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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

POW's in Limburg, Dulmen, I Munster in 1918


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I'm looking to put some more colour into some work I've been doing on my Grand Father, Harold Swallow.

He was captured in the Battle of Lys on 15/16 April 1918

He was in the following camps

Limburg 5 June

Dulmen 5 july

"wounded in hospital in Germany" 12 July (probably Dulmens hospital block)

I Munster 31 July

At some point he escaped after 31 July, hiding/manouvering during the day in the sewerage system - at night using his knowledge of astronamy to navigate via the stars - possibly learnt as part of his role as a signalman.

Resurfacing in Rotterdam on 13 November - Repatriated to UK (Hull) via SS Porto.

I would be interested in any other servicemen that may have been in the camps mentioned at the same time - together with accounts of how they were dealt with. I will coralate the information and share with the forum on conclusion of the work.

Were they used at Limburg to help aid the German war effort (I know supply lines were stretched).

I have an account of how he escaped from his sister - however this is treat with some caution as she was over 100 at the time she sent me the info.

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I've got a few diary entry pages from 1918, please PM so i can email them to you. Have been trying to attach them but they are copied as pdf.


PS Just checked, Grandfather captured 21 March 1918 so may be relevant!

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Thanks Alan its most appreciated, PM has been sent.

Just to clarify to everyone, what I'm trying to do is compile a list of POW's intially at the camps mentioned. So I will need names, service no, regiment, where captured and known dates when they were in the camps. I would just like to put something back to the forum for all the help I've had.

I know its a ver long shot. But my grandfather escaped with two others, one who was definately killed and another who almost certainly was. I don't know if anyone has any information on escapees - all I know is it was probably from Munster after 31st July 1918 my next record of him was on 13th November in Rotterdam.

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  • 5 years later...

I've not logged in to the site for a few years now - very remiss of me. But the current publicity on the 100th anniversary made me want to look again.

I've just been revisiting my grandfathers time as a POW (see old thread above). As the records have been digitised since I last looked I wondered if there was any further information.

I know my grandfather escaped, and from the information it would appear that its from Munster I (this makes sense he escaped to Holland and Munster is fairly close to the border). The info I received from the IRC said he was there on the 31st July 1918, however it is stamped 22nd August 1918. This is where I have some confusion.

I knew my grandfather escaped and at least one colleague, died in the escape. I looked at all the records for Munster from the same census (consecutive fiches). I then cross referenced these with the CWGC. One name Richard Taylor 35043, is recorded in Fiche PA 34092 at the same time as my grandfather.

There is a record of an R Taylor 34043 (same service number) in the Cologne Southern Cemetery - same regiment 19th Lancashire fusiliers - so that would make sense (non of the other prisoners are recorded as been killed) - however the date of Death is recorded as being 8 Aug 1918, which is before the date stamp. Being in German territory not far from the POW camp does make him look like the prime candidate.

My question is were the records stamped retrospectively does anyone know? I'm sure there may be errors - after all there as a very high influx of prisoners at the time, Germany was struggling etc.

If it is correct, Richard was shot behind my grandfather, allowing him to escape, so it makes me realise what debt of gratitude I owe him.

I will order Richard Taylors death certificate - tho I doubt it will say anything other than "Killed in Action".

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