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jamesday

Kamstigall Repatriation

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jamesday

I have recently been researching my GF 2/Lt A Fletcher, RAF, who was taken prisoner on 28th Sept 1918, having 'landed' behind enemy lines during a low level bombing/strafing raid, North of Ypres. He ended up at Kamstigall POW camp in East Prussia (near modern Pillau), now part of Russia near Kaliningrad.

All the officers in the camp were repatriated on the 'SS Russ' to Leith, arriving 13th Dec 1918 I believe.

I have acquired the Cox and Co List of Officers taken POW in WW1 and have extracted all those with a repatriation date of 13th Dec 1918. (Port of arrival is not given).There are about 430 of them, with a few indeterminate date entries being included if part of an RAF crew of a downed plane of a confirmed inmate. The number given in various personal accounts of the journey mention 400 to 500, so it should be a reasonably close account of those involved. Apparently a few officers arrived at Dover that day too.

I have the list as a spreadsheet with 'Rank, Initials, Name, Unit/Squadron, Capture date' as the headings.

PM me if you would like a copy.

I have read three personal accounts of life at Kamstigall, by Gibson, Robinson and Thomson. There is a set of brilliant pencil drawings in the IWM, done by Tresilian while in the camp. One of those drawn looks my GF, but who knows! One or two photos taken at the camp have emerged from kind GWF members which I have 'securely' tracked to Kamstigall. 'The Danish Scheme' has been very helpful too.

From one of these accounts and a drawing, I have placed the camp just to the West of the small fishing harbour, here: 54° 38.375', 19° 56.878', with a view south over the ship canal. It was cut into the slope of the hill on two levels, with the admin huts on the lower level. Parole trips out of camp for walks and football were allowed.

On 11th Nov 18, the camp admin clerk, Cpl Frank, took command, a bit like Radar from M.A.S.H. would have done. A story from my family had my GF walking over the Baltic Sea ice to Denmark! This could be a mixture of the 'Danish Scheme' and some of their time spent between the Armistice and leaving the camp on Dec 8th when the local sea froze a bit and ice skating and tobogganing took place.

I am always looking for more stories or links to Kamstigall if any are out there. A memoir from the SBO, Brig Gen Dick-Cunyngham would be nice! Also if there are comments about my assumptions, please feel free.

James

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Timbob1001

Hi - interesting. WOuld a Lt Champeney be on your list?

Thanks

Tim

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seaforths

There is an online account here of an RAF Officer who was at Karmstigall. If you use the scroll arrows either side of the image you can go further back in the account:

http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/4640854

I can give some basic and contemporary information on Karmstigall and put it on a map circa 1913 if that would be of any use?

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Timbob1001

Seaforths - would it be possible to do that for me? AM running a Centenary exhibition and have a man who was a POW there..

Thanks

Tim

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seaforths

No problem Tim,

I've just arrived at work and I wont get home till 8.30pm so it will be a while later when I post the information so I'm hoping you're not in a rush :)

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seaforths

Seaforths - would it be possible to do that for me? AM running a Centenary exhibition and have a man who was a POW there##

Thanks

Tim

Hello Tim,

Long delay but this is what I have found source Meyer's Orts 1913:

post-70679-0-98669500-1414718325_thumb.j

The textual references give information about the place and if it is a small place, the nearest facilities and amenities etc.

I have a list of the abbreviations used and have worked out the following:

Kamstigall: village in Prussia of the East Prussian province administrative district. (Not sure on the mit gut, am Frischen hass - it can be seen as the inner body of water on the map) The military district command is II Konigsberg, Prussia. Kreis (circular) district (probably court circuit) of Fischhausen lower county court. Civil registrar's office, post office and railway station. 4km Pillau; 238 railway station with telegraph. Harbour/port. Official government office; Brau. (possibly Braunsberg).

DSC06069_zpsf8300633.jpg

The smaller map below shows the rail links:

post-70679-0-42304100-1414718341_thumb.j

I hope this helps with your exhibition.

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jamesday

Hi Tim

Yes there is a 2nd Lt. J P Champney, 10th Batt. Tank Corps, captured 9/8/18 and repatriated 13/12/18. I have put him in the Kamstigall list.

He features on a photo from Pete Rhodes of this forum

James

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