Bill Goodall's Diaries: 1941/1945 
 30 April 1945 to 1 May 1945

Monday, April 30 1945. There was very heavy gunfire in the district and we went to bed to the accompaniment of explosions to the N and E. About 11pm there was a loud banging on our front door and a guard from the main gate was there to warn us that a German attack on the camp in order to get food was imminent; consequently we were advised to return within the wire. We wasted no time and while Ray and Johnny returned to our old barracks, Ted and I went to HQ in search of the facts; we learned that the Germans were no longer likely to attack but that our section was detailed to move the next morning as an advance party to prepare a big camp near Juterbog.
When we got back to our old barracks all the lights were out and it was impossible to find a bed, so we retreated to the main Guard room and claimed two palliasses on the floor. This was quite comfortable and we dozed off only to be disturbed at 2am by the guards coming off duty; we were duly ejected from our temporary sleeping quarters but this was too much and we decided to return to our own beds in the workshop, Germans or not. At the gate we were stopped by fully armed Russian guards who ignored our passes and made it very clear that we would not be allowed out. Finally we got beds at Police HQ and slept until daybreak when we succeeded in getting through the wire into our own quarters feeling tired and fed up.

Tuesday, May 1 1945. We were up and about early in order to prepare for the move but before describing the extraordinary events of that day I must mention an incident which happened to Ted the previous afternoon. He went to the stores with a small handcart to collect some tools and he left the cart outside the door while he talked with the storekeeper When Ted came out after a few minutes the cart had gone and from a bystander he discovered that an American NCO had calmly walked off with it; Ted quickly borrowed a bike and dashed off to the American quarters where he failed to find any trace of the cart. On his way back he was stopped by a Russian who dispossessed him of the cycle and so within half an hour Ted lost both handcart and bike both of which he had borrowed in the first place.
After our disturbed night we packed as much as we could find of carpentry tools and personal kit so as to be ready for immediate departure but it was nearly midday before we were instructed to join the main party at the other end of the camp. No transport was forthcoming, although it had been promised, so we had to rush around for another handcart in order to get all the packing cases to the main gate. There we found that there was only transport for equipment and that personnel had to march so the four of us decided to take our handcart and tag onto the rear of the party. We made our way through woods and sand flats for a few miles until we reached the main Berlin-Dresden railway line after which we walked along the track to our destination.
We had no Russian guards and were led by a member of our Reconnaissance Section who had done the journey previously. After being cooped up for so long it was a very pleasant walk with evidence here and there of recent battles but no damage was seen to country dwellings or to the railway line. All the houses displayed white or red flags and many had notices written in Russian on the gates but very few people were seen.
Everyone kept a wary eye for signs of any Germans, who were known to be scattered in disorganised bands throughout the area, but none were seen or heard. During the walk we were passed by several POW on cycles who were trying to reach the American lines across the River Elbe and numbers were leaving the camp for this purpose contrary to Russian and Allied orders.


© 1995 William Motion Goodall & Ian William Goodall 

Back to previous page  Page 40

Go to next page

 To go straight to a specific page, click on the page number below:

 1  3  5  7  9  11  13  15  17  19




 29  31  33  35  37  39

 43  45  47
 2  4  6  8  10  12  14

 18  20  22  24  26  28  30  32  34  36  38  40  42  44  46  48