NZ PoW’s Postcard arrives…69 years later
on November 15, 2013 at 13:45
Cold, hungry and yearning for home in a German prisoner-of-war camp, Captain Jack Tonge regularly scrawled a message home to his parents in Taupo.
Dozens made it, but one, dated March 12 1944, has spent 69 years missing in transit before finally arriving with the former Hamilton man’s family. Where it’s been for nearly seven decades is likely to remain a mystery, but the adventures it had along the way would have a tough job comparing to the man who helped the war effort from behind the wire of a Nazi prison. Jack’s daughter, Jan Burlace of Helensville, recently received the postcard after posting a request for information about POW camp Oflag 79 on a wartime memories website. Her father’s name was recognised by New Jersey woman Jessica Staines, who had inherited the card from her grandfather. Postmarks show it arrived in New Zealand on June 6, 1944 – D-Day – but there is no family recollection of it reaching Jack’s parents in Taupo or how it ended up in a pile of letters tucked away in an American’s attic.
“It’s quite strange,” Burlace said.
“The lady had found it in among her grandfather’s things. He had quite a few different prisoner-of-war letters and she was trying to track everyone down to give them back to the families.” Written in pencil on a postage-free card provided by the Germans, the letter is limited by both space and what Jack could get past the censors monitoring outgoing mail. According to Jack’s postcard, the appeal of Taupo was much the same back then. “There is plenty of snow here, I often long for the heat of old Taupo again and the taste of trout,” wrote Jack, who spent four and half years away. Burlace said the letter was quite likely written in code so Jack’s longing for Taupo trout could simply have meant he was hungry.
(More at link with picture and some idea expressed about hidden meanings. I wonder how it made it to an attic in America )http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-art ... later.html