Sound: secret radios in POW camp

Hear Peter Howden discussing secret radios, and how these were used in the camp.


I presume other camps had radios, they must have done, but in our particular instance we had a very clever Englishman who spoke French fluently and also a shorthand typist and another French Canadian, I think his name was Abraham Levi, but never mind. He was also fluent in languages, and where it came from, I don't know, but they found a crystal and they ... we had a little wire with a crystal it. Where they got the ear-phones from, I don't know - better not to know - and it was set up and every night at nine o'clock or thereabouts we'd have a news bulletin. If it was in French it was easily translated and so we got the B.B.C. and of course the crystals, you can't always pick the right station. Sometimes you'd get a French station or a Spanish station and...

There were a lot of clever fellows in that prisoner of war camp. This chap, a friend - I say a friend of ours - a chap in the next bunk, he was a tinsmith and he made a... waterproof box, which slapped down and went down into the cess pool when anything happened - that was where it [the radio] spent most of the day... This man tapped away. He straightened out milk tins - we had milk-powder was one of the famous things from, especially from Canada, and you got all the - straightened it out and you got all the solder off and solder all round it - ingenuity.

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