Christmas greetings from a POW from 1943

Annette Howard

Information Officer (RICS)

A treasured document in our Library archive is a Christmas card sent from a German prisoner of war camp by RICS member Major John R Hodgson to the President of the Chartered Surveyors' Institution on 26 November 1943.

Christmas card sent from German POW camp by Major John R Hodgson to the President of the Chartered Surveyors Institution, 26 November 1943

Major Hodgson is listed in the Journal of the Institution as a POW in 1941. He survived the war. His entry in the 1947 membership directory lists him as working as the Regional Estate Officer for the Ministry of Town and Country Planning in Leeds. He died in 1976.

During the War, the Institution organised letters and parcels to be sent to POWs ‘Prisoner of War Post Kriegsgefangen’, at the instigation of Joint Acting Librarian Mr W E Cooke-Yarborough. Special letters and presents were sent at Christmas.

However, the minutes of General Council for early 1945 report that “Christmas gifts and greetings had been sent to 53 members, probationers and students who were prisoners of war, but in view of the present position in Europe it was doubtful whether many of the parcels would reach their destination”.

Christmas card sent from German POW camp by Major John R Hodgson to the President of the Chartered Surveyors Institution, 26 November 1943
Major Hodgson sent the card from the prisoner-of-war camp Oflag IX A/H in Spangenberg Castle, in the German region of Hesse.

Schloss-Spangenberg, Germany (image: Ingmar Runge)

Christmas card sent from German POW camp by Major John R Hodgson to the President of the Chartered Surveyors Institution, 26 November 1943

Comments (1)

  1. An interesting topic, and one that can so easily be lost as time passes on. Especially interesting as I, along many surveyors, often visit houses where there is a lot of memorabilia, for instance the other day I saw 'The Times' from 1965 about Winston Churchill's death, and another house, the owner had created a few memories about a woman who had lived there, and was the feature of a movie when she had married an African prince. We can come across bits of history in unlikely places, and whilst not major headlines, they each have their own poignant story.

    Neil Hewitt Neil Hewitt, 24 December 2016 24 at 10:07AM

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