The Progress, Section Local Chronicle, [May 27]
Translated from French.
Welcome! – Château-d’Oex prepares to receive with dignity 475 British prisoners of war arriving, if all goes according to plan, on Tuesday morning around 10 a.m.
Various French prisoners of war have been located all over French-speaking Switzerland, where they received the warmest welcome. With its tradition of hospitality, the Pays d’Enhaut, has the honour to receive the first English prisoners interned in Switzerland. We do not intend to hold back and will be able to show our new guests the warmest sympathy.
A committee has been formed to organise the reception. This will be attended by our local authorities, the British colony, local companies, schools … in short, the entire population. If the weather is fine, a snack will be provided by the Commune and served by English ladies either in the square of the station or, in case of rain, in the Village Hall. Short speeches will be given by Mr. Favrod-Coune, president of the commune, the British Ambassador in Bern, and Mr. Lampen the English pastor.
A procession, led by a brass band will parade through the village streets; and cars have been made available by the committee for tired soldiers. We ask the population to decorate their homes in honour of those who have suffered for their country and shed their blood for it. Château-D’Oex is putting on it’s finest clothing on this historic day. To welcome these brave men, flags will be pinned to the chalets and flown from the bell tower of the Temple.
On Monday, some girls will be serving cakes for 20 centimes. The cakes will feature the colours of the allies, and the proceeds from this sale will be paid into the internees fund of Château-d’Oex. Everyone is asked to welcome these children.
With the participation of everyone the reception of the British soldiers will mark a significant day in the annals of our valley. To those who come to us poor health caused by long privations, we wish a speedy recovery with the help of the invigorating air of the pines; those who feel defeated, away from home, we send our sympathy and to all we send our most joyful welcome.