Another letter from Donald Stewart, a Wellington Coo-ee, from inside a German prisoner of war camp

Transcription of an article titled ‘Two years a prisoner of war : letter from Private Don Stewart’ published in the Wellington Times, 19 September, 1918, p. 3.


Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, of Park Street, Wellington, have received a letter from their son, Private Don Stewart, who for over two years has been a prisoner of war in Germany. The letter is dated from Schneidemuhl, June 10, 1918, and reads:— “Just a few lines, hoping to   find you all well at home. As for me, well, I am feeling pretty fit lately, as we have plenty of fresh air and exercise, which keeps a fellow in good health. I feel a bit tired so I will have a smoke and go to bed and finish writing tomorrow.

Next morning he resumed his letter as follows: “I feel a bit like writing now, so will have a try to finish this letter. I received fourteen letters during last week, on May 30, and two on June 2, from home, also one from Mrs. Mostyn. Two days later I had one from father, and one from mother. I wish they would come every week, although I cannot answer them. Well, dad, it is nearly two years since I was taken prisoner, and how I do wish I were back again at home. I do not think I will want to leave home again in a hurry. The experiences I have had since I left home would do a lot of good to the young chaps who want to leave home at the age I did. Fancy, I had my 17th birthday at Liverpool (England), and my 18th and 19th here in Germany, and in six months I will be 20. I will soon be able to have the key to my door. I am sending you two of my photographs by this letter. (The British censor encloses a slip stating the photos were missing from the letter when it reached England. Evidently they had been taken out by the German censor). I will have my photo taken again soon and will send you some. I saw Private Long a few days ago, and up till then he had not heard about his brother having been killed. I may see him again next week, and see if he has heard anything further. I cannot say much, so will close, hoping you will remember me to all my friends and give my best love to all at home.”

Click here to view the article on Trove:

To read more about Donald Stewart, click on the Donald S. Stewart tag at the bottom of this blog entry.


5 responses to “Another letter from Donald Stewart, a Wellington Coo-ee, from inside a German prisoner of war camp

  1. Thanks Helen. Donald certainly put on a brave face for his
    loved ones! So typically Aussie. He was so young!

  2. This is my grandfather just finding out more about his short life.He died when my dad was 7.Very proud of him.

    • Hi Alison
      Thank you for your message. Donald Stewart was one of the youngest of the Coo-ees, only being 16 years and 9 months old when he enlisted.

      • Yes seems he was my dad has a few things and recently spoke to newspaper doing story on the centenary

      • Hi Alison
        Does you Dad have a photo of Donald Stewart in this WWI uniform? If so, I would love to place a copy of it on his entry on my blog, if that is OK with your father. Do you know what newspaper your Dad was talking to recently about the Coo-ee March and your grandfather? Was it the Daily Telegraph which has started running articles on the Coo-ee March?

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