Gunner Edwin Mayhew

Edwin (‘Ted’) George Albert Mayhew (Army No 945507) was born on 8th May 1919, and at the age of 20 years he enlisted in the Royal Artillery on 20th October 1939 as part of the Territorial Army expansion under the emergency Armed Forces Services Act.

Ted Mayhew was a Gunner in 367 Battery.

Captivity

He was captured at Watou on 30th May 1940 and transferred to Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf on 16th June 1940. In September 1940, along with my father Eric West, he was sent to the E72 coal mining work camp at Beuthen (now Bytom in Poland).

Ted Mayhew was a talented musician and played in the camp band which would entertain the German officers on a Saturday night. He features in two photographs taken at E72, holding his guitar.

Ted Mayhew at E72 Arbeitskommando holding guitar in centre

The full E72 Orchestra

Long March

In January 1945, Ted Mayhew was evacuated from E72, with my father Eric West, and endured the entire length of the Long March before liberation in Bavaria on 8th May 1945.

Post War

Ted Mayhew returned to work as an Electrical Engineer at London Transport, who had kept his job open and awarded him five years back pay.  He died in 1982 in Ashford Kent at the age of 63 years.

[with thanks to Natalie Mayhew]