The following e-mail was received from Michael Tattersall on December 17, 2002. On answering his e-mail he sent the enclosed excerpts from his father's diary of the march. It adds some interesting detail to Don Hall's account of the march from Lamsdorf.

"I read Don Hall's account of the death march. My father was a doctor with the R.A.M.C. and was captured in 1940. He ended up in Lamsdorf and was on the death march. He left Lamsdorf on 23rd January 1945 and reached Gorlitz on 5th February. He left Gorlitz on 15th February and was liberated at Dittfurt on 12th April. His route from Gorlitz was via Bautzen, Meissen, Zeitz, Mellingen, Zella, Worbis, Duderstadt to Dittfurt. It would seem that Don was on a similar march, does he have any dates and places that could coincide? My father kept a diary and if there is interest I can send you excerpts. Regards Michael Tattersall"


Monday 22nd Jan 1945. Stalag 344 Lamsdorf
Whole camp seething [with] rumours and expectations. Camp loud speaker announcement at 1230 hrs that Blocks 1,2,3,4 & 5 to be ready to march out at 1500 hrs. Starting with Block 5 R.A.F. & Block 3 N.C.Os. Capt Stallard detailed as M.O. to accompany party. Blocks 2 & 4 to follow. M.0. Capt Davidson. Later announcement that Blocks 9 & 10, 7 & 6, 6 & 9 would be following the next day.
Capt Clare to go [with] 10 & 11
Maj. Mac Lardy [to go with] 7 & 8
Maj. Woolly [to go with] 6 & 9

Tuesday 23rd Jan 1945. 1st Day.
Notified 0600 hrs by Col Crawford RAMC that P.E.R. Tattersall would proceed on march [?] Blocks 6 & 9 to replace Maj. Woolly who pleaded sick.
Party 1 - Blocks 10 & 11 - Capt Clare - Dept 1000 hrs.
Party 2 - Blocks 7 & 8 - Maj. Mac Lardy - Dept 1130 hrs.
Party 3 - Blocks 6 & 9 - Self - Dept 1230 hrs.
Kit packed on sledge made from scrap wood. Rucksack (converted from kit bag).
Haversack. Kit:- In packs, one shirt, pants, vest, towel, handkerchiefs (5), socks (5), Toilet articles, knife, fork, spoon, tin cup (butter tin), Sleeping bag, Blanket (1).
Wearing shirt, pants, vest, pajama trousers, pullover, Battle-dress, Greatcoat, Gloves & mittens, Scarf, Balaclava, Puttees. 4 bars chocolate. (2 N.Z. Gift from Bill Foreman). 4 oz Tea. Many decided that the prospect of a march was not pleasant & pleaded sick & were returned at the gate.
Party 3 left Stalag gates at ca 1130 hrs.
Issued at gate [?] Parcel (1) Xmas.
Cigarettes 50.
Tin Tobacco (1).
2 German loaf.
ca. 2 tin Margarine.
Medical Kit:- Morphine, Sulphaguanidine, Elastoplast, Bandages, Suppositories, Aspirin, Dovers, Sulphonamide.
Block 6 Medical Inspection room staff failed to turn up at the gate & thus start was made without the necessary orderlies as previously arranged. Thus shortage of medical supplies. Long wait until we got moving at ca 1230 hrs via Lamsdorf village. Horse drawn columns ++ from Oppeln. V. slow going. Signs of battle to the N & E - ? Oppeln. Thick snow. Cold ? v. difficult pulling on main Oppeln-Neisse road. Abandoning of surplus kit commenced. Help by attaching sledge to horsedrawn wagon refugees for 4 kilos or so. Bore right (i.e. to west) off Oppeln-Neisse road. Column very drawn out & many men fatigued. Arrived at Friedewalde after passing level crossing & pulling through thick 9A snow for 2 kilos. Other parties bedded down in barns & not seen. Arrived 2030 hrs. Halts on the way - 3. Each ca 10 mins to enable stragglers to close up. One or two (elderly men) collapsed & were placed on wagons. Passed by bus full of sitting German wounded. Accommodation for night - large wooden barn, v. draughty, straw. Overcrowded, 50 men slept outside in the snow. Gunfire clear all day & night.
Cold water provided. Blowers & fires for 1 hr after arrival so some men managed hot drinks.
Supper. 1 slice bread & 2 tin frozen Heinz beans. Water.
Slept- ? 3-4 hrs - sitting up in blankets. Men were cheerful - but v. cold. No sick parades. No men reported sick. Distance 23 kilos.

