A couple of weeks ago, Blantyre Project reader, Andy Gardner was visiting the Harwich Redoubt which is a Napoleonic era fort in Essex, England (pictured). I’m told is was still in use during WWII.
So you can imagine his surprise when touring the cells, when inside one, he noticed some preserved prisoner graffiti from 1940 which mentions 2 soldiers from Blantyre by name ( and their regimental numbers). Andy took these photos.
Now, there’s obviously a deeper story to find out why Blantyre Infantry Riflemen Soldiers Jim Brown and David (or Daniel) Shanks were in that cell on that winter 1940. Nor do we know why they waited 7 days for a trial. Was it their own graffiti or somebody writing about them?
The graffiti is not one of deserters nor gives a hint at what Military rules were broken. It reads:
“3246790 RFM Shanks Da. 3249711 RFM Brown Jim. Blantyre Boys never worry. F*** Dover Court. F*** Hitler. Spirit to fight till Death. Waited Seven Days for Trial 24.11.40. Tried on 24.11.1940. Received.”
If YOU can help with this query, I’d love to hear from you.