Coming home....     Vashti Vincent and other family members returned to the UK in 1943, with the help of the Red Cross.  Two newspaper articles document this....

A transcript of the article shown above follows: 

(Excerpt from the Yorkshire Post of Wednesday November 17th, 1943....)

 

Repatriated but Homeless Family Arrive in Leeds

Repatriated but homeless, a family of four English people and a friend who was interned with them at Vittel (France) arrived in Leeds last night to try to make a new home for themselves in the city. 

They are 73-year-old Mr. Heliar A. Vincent and his 65-year-old wife, his daughter, Miss Vashti Vincent, and his 71-year-old sister, Miss Ada Vincent.  With them is Miss D. McCaulay, who was also interned in Vittel, and whose home was in Paris, where she saw Hitler at the Arc de Triomphe on his tour of the French capital shortly after the armistice and before she was interned.  Hitler stayed at the Parc Monceau Hotel, Avenue Hoche, during his incognito visit, not far from where Miss McCaulay lived, and after his visit the furniture was removed to Germany. 

Since they arrived in this country three weeks ago they have been in hospital recovering from the effects of a nightmare journey across France and Germany—a journey of four days and nights in an overcrowded train.  They are staying at the Salem Institute until accommodation is found for them.

Edinburgh was the scene of a happy reunion for Mr. and Mrs Vincent who met, for the first time in 3 ½ years, their son, now in the British Army, who got away from Bordeaux in the last British convoy.  Mr. Vincent used to visit Leeds 35 years ago when he lived for a time in York. 

Miss Vashti Vincent described to a “Yorkshire Post” reporter the dreadful conditions of the barracks internment camp at Besancon where they were first interned--the filthy, verminous bedding, the lack of food and warmth.  Conditions at Vittel were much better although the food was poor. 

She described, too, how the internees, sick and aged as they were, were trundled into a carriage for repatriation with their luggage crowded on top of them.  They travelled with goods wagons and spent long hours on sidings, particular in Germany where the travelling was done by night so that they should see as little as possible of the country.

Miss Vincent also described how on the journey they suffered particularly from thirst, being at one time 22 hours without water, and how they finally made tea with water from the engine boiler.

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