The Thornley Welcome Home Fund

'They used to have a fund going for us, a "Welcome Home Fund." And you know the old Church Hut--why, they knocked it down--where the fish shop is? There used to be a hut there, a hall. They had a do for us there, ex-POWs, and we all had to go in there and they had this fund and they shared it all out. And we all had to go down one at a time and get our money, what we were entitled to. I got six or seven quid, which was a fortune! They had a tea laid on and everything. Why, they were all there: me, Jimmy Shaw, Peter Wilson. There was old Kit, he lives up here in one of the bungalows, Kit Haswell. He was in the Durhams, he was took prisoner at Dunkirk. He had five years him. Oh, there was a canny few. Aye, Welcome Home Fund!

'They sorted everybody out and then this bloke gets up, he says, "There's another one here, Mr Tunney, Tom Tunney." I went down and I got three quid from the Band, paid from the band, because I was a member before I went in--so I got some more money!'

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Thornley Returned POWs Article 1
Thornley Returned POWs Article 2

The articles at right and left from the Durham Chronicle of May and June 1945 provide an invaluable record of this event and those POWs who attended it--though it does seem my fatherís memory was in error regarding POWs Shaw and Haswell who are not listed. Note that Vicar Lathaenís name is repeatedly mis-spelled in both articles.

For a detailed listing of known Thornley Prisoners of War, including information on their service history, POW camps and place of capture

CLICK HERE