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Sale 38 Lot 1116

A superlative archive of 30 A.L.S.'s of R.A.F. Flight Lt. Anthony Ffrench-Mullen, captured by the Germans in the Summer or early Fall in of 1940 (possibly as a result of involvement in the Battle of Britain), and held in Luft Stalags I, II and III until the end of the war. The majority of the letters are from 1940-41, and are written to his parents in Belfast. All bear censor marking from both British and German examiners. In small part: "...have you done anything re: food and cigarettes from America?...I prefer really not to be reminded of the life which is denied me...don't believe anything the Red Cross say: they are a broken reed of the most abject type and I wish to have no part of them...I aim to start [learning Italian] about June...After June I resurrect my French & the next year learn Spanish...I hope you have started parcels from, clothes and Chesterfields...also organize swing we have a phonograph...I want to be prepared to return to a nice social revolution, failing which I shall found my own Utopia...I do not anticipate a speedy return, not under five was really an find myself among the living dead here...Hope for a clothes parcel as I have but what I was shot down in...Red Cross were still refusing cigarettes & also uniforms...if I ever meet up with whoever is responsible for their organization I shall kick their entrails out of them...imbecilic bastards...I resent being called a pessimist and told to resign myself placidly to God's sign of any clothes parcel: annoying as have very little left & no day the bloody Red X might let one through. God rot their souls...Just now I'm cleaning up Stevenson's Treasure Island. Fortunately, he's dead and so my awful deed is safe...My pride now forbids me to destroy a beard of such vastness before it's been made visible to my own country...I operate the razor over my mighty pate instead...send chocolate & as much soap as possible...the design of the Almighty's has not proven very successful...". Conditions gradually improve for Ffrench-Mullen as his clothing and food packages dribble in and he starts to receive mail from home, although often it is received two or three months after mailing. Of course, the contents of prisoners' letters was heavily censored, so this series of letters bears nothing of great historic importance. However, included is a typed letter to the pilot's father from a fellow prisoner mentioning how Ffrench-Mullen had assisted in digging the famous tunnels at Stalag Luft III, and had learned Italian (as often cited in his letters) in preparation for his cover as an Italian monk once he had escaped. Unfortunately, his costume and documents were discovered in a midnight raid by his captors. Also present are a number of fascinating documents from the British Red Cross setting forth their strict rules for shipping parcels to prisoners, i.e.: limitations on contents, weights, tobacco, chocolate, etc., as well as receipts for goods purchased for the P.O.W. Stalag Luft III ,where Ffrench-Mullen spent the majority of his captivity, was a German Air Force P.O.W. camp that housed captured air force personnel. It was near Sagan, now °agaƒ in Poland, 100 miles southeast of Berlin. The site was selected because it would be difficult to escape by tunneling, but it is best known for two famous prisoner escapes that took place there by tunneling, namely "The Great Escape" and "The Wooden Horse".
Estimate $ 1,000-1,500

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