Prisoner of War (1939-1945)

by J.D.Chew


These pages record the experiences of John Dale Chew as a prisoner of war during the second world war.

John Dale Chew was born in Biggleswade (a small market town about 60 miles north of London on the A1) on 16th September 1916. He was the second son of Mr H.E.Chew who was a grocer in the town.

Pte.J.D.Chew was serving with the Royal Army Service Corp (R.A.S.C). at the No.3 Field Petrol Depot when the German army advanced into the area. The unit blew up the petrol supplies and retreated to the coast.

Whilst travelling along the road near Doullen at about 15:00 on 20th May 1940 a German Tank Division under Rommel attacked the column and they all dived into a ditch at the side of the road for cover.

John had a vivid memory of the leaves from a small bush above them being cut to pieces as it was hit by machine gun bullets.

They were marched to Trier near the Luxembourg boarder, a distance of more than 80 miles, and there taken to a station yard which bristled with machine guns.

They wondered what was going to happen to them until they were told that they were being taken prisoner and herded into cattle trucks to Stalag XX1B Poland, the first of a number of PoW camps where he was to spend the next five years.

Contact - Martin Chew (son)