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Guben Prisoner of War camp


Dolcoath miners
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Was wondering if anyone had any information on Guben POW camp in WW1? We're researching the story of Fred Negus, Cornish miner who served in the 25th Field Ambulance. Fred was captured on 27 May 1918 along with more than 100 others in his unit at Guyencourt. The 100+ were scattered in POW camps - from Langensalza to Giessen to Sprottau. Only Fred seems to have been in in Guben. We can't work out why he was taken so far - and to a camp that seems to have been mainly for Russian POWs. If anyone has any more information on Guben it would be so useful. Thank you!

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I know nothing, but there are a few mentions of Guben on the forum; these can be found by using the Search option.

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Out of curiosity I tapped in Guben for Prisoners of War on FindmyPast and got 46 hits. May give clues by looking at some of these others ?

For example the lists PA26283-5  are stamped 27/5/18 (coincidence) but mainly includes men captured Spring Offensive. Perhaps they needed a medical man ?

Example PA26283 courtesy ICRC

849738033_GWFGubenICRCPA26283.JPG.e00e008a738f4528448b7becb795173e.JPG

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

I'm a bit late to the party, but I too am researching Guben, as my grandfather Arthur William Sainsbury, Corporal in the Air Force, was taken there after being shot down in France. Would be grateful for any info/leads.

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Thank you so much. It seems grandad was very unlucky as the Battle of the Somme was over by May 1918. I think he was on a reconnaissance flight. I located the grave of his pilot (Captain Alex Brown) on the Isle of Wight and there is mention that although Brown lost his life in 1918, he saved that of his observer. 

Grandad lived until 1966 but spoke very little. I've always wondered what Guben was like, but it's very difficult to find any info or pictures. 

 

Theresa Sainsbury

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14 minutes ago, theresa65 said:

I located the grave of his pilot (Captain Alex Brown)

Welcome to the Forum Theresa. I think you mean Memorial on the Isle of Wight ? He is actually buried at the Commonwealth War Graves site of Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres.

The International Red Cross show he died in a German Field Hospital

100240019_GWFSainsburyRAFBrownICRC.JPG.2ed9e5f2ed06a8fc5d797e5cdf0e93a5.JPG

2130819316_GWFSainsburyRAFBrownICRC2.JPG.6f07745d58db433f2bd6d81dd852029c.JPG

 

Charlie

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There is indeed not much on the Internet on Kriegsgefangenenlager Guben / Gross Beesen  a.k.a "Russenlager"

Via the website of a German angler-club (internet moves in mysterious ways....) I think I found the location of the camp:

East of Gross Beesen, on the banks of the river Neisse, approx 5 kms north of Guben/Gubin (the town is on the border between Germany and Poland)

guben1.jpg.f3d9914a5c1b36cacf2d975582b4852a.jpg

Guben2.jpg.1c5c984ef8150579c0e17eb40fb40040.jpg

 

In  www.openstreetmap.org  type in    am nickelgraben, guben      , then zoom in a little and "Russenlager 1914-  etc" will appear near the river.

 

Library of Congress has some pictures (mainly 1919, showing Russian POW's)

https://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=guben

service-pnp-ggbain-25900-25992r.jpg.23f5960f8955d7bffd5a171e6139cc61.jpg

Edited by JWK
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There is a long, interesting account of Guben written in 1919 by Sapper Lewis here on FindmyPast's Newspaper archive. It is too long to copy here but I give a snippet:

1555358504_GWFGubenCampSapperLewis.JPG.925ca2518fe8f4d48ed3a2783d666fea.JPG

 

Edit- I believe this to be Sapper Thomas (Tommy) Lewis, 11th Co RE, captured 8/8/14? at Mauberg?. He gives a detailed acount of his captivity. born 1876? Staffordshire per ICRC . There are other reports from him.

There is a Svc Record for 13687 Thomas Hewitt Lewis born Staffordshire, enlisted RE May 1904 aged 19yrs8mo. Mobilised Aug 1914 posted to 11 Field Co RE. Reported PoW 27/1/15. Entry date on 14 Roll 16/8/14. Died 1949 aged 64. This is the man behind the newspaper articles.

I think confusion all round on captivity date/report date and his age.

Charlie

Further Edit. 11th field Co WDiary shows landing 16/8/14 and Lewis going sick/Hospital 25/8 so the ICRC date of capture is nonsense. However, despite the diary having detailed casualty Lists I cannot find him..yet.

That little note in War Diary seems to have hidden a more interesting story (incidently confirming it is TH Lewis 13687)

Again a minimal extract courtesy FindmyPast:

1264838666_GWFGubenLewisTorigCapture.JPG.97b80def152fb1bbc0af92cf112ffa22.JPG

 

Edited by charlie962
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Again courtesy FindmyPast, here is another extract of a 1919 account of life at Guben by Pte Bendell of the Worcesters. (captured April 1918) He first describes his capture and early treatment, then transport under very bad conditions then arrives at Guben 'the camp of ill fame'. He (Bendell) could be one of those 100 referred to by Sapper Lewis ?

1875191101_GWFGuben1919account.JPG.e613967dcdfc8395fda4851fae745885.JPG

Charlie

Edit    57430 Samuel Ernest Lovell Bendall, 10th Worcesters, captured Montigny 30/5/18. Has surviving Service Record.

Edited by charlie962
correction Bendall's date of captivity
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It may be that one of the PoWs listed for Guben in ICRC made a returned prisoner statement that was printed up and one of those available via FindmyPast or Discovery.

Edited by charlie962
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Oh my goodness, this is all so helpful. Thank you so much. And yes Charlie 962 I did mean the memorial on the Isle of Wight. I'm not sure my grandad ever recovered from Brown's death. I was only two when he died but all I heard from my father was how little he spoke. 

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2 hours ago, theresa65 said:

how little he spoke

That was so true for most veterans.

PS you might wish to start a dedicated thread on Arthur Sainsbury 48 Squadron under War in the Air if you wish to benefit from the fund of knowledge on this Forum on his and Brown's lefe/death ?

Edited by charlie962
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Following up on those PoW reports, I find this (via Findmypast and National Archives WO161).

Most interesting it specifically mentions the good work of Fred Negus, the subject of the original opening post by @Dolcoath miners

2064261434_GWFGubenStatementFindlayRAMC.JPG.cec0d866fa17bfb5d2abb57bb243d31e.JPG

Richard Young of the SLI is 11373. Because his service record has not survived and the ICRC records don't quote his service number one could easily miss the fact that he was a PoW and with this commendation. Just shows how difficult research can be. The info is there but can you find it!

Ernest Raby KW715, was captured round Antwerp 1914

 

And here is another report, covering 1915/16. It also mentions a connected camp, LAMMORE, about 15km away.

1827125106_GWFGubenBeaumontOStatement.JPG.6087d15ff7bb569189824a3681760cfd.JPGORs report 1838, p2862

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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