In October 1943 there was a exchange of a number of British prisoner of war personnel for about 900 German ones.  Also included in the exchange were about 100 civilians and it was in this group that Vashti Vincent came back to Britain.

(A transcription of the main part of the newspaper article to the right follows....)

 

 

Mercy Ships in Forth

CHEERING CROWDS GREET MEN ON QUAY

GENERAL READS MESSAGE FROM KING

The Empress of Russia and the Drottningholm, two of the mercy ships carrying repatriated prisoners and civilian personnel, anchored in the Firth of Forth last night. 

The men were landed at Leith today.

A fleet of tenders brought the excited passengers to the quayside, where a rousing reception awaited them. 

A large shed had been converted into a reception hall with flags and bunting, and here meals were supplied. 

The third ship, the Atlantis, is due to arrive at a North West of England port tomorrow.

Altogether more than 3200 are aboard the two ships.  The two which arrived at Leith carried 2400. 

Throughout yesterday big crowds of mothers and wives waited at the dock gates.  Only when it became dark did many of the women melt away. 

King’s Message...

The image to the right is of a menu for a meal that was enjoyed on the 'Empress of Russia' when she was bringing back the repatriated men and women.  On the back there is a list of women who were at the meal.  Note: the civilian men apparently were not shown on that list.

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