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PRISONER OF WAR.

"BLACK HOLE. OF LILLE."

WELLINGTON, April .30

After being eight moni-ns a prisonei ■in the. hands., of the' Germans,' Private A. E.- Morris, ■' or Wellington, was re> leased on the signing of the armistice in November last, and he has now returned "to liis. home. 'He tells'-a grim story of brutal ill-treatment at the hands of the Germans, who. forced him and many other prisoners to work under shocking conditions close behind the German lines under 'fire of British guns. Private Morris was captured on April 16, 1918, with other members of the Mew Zealand Entrenching Battalion. His unit had been hurried to the front a'b a time when the British Armies were falling back before the great German offensive, and it was surrounded and cut off by the advanc--1 ing enemy. Morris was kept working behind the lines on an ammunition dump, unloading Ammunition trains and toading lorries for the firing line, and with others he was frequently worked all day witlunit food. For part of the time the men were kept during the nignt in a shed with a concrete floor without bedding. The men. became physical wrecks-, and one committed suicide with a German bomb. IVater Morris and others were kept m the "Black Hole" of Lille. They were there six weeks, 350 men in a room 60ft. by 20ft., again without bedding. When the Allied advance began the men were marched back from point _ to point. There were signs that the spirit of the Germans was being broken, but the situation of the prisoners was relieved only by the Belgians, whose kindness and "generosity never failed. When news of the armistice arrived the prisoners were told they would be sent home, but they did not wait for German permission. They left their prison quarters that night, and with the assistance of sympathisers, made their way to Brussels.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19190502.2.34

Bibliographic details

PRISONER OF WAR., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9599, 2 May 1919

Word Count
314

PRISONER OF WAR. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9599, 2 May 1919

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