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.
For more on Tom Ager, read “Thomas Ager—Escapee from Italian Camp 82” and “On the Sheltering of Tom Ager.”