University of Oxford
56 files

Crossing Paths: William Pow and His Wife

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 20:04 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor’s dad, William Pow (b. 1920), tried to join up at the start of the war but he was too young. Dad trained in Northern Ireland but had to come back when his mother died. Dad was then stationed in North Africa, where he was attacked by locals. American soldiers intervened, but dad spent some time in hospital. Dad was in the transport unit and drove across Bailey bridge. He was also in Naples when Vesuvius exploded in 1944. He was then in Monte Cassino after the battle in 1944. At one point, dad was near Rotenburg, mother's hometown but they never met there.

During the war, the contributor’s mother was in the Luftwaffe. After the war, she came over from Germany with no English, as a nurse, and met the contributor’s father. She became ill and was going to be deported, so he suggested that they get married to save her from this. She didn't speak German to children at home and was subject to racism. As children, the contributor also experienced name-calling.


Item list and details

1- Collection of medals 2- Invitation to wedding of a British colleague to a young German in 1947 3 - Soldier's service book 4 - German iron cross from grandfather who was a dispatch rider 5 - Fuel Coupon 6- Money - Reichs notes and military coupons 7 - Uniform insignia and badges 8 - Pouch for army forms

Person the story/items relate to

William Pow

Person who shared the story/items

Terry Jack

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Father of the contributor

Type of submission

Shared at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh on 25 November 2023.

Record ID

107611 | EDI008