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Thrown in a Civilian Jail

Heroes Remember

Thrown in a Civilian Jail

He took me out, locked me up in a civilian jail. I was in, this is where I black out, I forget a lot of it. I was in this civilian jail. They were haying and it was part of a barn and the farmer had piled hay in front of the door. And the Gestapo marched me about three or four kilometers and my nose is still bleeding, my nose is streaming down my tunic. And he stayed about 12 feet behind me. I thought he was going to shoot me in the back, you know, I was sure he was going to shoot me and I was wondering what it was going to feel like. And they get the old woman out to move the hay, they put me in this cell that hadn't been used for years, nobody had been there, it was terrible, dragged an old palliasse out and locked the door and left me in there. I was in there for four days and four nights. And twice they gave me boiled potato peelings, no water. I asked for water several times, “Vasa, vasa, have any vasa, vitter, please?” And these boiled potato peelings were in a pot I had to reach through the bars and eat them with my fingers because the pot wouldn't come through, but they were good, they were hot. And I was in there the four days and there's a lot of that I blank out. I plugged my nose. I tore pieces off my khaki shirt, not my underwear, but my other shirt and plugged my nose and then the blood ran down my throat for I don't know how long. Eventually, it made me thirsty, you know, it made me awful thirsty. And, you know, I was in there, I watched the geese. They had geese out there. There was a window with no glass in and bars and I could look out and watch these geese. There was three or four geese out there and they kept me sane, these geese. I always loved geese as a kid. I had, we had geese on the farm. But there's times in there where I can't remember anything, I can't remember how I put in all that time. They brought a German in that could speak English the first day I was in there and I told him a bunch of lies and I gave him a pep talk on the Geneva Convention. And I said, “I'm not supposed to be in a civilian jail. I'm a military man and a British soldier, because I was a British soldier. I'm supposed to be taken care of by the military.” You know, “I'm not supposed to be in here,” and I really raved. So he just said, “You're lucky you were not shot.”

Experiencing blackouts, Mr. Poolton recalls being dragged to a civilian jail where he was held for four days and four nights.

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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