British POW's 1940 'Twitter' diary released

Discussion in 'History' started by Synthaholic, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Synthaholic
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    Synthaholic Platinum Member

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    British POW's 1940 'Twitter' diary released

    The wartime diary of Private Ross Taylor, a British prisoner of war whose daily jottings never exceeded 140 characters, is to be broadcast on Twitter.

    Private Taylor, a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps, kept a meticulous daily diary throughout 1940 as he was captured at Albert during the Battle for France and held at Stalag VIIIB in Poland.

    His meticulous entries in the leather AA drivers' journal, a gift from his girlfriend Florence, detail spending New Year's Day in a drill hall in Chesterfield, being trapped in an ambush and the tortuous march 200-mile march into Germany.

    He recorded watching German fighter planes massacre columns of French refugees, and how starvation rations, forced labour and dysentry pushed him to the brink of death.

    Chris Ayres, his grandson, realised each entry was no more than the length
    of an update on the Twitter microblogging site.

    "The space for each day's entry was a small rectangle, covering perhaps a square inch of paper in total. My grandfather had filled each one in pencil and in, some cases, pen, never using more than the allotted space," Mr. Ayres, a former Hollywood correspondent, writes in tomorrow's Sunday Times Magazine.

    *snip*

    Ayres will tweet the diary from the @driverross account from tomorrow.

    "Not very much impressed with France at present," Private Taylor wrote on March 2, 1940, on crossing the channel from Southampton. "Although it may get better. Wonder where we are going?"

    His account of coming under fire as he drove soldiers from the 7th Royal West Kents into a German ambush two months later reads simply: "Got blasted to hell. Captured in afternoon. Rode on horseback to village."

    The entries end in 1941, but Taylor would spend another four years in captivity. Two weeks after his capture Florence learnt he was missing in action. It was six months until she was told by the Red Cross that he was alive and being held prisoner, and they could exchange letters.

    *snip*

    MORE AT THE LINK



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  2. Synthaholic
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    Synthaholic Platinum Member

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    I think this is a fantastic opportunity to connect to that time. I started following Private Taylor today.
     
  3. Synthaholic
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    Synthaholic Platinum Member

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    *bump* for the British POW!

    I know I put this in one of the more untraveled forums, and it deserves bumping.
     
  4. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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