Monday 5th Feb 1945. Day 14.
Reveille 0715 hrs.
Breakfast - Haferflocken. Tea. B & Honey (Treacle).
Sick parade 1015-1100 hrs.
Issue - Good pea soup for men. Bread 3 loaf.
Met the Graf and saw some of the rooms of Schloss. Dept 1230 hrs No 2. 15 sick on wagons. Easy marching through Schönbronn to Görlitz-Moys. Arr 1630 hrs. Distance 16 kilos.
Large mixed camp. Mud ++. V. crowded. Conditions v. bad.
Men - majority on damp stone floor. No Red X food. S.B.M.0. Major Bramlow-Dowling.
Quarters - Room for Mac, Wes & Self in Revin barrack. Usual beds & wood wool mattresses. Capt Gibbons R.A.M.C. - here unable to reach Lamsdorf on return from repat. train. Capt Stallard - looking all-in, having arrived Sat 3rd Feb. Bucket bath in room. Changed clothing, shirt etc first time for 14 days. Good meal ? Soup. Rice, meat. Toast. Dried Bananas. Tea. Total Min 282 Max 287.

Thursday 15th Feb 1945. March II. Day 1
Orders see . (?)
Paraded at 0700 hrs. Reveille 0600 hrs. Breakfast. Tea. Porridge. Bread.
Outside gates at 0830 hrs. Cold & driving rain. V. wet. Muddy.
Issue - 2 loaf bread )per man for 2 days. 1/10th tin meat ) (German)
Division 3 groups ca 1000.
Group 1 Stalag 8A ca 1000.
Group 2 Stalag 344 ca 1000.
" 3 Stalag 344 ca 500, plus 250 French, 250 Slovaks = 1000.
Moved off at ca 1000 hrs. V. slow going. Moved ? Group 3. No pack wagons, carried Rucksack & haversack. McManus, Tom & Cpl Burman ? wagon. Many Stops. Air raid alarm. U.S.A. bombers seen. V. many - bombing ? Dresden. ? flying from East. Paper strips. (Radar AFoxerA Foil). Passed by Hungarian division. Wait of ca 12 hrs. Route through Reichenbach to Kroppnitz. All Group 3 & 500 Group 2. Rest of Group 2 & 1 at Mausewitz in same area. Arrived ca 1900 hrs. Distance ca 24 kilos. Billets-Barns. English speaking owner. Arranged own billets. Upstairs near billeted German troops. Straw. Pleasant host. Adjacent room empty. 4 men. Honey, marg & cheese. Difficulty obtain hot water. No water for men owing to missing loaf. Supper. Tea. Bread & German meat.

Friday 16th Feb 1945. Day 2.
Reveille 0600 hrs. Moved off at 0900 hrs.
Ca 120 pleaded sick & unable to continue. One man Pleurisy. T 104.5. Others - weakness, feet, Diarrhea & Vomiting & scrounging. Sick marched slowly to neighbouring village Mausewitz - some returned to party on German instructions. Ca ? left ? Burgermeister. Here joined up ? other groups. Long wait, moved off ? Group 2 & slow march to dominion Nachaum. Distance 12 kilos. Arrived 1330 hrs. Billets good. Food v. short. Hot water- but few men had tea or drinks available.
Sick parade - 1630-1730 hrs. Other parties i.e. 1 & 3, ca 3 kilos nearer Bautzen (ca 12 kilos away).
Quarters - men - good. Self - next to boiler room. Straw, cement, cold. Sick parade in entrance to this room. RSM Beaumont. CSM Leaper. Bedded down early. Supper - Potatoes & carrots (bought). Thin veg soup. Bread. Meat. Tea.

