Prisoner of War processing photograph of 11887 William Calder CRISP.
Now I know a 37 pattern webbing Haversack wouldn’t normally cause any great excitement but after a little research this one gave me a little thrill.On the front you can just make out “POW 1886” and under that “Cpl W Crisp”. Right at the bottom of the flap can just be read “11887 W Crisp”
William Calder CRISP was a member of the NZASC attached to the Mobile Dentist Section and was captured in Greece.
The fact that this bag has his POW number on it leads me to believe that this was the bag he had with him while he was a prisoner and that is what I think makes this common item a little bit special.
Also the fact that he belonged to a small section of men (39) in the Mobile Dental Section also adds a little bit too.
What is interesting, in reading in the NZ Dental Corps Official History, is that almost the whole (think 1 ASC and 2 Dental Corps chaps weren’t caught) Mobile dental Section were rounded up and ended up “in the bag” in Greece. In fact the Official History basically argues that it was a waste of man power and equipment sending them to Greece as the major thing they looked after was denture repair and that only required the dentures to be sent to them in Egypt not for the Dental corp. to be there. The OH goes on to say that there were 2 good things that came out of the Mobile Dental Section being there; 1) Their trucks were released to the 1st General Hospital allowing them to transport their nurses to Athens and eventually away from Greece and 2) Having the whole section as POW meant a lot more POW’s had better dental care than they probably would normally have received.
Here are a few shots of the bag, History sheet, casualty sheet and nominal roll for Greece and Crete.