Down Memory Lane

The ship that William Horsburgh came home on to Leith, Christmas 1918.
The ship that William Horsburgh came home on to Leith, Christmas 1918.

After the initial shock of becoming a prisoner of war, William Horsburgh’s thoughts turned to food and his family.

The Germans allowed him to send home a brief postcard home, with strict instructions as to what he could, and more importantly not say on it.

Instructions for letters.

“1. Letters outwards may be sent twice monthly, 1st and 15th. Postcards may be sent four times monthly, every Sunday.

2. When written, the envelope must be left open.

3. The writing must be clear and distinct and any of the four following languages may be used English, German, French or Flemish.

4. Envelopes will be addressed as follows. KRIEGSGEFANGENEN-SENDUNG STAMMLAGER,PARCHIM

5. No man may make a statement as to where he is.

6. One parcel weighing 5 kilos[10lbs] may be received monthly.

7. Money to the amount of 800 marks may be received monthly.

8. Information as to the method of forwarding may be obtained from home post office.

9. The notepaper must be headed as on front of envelope and as on back of envelope with sender’s name, company etc.

KRIEGSGEFANGENEN SENDUNG

STAMMLAGER PARCHIM

These two lines must be written on top left hand corner of envelope or it will not be sent.”

Read more of John Duncan’s feature in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.