Wed 7th Mar 1945. Day 21.
Up 0700 hrs. Down to Revier - arranged to take 11 walkers back to Taübach. One Diptheria (American) in open cart to Weimar. Met Hptmn Baumgardt & Lt Mandel again. Arrangements made to accompany CSM Duffy to 8 to see about food & medical kit. Walked to Weimar. Lunch in waiting room. Lemon juice. Sandwiches. 22 hour wait for train to Bad Sulza. Train to Bad Sulza, arrived ca 1600 hrs. Met S/Sgt Horn (Vertrauensmann) & interviewed Col commandant of camp. Promise of ca 400 parcels to meet us at Lindenbach. Camp crowded ? sick from march columns, several having died. No British M.O. Coffee & biscuits in Red X store. Train back to Weimar at 1830 hrs carrying 10 parcels of invalid comforts. Hellish walk back from Weimar to Mellingen in snowstorm carrying parcels. Arrived Mellingen 2200 hrs - to find Padre Maclntyre asleep - No sign of Tom or McManus. No billets for night & no kit. Typical of Maclntyre. Arranged sleep on couch in his room. German Doctor - Dr van der Wall. Assistentarzt.

Mon 12th Mar 1945. Day 26.
Rev. 0600 hrs. Sick on to 4 wagons. Incl. dying American -3 pneumonias & pleurisy. V. severe sick total 9. Rations -3 bread. Sausage, drawn in village 3 kilos on route. Traveled behind columns ? German pack wagon. Pace fast. Men falling out like flies. Just falling as though stunned. Slow recovery at roadside. Moved quickly to Mühlhausen im Zth. Rapid arrangement ? German Unterarzt & Hptmn B about disposal of severe sick. Also left total 156 back - those who appeared weakest etc. Left in charge of Cpl Leslie, Cpl Delaway, Ptes Weir, East, Edgar, R.A.M.C. as medical orderlies. Left Reserve Lazaret ? some Tannalbin, opium, & mag. Then CSM Duffy & self visited Zug Lager 9C in Schloss Braüern at Mühlhausen. BMO Capt Allenby. R.A.M.C. (Arnhem). Padre Himsley. Able to obtain 3 rolls of Elastoplast, Dovers, Aspirin, dressing material etc. Cup of coffee & bread. Left the camp - over-crowded - owing to dropped-off marchers etc. Quick march & then picked up wagon which Hptmn B had left for us & quick run through to Zella. Billet in school room. McManus coming back from advanced village ? kit. Walking sick in barn. Sick parade & febrile cases seen. Wash & shave. Egg. Potatoes. Fried meat roll.

Mon 9th April 1945. Day 7.
Rest day to allow for making of bread. Sick column (one Group 4) 75 strong. 2 severe sick ? Dysentery. Goldfinch (N.Z.). Weakness chief other complaint. Hudjek dies on latrine, USA billet. Navy turns up trumps C arriving ? 3 handcarts, ca 120 American & Canadian parcels (half their stock). 5 Invalid comforts. 60 pairs boots & 4 sacks clothing, soap, medical kit etc etc. Kdo 844/4 Thale Marlag I. C.P.O. Bennet (JX. 133943) Sgt Lee R. Marines. A really magnificent effort for 120 men.
Issue C 1/8th parcel & 12 cigs/per man
2 soap per man
1/6 Peanut butter
Bread (fresh) 2 kilo loaf 1/8th
Dry veg
Stendal bombed. No orders re Tuesday.
Boy ? measles in village.

Thurs 12th April 1945. Day 10.
FREE. U.S.A. troops arrived at 0730 hrs.
They moved on within the hour, leaving us alone. Further support groups through during day. All weapons collected. 4 severe sick removed by ambulance. Armoured div moved in during night, staying only 1 hr.

Fri 13th April 1945.
Sick parade 0900.
Sickbillet in Deutschen Haus.
250 German POWs in village.120 of Guard company.
Visit to dairy & Rathaus. Eggs & chicken. 11 German POW offic­ers & 150 ORs moved by lorry.
4 more severe sick on ambulance.
Cavalry group in village. ? Threat from Audlinburg.

Back to Don Hall's story.