When we are singled out by one of the guards to help pitch extra tents in an area that is to be cordoned off, I practise my English whilst finding out a few facts. Nonchalantly I ask, ‘Are we getting more POWs?’
‘No. This is to be a forty-eight hour transit area for a division of our soldiers on their way to the front line.’ I nod interestedly and ponder how to act on receipt of this information.
‘These soldiers who will be visiting with us will be going to the front line. They will be fighting against and killing Italian and French soldiers,’ I relay to my tent buddies that night. ‘I don’t think we should make them feel too welcome, do you?’
A few sniggers greet my statement. ‘What do you have in mind?’
‘Just a little joke … they may control our money but they cannot control everything!’
Much later that night, we slink out and walk quietly to the cordoned off area. The toilets are located at the back of the tents. Although we run the risk of getting into a lot of trouble, we have decided to nail down the wooden toilet lids. A petty trick indeed but oh so gleefully do we attend to this task! Of course, we have to wait until at least mid-morning the next day to see the fruits of our labour. Only a few of us are in on this trick but the anticipation is exciting and nerve-wracking.
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