Arthur Lovell – Long March Diary and transcript

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Arthur Lovell was captured on 20th May 1940 on the outskirts of Amiens in north east France. As far as we know he only kept a diary for the year 1945 and we wonder ‘where did he get it from?’

The first entry is for 21st January 1945 and starts with the words: ‘6am No more work, We are on the move.’ For 15 weeks he keeps an account of where he walked from and to, how far they walked, what they were given to eat and occasionally an event of note. You can see the route he took on this map.

The penultimate entry is on 6th November, with the simple statementStart work‘. This is just 30 weeks after he had walked some 900km sometimes through deep snow, sub zero temperatures, driving rain and baking temperatures, whilst surviving on a starvation diet. On his return to England he weighed 6 stone 7 ounces – 38 kilogrammes.

Interestingly, he got married on 23rd June 1945 but this doesn’t get a mention!

Before you read his daily food record this is 250 grams of bread and 25 grams of butter

250 Grammes Of Bread 25 Grammes Of Butter


21/01/1945 6am No more work,
We are on the move
22/01/1945 Still at Cosel. Must leave today. Left
4.30pm marched all night (25k)
23/01/1945 Arr. Gs Neukirche at 4.30am.
Left at 6pm
Rec 1500 grm bread
24/01/1945 Arr Grob Nremsdorf 2am.
Here had 24hrs rest.
Rec Custard
25/01/1945 Left 7am
Arr. Neustadt 3pm
Rec 200grm. 4 potatoes
26/01/1945 Left 7am Arr
Schasandorf (crossed through)
Bought Pig. Rec 5 potatoes.
Saw Russian planes dive bombing                (18)
27/01/1945 Arr Schwandorf 5pm                        (Weidenau)
Rec 5 potatoes
28/01/1945 Left 9am
Arr Weis-waner 4pm
Rec 3 potatoes later
½pt soup.
29/01/1945 Resting at Weiswaner
Rec 2 pts soup
30/01/1945 Left Weiswaner at 8am
Arr Regindorf at 5-30
Rec Coffee.
Leslie’s birthday
31/01/1945 Resting at Rogendorf
Lawrie left us sick
Rec 1½Lt soup ½L coffee
01/02/1945 7am Still at Regensdorf orders to
move at 10.30. order cancelled.
Rec 1½Ltr soup 5 potatoes
Lawries birthday
02/02/1945 Still resting Regendorf
Rec 1½ Ltr porridge. 5 potatoes
03/02/1945 Left at 8am
Arr Stolzenay 4 pm. Joined Capn
Rec ½Lt soup 3 potatoes
04/02/1945 Left at 8am Arr Braunau 4.30 pm
Rec 5 potatoes
05/02/1945 Resting at Braunau
Rec 2 soup 5 potatoes
06/02/1945 Resting at Braunau
Rec 2 soup
07/02/1945 Resting at Braunau
Rec 1½Lt  soup 5 potatoes
08/02/1945 Resting at Braunau
Rec 1½Lt  soup 350gr Brd
09/02/1945 Resting at Braunau
Rec 2 soup 5 P
10/02/1945 Left Braunau 8am
Arr Uber Ardersbach 3.30pm
(28)            [56]
11/02/1945 Resting Ubu Alderbach
Rec 1½Lt soup 4P
12/02/1945 Left at 7am
Arr Grop Borowitz 3pm
Rec 4p
13/02/1945 Left
Arr Radim 1.45pm
Rec 1½Lt Solφ  5P & ???? Bread
14/02/1945 Left Radim 7am
Arr Ktoru 1pm
Rec 1½Ltr soup 200 gr B
15/02/1945 Resting Ktovu
Guard, very friendly gave Bread and soup
Rec 1½Lt sp & lividson? bread
16/02/1945 Left Ktovu 8am
arr Ober Barsau 1pm
Civil very good gave ex soup
Rec 1Lt Sp 750gr B.  (18)
17/02/1945 Left Ober Basau 7.15
Arr Ober Katowa 12.20
Rec 1 Sp
18/02/1945 Resting Ober Katowa
Fram 1 Cake & Apple
Rec 1½Lt soup coffee with M
19/02/1945 Left Ober Katowa 8am
Arr Bartzdorf 2.30 pm
Rec ½Tr Sp 2 P
20/02/1945 Left Bartzdorf 8
Arr Neustadl 3.30
Rec 700g B Soup ½LT
21/02/1945 Resting Neustadl
22/02/1945 Left Neustaddl 8am
Arr Saubernitz 12.15pm
Rec 550gr B 1Tr Sp                 (22)
23/02/1945 Left Saubernitz 8am
Arr Wernitz 1.30 pm
Rec 1Lr Sp
24/02/1945 Left Wernitz 8 am
Arr Soberten 12pm
Rec ½Lt Sp
25/02/1945 Resting Soborten
Red Cross parcel 1 between 8
Rec 500 gr B 1½Lt Sp 70gr Butt
26/02/1945 Left Soberton 8.30 am
Arr Langugest 1-0pm
Rec ½Lt Sp    (17)
27/02/1945 Left Lanugugest 8am
Arr Wurmes 3pm
Rec ½Lt Sp                             (24)
28/02/1945 Resting Wurmes
