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Two Months Tied in Ropes

Heroes Remember

Two Months Tied in Ropes

They marched us off in groups of ten and we thought they were gonna shoot us. We actually believed we were going to be shot and we're hungry then and we're cold and we're miserable. To tell you the truth, I didn't give a damn, didn't give a damn. So... RSM Beasley said, "If they're gonna shoot us," he said, "we'll die like bloody soldiers, no crying, no belly-aching" and he was British. He was a commando. Anyway, they marched us away in ten, the first ten, into one of the huts and here's these Germans standing with pieces of rope over their shoulders. So they tied our hands calling us gangster swine with rope like that and they kept bringing in groups of ten, groups of ten, and groups of ten and that was it. So these were on 24 hours. They were on, you know, never took them off. And so, but eventually, they moved us back to the Dieppe compound. So they moved us back to the Dieppe compound and for two months, we had these ropes on, to go to the latrine, we had to go in groups of ten and we had a sanitator which was a German stretcher bearer type, you know, them medic type. That's the name we had to use, but it was our guys. Had to take ten men to the latrine with a guard, with a rifle and there was a German with a Tommy gun in the latrine to pull your pants down and up again for number two. And there was no wiping because there was nothing to wipe with. There wasn't a leaf, a blade of grass, there wasn't a leaf. There wasn't a piece of paper, there was nothing, absolutely nothing. So this went on for two months with the ropes tied up. Everybody's hands were breaking out in horrible sores. You know this wasn't a joke, this was very demoralizing, absolutely, our morale was down, down, down. Guys didn't want to, you know, guys just sat like that, on the floor, hunched up, you know, and cold and hungry and they stopped everything. They stopped all Red Cross. They stopped the letters going in or out and, you know, we were just basically on German rations and they'd brought these troops from the Russian front to patrol, to make sure we didn't undo our hands. And these were big strapping guys, these were young, these were first grade German troops. I call them crack, crack troops.

Marching off in Groups of 10, the POW’s are tied in ropes, left with very low morale and little hope for the future.

John (Jack) Poolton

John (Jack) Abernethy Poolton was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 9, 1918. He was one of seven children. His father farmed 100 acres near Kapuskasing, Ontario. Mr. Poolton enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Canada and provides vivid, clear details of the allied landing at Dieppe, France on August 19, 1942.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John (Jack) Poolton
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Regiment of Canada

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