This Christmas greetings was sent by Camp 82 prisoner-of-war Tom Ager to his fiancee, Gladys Wash, by means of a Vatican representative. Note the light sepia drawing of a star with a scarp-life tail and the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica behind the message. The document is courtesy of Tom’s daughter Gillian Pink.
The text of the greeting reads:
SECRETARIAT OF STATE TO HIS HOLINESS
Date 23/11/42 [November 23, 1942]
Sender AGER THOMAS J
Rank PTE No. 6010271
Camp No. 82 Military Post PM 3200
Addressee MISS G. L. WASH
Street STATION ROAD
Town WHITE NOTLEY, WITHAM
County ESSEX ENGLAND
Message (10 words – Season’s greetings only)
A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.
FONDEST LOVE, TOM
This note of explanation accompanied the greeting.
VATICAN WAR ENQUIRY DEPT.
11 CAVENDISH SQUARE,
LONDON, W. 1
The Apostolic Delegate has much pleasure in sending the enclose message to you. The message was collected by a Representative sent by his Holiness the Pope to visit Prisoner of War Camps in Italy.