Rec 1½Lt sp 70gm Butt
01/03/1945 Left Wurmes 6.30 am                                        arr Deutches Karlupp 3.30
New Co. of guards
02/03/1945 Left Deutches Karlupp 7 am                             Arr Purstein 2 pm
Rec .75 Lt Sp 700g Br                     (26)
03/03/1945 Left Purstein 4.30 am
arr Eldersgrun 3.0 pm
Rec                                                  (26)                 [116]
04/03/1945 Resting Eldersgrun
Rec ½ Lt Sp 50grms B
05/03/1945 Left Eldersgrun 7.30                                             arr Rossmuld 1.45
Rec ½Lt Sp 200gm B
06/03/1945 Left Rossmuld 8.15                                               arr Falkenau 11.15
Rec20 gr Saus 5 P  ½ Lt Sp 100g Br
07/03/1945 Resting Falkenau
Rec ½ Lt Sp 200g Br
08/03/1945 Left Falkenau 7.50 am                                         arr Durnbach 11.30 am
Rec 8P 150gm Br
09/03/1945 Resting Durnbach  awaiting arrival of RC parcels. 26 lorries arr’d direct from Swiss RC. hope to keep up supplies
Rec 8 Potatoes
10/03/1945 Left Durnbach 10.15                                             Arr 3.00 Schreiden
Red Cross vis 1 2/3 P 93 Cig 25gr Tab
Rec 5P
(17)                   [75]
11/03/1945 Resting Schreiden
R.G. 17 £eig
Rec 3/4 L Sp
12/03/1945 Resting Schreiden
Rec —- 5P. brought.
13/03/1945 Left  Bayruth 8 am                                                arr Theirsheim 10.30 am
Rec ½Lt Sp 200gm Br                   (8)
14/03/1945 Left Theirsheim 9.00                                             arr Unterroslau
Rec ½Lt Sp 150gr Br
15/03/1945 Resting Unterroslau
Rec 3/4 Lt Sp 5P 180gr Br
16/03/1945 Left Unterroslau 9.00 am                                    arr Kornbach 2.00 pm
Rec 400gr Br 1.3/4 Lt Sp 5P           (17)
17/03/1945 Left Kornbach 8.00 am
arr Stein 11.00 am
Rec  Mash P ½Lt
(11)                [47]
18/03/1945 Left Stein 7.00                                                       arr Johannasdorf 12.00
Saw first Auto Bahn
Rec 450gr Br. ½L Mash P         (18)
19/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf                                           Expecting R.C.P. may leave here by train
Rec Mash P Cabb & meat 1Lt
20/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf. Still awaiting R.C.P. May be going to the Tyrol
Worked 3hrs pay 450Gr Br
Rec Mash P Cabb & meat 1Lt 200gr Br
21/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf.
Rec Mash P Cabb & meat 180gr Br
22/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf.
Rec Birthday present in form of RCP                 Parcel 1/2 12 =1????. Fruitbar 7-8
Rec Mash  Veg & meat 180gr Br
23/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf.
Bath and did washing
Rec Mash  Veg & meat 300gr Br
24/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf.
Weather is marvelous
Rec 1Lt Sp 250 gr Br
25/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
R £ Ius 15 Fr Biscuits & 1¼ fruit Baps
Rec Mash and Meat 200 gr Br
26/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec 1Lt Soup 300gr Br
27/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec Mash & Meat 200gr Br
28/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec  1Lt Soup 200 gr Br
29/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec 3/4 lt Sp 200 gr Br
30/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec Mash & Gravey 25gr Cheese 200gr B
31/03/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
½ RC Parcel per man 20 cig
Moved to new camp
Rec 5P & Gravy 200gr Br
01/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec 180 grm Bread ½ Lt Soup
02/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec 280g B ½ Lt Soup
03/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec 280g B ½ Lt Soup 1lb Pot
04/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec 280gr B ½ Lt Sp 25gr Sugar 25g Cheese
05/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Bombing with Incendary
