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German POW Camps in the UK


Hazel Basford
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The thought of PoWs being next to airfields brings up ideas of Biggles-type escapees stealing an aeroplane and flying it back to Germany, but I guess the range would have then been far too great. But in WWII there was a celebrated escape from Devizes (I think for recce purposes prior to a mass escape) in which the PoWs headed for RAF Yatesbury.

Moonraker

Same thing happened at East Fortune in WW2. Some Italians from the nearby camp (now Haddington GC) got onto the airfield and tried to steal a Mosquito, but the only pilot couldn't work out the controls. He told the rest that the fuel tanks were empty, and they surrendered. The tanks were later found to be full!

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"Dear all,

.....

A White Paper presented to Parliament in September 1916 included published reports by officials of the US Embassy in London, giving particulars of visits they had made to a considerable number of places of internment during the preceding months, including

Knockaloe, Isle of Man (civilian)

Stobbs, Scotland

Alexandra Palace

Handforth, Cheshire

Eastcote, Northants

Dorchester

Lofthouse, near Wakefield

Oldcastle, Co Meath

Douglas, Isle of Man

And many others, not listed."

- Seeing the Alexandra Palace listed has reminded me of my grandma. In her teens she was very friendly with one of the two daughters of a german family which had a shop in Wood Green. The whole family were interned in (or rather... sort of under) the Ally Pally and my grandma used to visit her friend, taking presents of any items the family needed. She had to be lifted up so she could pass them through the bars at the top of the wall to their room.

I have no idea how long the mother and girls, or the father, were interned for.

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  • 1 year later...

Great thread, as I have been looking for similar information. I found out my Great Grandfather was in POW Companies,Nos 371 and 368 as a gaurd for the Labour Corp.

Does anyone have any idea which camp he would have been at?

Many thanks.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...

Hi, having read all there is on this site , re ww1 p.o.w. camps uk, i am looking for information about a camp at Slindon West Sussex, have a few photos taken in 1915 approx, but cannot find ny other information, any clues from members, pointers.It appears from the photos to be a fair size with many huts.

Rodney,

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Not mentioned in Graham Mark's Prisoners of War in British Hands during WWI, not even in the list of minor work camps. The nearest camp listed was at Christ's Hospital School near Horsham. The "many huts" may not all have accommodated PoWs, who were often quartered in military camps containing Allied soldiers.

Moonraker

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Hi, having read all there is on this site , re ww1 p.o.w. camps uk, i am looking for information about a camp at Slindon West Sussex, have a few photos taken in 1915 approx, but cannot find ny other information, any clues from members, pointers.It appears from the photos to be a fair size with many huts.

Rodney,

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You'll find it listed in the Prisoners of War Information Bureau "List of Places of Internment" that was published in early 1919. It's listed under Eartham, with the postal address as nr. Slindon, Chichester, Sussex. I have a copy but there's one in the Imperial War Museum Library and one in The National Archives in WO 162/341. It was a Working Camp under the responsibility of Eastcote/Pattishall in Northamptonshire - as were all Sussex POW WW1 Camps. I have been researching the Pattishall Camp for several years and made some notes a few years ago of all the escapees from its Satellite Camps that I could find. I have only recently returned to these notes and begun to look at all of Eastcote/Pattishall's satellite camps (there were 144 still open in early 1919 in East Anglia, the Home Counties and South East England). By coincidence I have been working most recently on those in Sussex. There are some earlier lists of camps in other TNA files, though another list I have of December 1917 does not list the camp at Slindon. If anyone has any photos or contemporary newspaper reports concerning these satellite camps, especially if taken between 1914 and 1920, please give me a shout.

Pattishall.

