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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

pow camps near wrexham


Julie w
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Hi whilst, researching rhostyllen and bersham men who fell,i was talking to some locals and they said the step waterfall was built by russian pow's,it is known locally as the russian steps but i cannot find anything about pow camps near to wrexham.
can anyone offer any info?
cheers julie

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Julie, do you mean Caeau Weir? If so, this predates the war by several centuries - it's medieval and used to be part of the system which generated power for the ironworks. The steps themselves are shown on photos which pre-date the First World War - I checked on Wrecsam gov.uk's website and this says that the photos are pre-1911.

You're assuming that any Russian prisoners near Wrecsam were taken during the First World War...

Gwyn

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thanks john and dragon,locals say it was built by russians,so its medieval .there must have been russians there at some time cos my gt grandfather got into a fight and a russian pulled a knife on him,but only managed to cut his little finger off.

will check out wrexham.gov website

cheers julie

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I meant that you might need to look back at the Crimean War. :)

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thanks john and dragon,locals say it was built by russians,so its medieval .there must have been russians there at some time cos my gt grandfather got into a fight and a russian pulled a knife on him,but only managed to cut his little finger off.

will check out wrexham.gov website

cheers julie

Hmmmm! Quite a story! You're not going to get much out of that site - it's the Local gov site! "Great Grandf.s" time - give us a date -Second WW? A massive Polish evacuation came into Wrexham in 1937-9, and were confusingly called 'Russians' by the locals. In medieval times, Wrexham was a one horse village of serfs. The local power points would have been Hope Castle, and a few other houses. I dont know of any pow camps in Wrexham 14-18, though there probably were a few small labour camps.

Step Waterfall! Is that near the King's Mill? Which is on the Bangor on Dee /Wrtyn road area?

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I used the wrecsam.gov.uk site as a portal to the various musuems and heritage sites, because the Caeau Weir is a Listed Grade 2 site. I didn't want to spend time googling. Somewhere on or from there I found a reference to photos which showed that the steps pre-date 1911, so if they were built by Russian prisoners they weren't prisoners from either of the World Wars.

I haven't a clue about their history - just thinking laterally and probably way off track.

Gwyn

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All

there was a WW2 POW camp in Hope a few miles outside Wrexham, the school is now built on the site

Ian

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Hi All,not found out anymore info other than labour camps near rhostyllen in ww2.

my gt grandfather was born 1863 died 1949,all we know is that he lost his little finger when a russian pulled a knife on him in esclusham below now rhostyllen

the stepped waterfall/weir are near bersham ironworks opposite fitzhugh's church

julie

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  • 3 weeks later...

Found out anything else on this topic Julie?

I used this as an excuse to stop at the Welsh Fusilier, where a few old blokes were sipping their half a mild. None had any info on Russian prisoners, but had heard of the Russian Steps.

I'm sure I've seen a fairly comprehensive list of POW camps in Britain, listing their associate sub-camps and labour stations. it's not complete - a few local sub-camps in Denbighshire of which I know are not listed.

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Just done a bit of searching. Contact member Moonraker - in another thread he mentiones Graham Mark's book 'Prisoners of War in British Hands During WW1', and mentiones that it contains the most authoratative list of sights in Britain. Wrexham being a premier garrison town would undoubtedly be mentioned if such camps were there.

Regards

G

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Thanks Geraint,the welsh fusilier in wrexham was where one of my aunties worked behind the bar for many a year in the 50's

i havn't found out anything else,only ww2 camps

i shall contact moonraker and see if he can find anything

thanks for your interest

see you at north west meet up,if we have one!

regards julie

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Sorry, Julie. Just to confirm what I said in my PM to you:

The book by Graham Mark has a slightly crude map that shows major POW camps at Dyffryn Aled, Frongroch and Oswestry. There's a long list of minor work camps, but a scrutiny doesn't reveal any close to Wrexham - though I may be hampered a little by my lack of local geography.

The three camps that I mention all appear to have held only PoWs; had they at any time housed civilian alien internees there might have been a chance that these included Russian types. Yes, I realise Russia was one of the Allies for much of the war, but there were suspicions about the loyalties of some Russians in this country, especially after the Revolution, when support for the Allies from parts of the Russian community in the UK declined.

Moonraker

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Julie

We've got to pester him for this meeting!

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  • 9 months later...

There is an ex-PoW camp still in existance at St Marins.Plenty of the buildings are still used. It is on the road to Chirck.

I have no knowledge of the vintage however.

Simon

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