½ R.C.P.
Rec 280gr B ½Lt Soup
06/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec 280gr Br ½ Lt Soup
07/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Saw first American strafing of airfield. Americans reported 70K
Rec ½ Lt Soup
08/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Report we move tomorrow
Rec 400 gr B ½ L Soup
09/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Worked on Railway  1Lt Soup. spent most of time on the hill
R.C.P 1=10
Party left to prepare new camp
Rec 180 gr Br ½Lt soup
10/04/1945 Resting Johannasdorf
Rec ½Lt Soup 800 gr Br 25gr Sugar
11/04/1945 Left for new camp  Bayrouth
Rec ½ Lt Soup
12/04/1945 Resting Bayreuth
Very heavy raid on Bayreuth
Rec ½Lt Soup
13/04/1945 Left Bayreuth 3 am
Arr Muckersdorf 12 am
Rec 1 tin M&V
14/04/1945 Left Muckersdorf 3am
arr Dieswort 10.30 am
Rec 1 tin M&V
15/04/1945 Left Dieswort 4.30 am
Arr Mantel 9am
Rec 1 tin M&V
16/04/1945 Left Mantel 5am
Arr Pirk 8 am
Rec 1½lb Potatoes
17/04/1945 Left Pirk 11pm
Arr ————–
RC 1½P man 80 cig.
Rec 1½ Lt Sp
18/04/1945 Arr Jenlitz 9 am
Rec 1 Lt Rice with Sugar
19/04/1945 Left Zenlitz 5.15 am arr Feinkel 8.30 am
Saw Yanks  straff German lorry in the middle of our column and dip in salute to us. Our orders to wave handkerchiefs proved.
rec ½Lt Mash and Gravy                 (12)
20/04/1945 Resting Feinkel
Rec ½ Lt Soup
21/04/1945 Resting Feinkel
Rec Mash  & Gravy
22/04/1945 Resting Feinkel
Rec Mash Gravy & Dump
23/04/1945 WE ARE FREED at 10.30
The Yanks are here at last and we take the freedom of the City
24/04/1945 Still at Feinkel
We rec. Yank army rations from now on
25/04/1945 We move off at 8 am for Cham.
Are turned back after 3k will get transport tomorrow
26/04/1945 Left Feinkel at 1pm Arr Erlangen 7.30pm
We leave from here by plane
27/04/1945 Still at Erlangen
Today sick and wounded have been transported
28/04/1945 Left Erlangen at 1.30 pm
Arr Brussdal (Brussels) 3.45pm
Left Brussdal 5.5
Arr Wing 6.35
Arr Beconsfield 7.55
Note Wonderful welcome at every port of call. Sent telegram home expect to be home on Monday
916 Miles
29/04/1945 Spent all day filling in forms  and seeing Doc etc. Went to Church at Slough
10/10/1945 Jack released from army
02/10/1945 released from Army
28/10/1945 Asked to become S S Supdt (Sunday School Superintendant)
29/10/1945 We go on holiday. Arrived at 5pm. Toruay. Weather improved as we came west. Went for a walk in the evening
30/10/1945 To Babbacombe walked back via Ansteys Cove and Bishops walk. Went to pictures and saw Valley of Decision.
31/10/1945 Motor trip to Stoke Gabriel. Motor trip to Dartmeet at Ashbarton. Stay in during evening
01/11/1945 Visited Wallacombe Potteries walked to Maidencombe by goats walk bussed back and went for a row. Evening pictures
02/11/1945 Went over K. (Kent’s) Cavern in morning and walked to Cockington in the afternoon. Weather was dull but no rain
03/11/1945 Shopping during the morning. Spent the afternoon at Brixham. Saw 5 Chai?? In the evening. Weather dull before lunch and good after.___ A very good weeks holidayad very warm for autumn.
04/11/1945 M. Went to Meth church. A +E went to Bradnich to see the Harrups. Showery
05/11/1954 Jack comes. Beautiful day for traveling
10/11/1945 Sunday school films
11/11/1945 M. Went to Meth church. A +E went to Bradnich to see the Harrups. Showery
12/11/1945 Sunday S. Council
26/11/1945 Start work
03/12/1945 X Teachers meeting

Week 0 Title EntryWeek 1 21 JanWeek 2 28 JanWeek 3 4 FebWeek 4 11 FebWeek 5 18 FebWeek 6 25 FebWeek 7 4 MarWeek 8 11 MarWeek 9 18 MarWeek 10 25 MarWeek 11 1 AprWeek 12 8 AprWeek 13 15 AprWeek 14 22 AprWeek 15 29 AprWeek 37 30 Sep 1945Week 38 7 Oct 1945Week 41 28 Oct 1945Week 42 4 Nov 1945Week 43 11 Nov 1945Week 45 25 Nov 1945



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