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Description

The typed diary recounts the escape made by Captain Philip Godsal and Captain Campbell from a camp in Germany during the First World War. 'My journey across Germany & Holland March 20th - April 5th 1917'

Captain Philip Godsal M C was eldest son of Major Philp Thomas Godsal and Ellen Hennrietta Godsal of Iscoed Park, Whitchurch. He served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

On the 26th of August 1914 he was wounded and fell into the hands of the Germans. This was due to the action of the French bowing up the railway bridge at Berlamont and not giving sufficient warning to the company defending it. Captain Godsal and 2nd Lieutenant G T Button were injured by the explosion and together with one wounded private were subsequently captured by the Germans whilst in lying in a French field hospital at Avesnes. He remained a prisoner of war until his escape in March 1917.

On the 16th March 1917 the German authorities decided to move the 130 British officers that had been captured to other camps. One group of 82 officers were being moved from the camp in Friedberg to a camp in Clausthel. During this transfer Captain Godsal and Captain Campbell managed to escape. They travelled during the night using only a compass and rough charts and sleeping whilst hidden during the day. The travelled over 200 miles to find their way home and only coming across no more than a dozen men during that time.

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