or two hours a day for 2/6 a week, cleaning a house next door to the church in Aberdovey. During the War we lived on powdered egg. We only had fresh egg once every fortnight from the family farm in Aberdovey.The first telegram we had from the Army was to tell us that my father was missing in action. About eighteen months later in 1944, I remember watching my mother hanging washing on the line one day, and a young lad came up to the farm with a telegram. The telegram said that my father was alive and well and in a Sanatorium in Scotland.I know that my father was captured in Norway during the War and was a prisoner for five years in Stalag 8B in Lamsdorf, Germany. While he was a Prisoner of War he had been chained, both hands together, and the only time they released the chain was to go to the toilet. While he was a prisoner, to make the days go quicker, he made a helmet out of the thread of the blankets on his bed. He took some wire from the springs of his bed to make a needle, and he had to hide the helmet in his clothes or in the rolled matress so that the Germans wouldn't see it. One morning in 1945 we were having breakfast and getting ready for school. I remember we were having boiled eggs for breakfast for the first time in two weeks. There was a knock on the door. The lady from the station in Aberdovey had cycled up to our house to give us the news that Dad was arrived at the station and on his way home. Mother took hold of both of us and we hadn't finished our breakfast. I didn't want to go because I wanted to finish my egg. I stayed behind and after finishing my breakfast I sat at the top of the stairs, waiting for them to come home.About fifteen minutes later my father arrived home with my mother and brother, followed by half of the village! Aberdovey was a small, close-knit community. They arrived at the door and when my mother asked me to come out down I shook my head, but soon came down when my father opened his kitbag and brought out a toy boat. All the schools were given the rest of the day off.That was a wonderful day and we had more visitors in the house that we had ever had before. My father was the first prisoner of war to arrive home in Merionethshire and the chapels and churches organised a large concert to welcome him home.
Author: Fred Davies
Title: My Father's Homecoming