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Guest Jenny Newell

Do you have any information on a Surrey camp at Felday near Holbury St Mary. Currently surveying the remains with an archaeological group

Jenny

You'll find it listed in the Prisoners of War Information Bureau "List of Places of Internment" that was published in early 1919. It's listed under Eartham, with the postal address as nr. Slindon, Chichester, Sussex. I have a copy but there's one in the Imperial War Museum Library and one in The National Archives in WO 162/341. It was a Working Camp under the responsibility of Eastcote/Pattishall in Northamptonshire - as were all Sussex POW WW1 Camps. I have been researching the Pattishall Camp for several years and made some notes a few years ago of all the escapees from its Satellite Camps that I could find. I have only recently returned to these notes and begun to look at all of Eastcote/Pattishall's satellite camps (there were 144 still open in early 1919 in East Anglia, the Home Counties and South East England). By coincidence I have been working most recently on those in Sussex. There are some earlier lists of camps in other TNA files, though another list I have of December 1917 does not list the camp at Slindon. If anyone has any photos or contemporary newspaper reports concerning these satellite camps, especially if taken between 1914 and 1920, please give me a shout.

Pattishall.

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Guest Jenny Newell

Any more info on Holmbury camp much appreciates as compiling and archaeological report

Jennifleur

QUOTE (Steveo @ Oct 3 2006, 10:11 AM) Hello Jeff

Not sure I will be much help. There was a German POW camp above Holmbury ST Mary on Holmbury Hill. (Surrey Hills). Very little remains however a short way accross the valley is Belmont School. The school occupies Belmont House . I wonder if it may have been used as a hospital.

regards

Stephen

Holmbury St Mary - Holmbury Hill was also a training camp for new recruits. Was it normal practice to have this next to a POW camp.

It has got me thinking, any ideas as to the amount of POW in Blighty during the war?

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  • 1 year later...

A belated question to add to this thread concerns Olympia in London which I know was only a temporary holding centre for internees which included some German reservists trying to get home for war service according to one image from the ILN cut up for sale on Ebay (as usual! - sadly). I have a negative from a newspaper archive I am scanning showing prisoners being transferred via Waterloo to Camberley and I would appreciate any info on a probable date - I suspect late Autumn 1914 and anything else to build a caption I can pass down to users after I am out of the picture (so to speak).

Many thanks

MB

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MB, Graham Mark, Prisoners of War in British Hands during WWI, has one short page on Olympia whichconfirms your supposition but does not help you to a more accurate dating. At the beginning of the war some 200 suspects were interned at once at Olympia and Frimley, after which numbers fluctuated for the rest of the year. By January 28, 1915, Olympia as an internee camp had been closed "for some time". Mark notes envelopes from Olympia postmarked up to November 25, 1914, I guess there were quite a few transfers from Olympia to Frith Hill, Frimley - which is to say "Camberley".

Moonraker

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Not only did Dorchester have a large P.O.W camp ,it also has a Great War Memorial dedicated solely to German troops.

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I believe the dead are remembered on the 11/11th as with the main memorial.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi everyone,

Dorchester Town Council hold a ceremony at 2.00pm on 11/11 each year. Last November the BBC came along and did a news item on it. See link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-24906894

The BBC South West are doing a short item on the camp for their spotlight programme. It is due to be shown in the next week or so.

Brian Bates.

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Is there a record of where the German 1st WW dead were received from when they were all consolidated at Cannock Chaise during the 1960's? If such a list exists then it may give a clue as to where there were POWs camp for a period of time?

Richard

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Hi everyone,

Dorchester Town Council hold a ceremony at 2.00pm on 11/11 each year. Last November the BBC came along and did a news item on it. See link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-24906894

The BBC South West are doing a short item on the camp for their spotlight programme. It is due to be shown in the next week or so.

Brian Bates.

Right now, there is a 1915 book from a German Dorchester PoW on sale here. (Probably author exchanged via Switzerland?)

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  • 5 months later...

Dear All,

I'm resurrecting this thread. Having looked through it cursorily and finding that information on POW and internment camps has been sketchy and difficult to find in the past, I wonder if we could consolidate what members know and where to find details, and make the sort of lovely list that members seem to do so well!!

I'm specifically looking for camps in the Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire areas, but other members will have their own areas of interest.

I seem to remember my grandmother commenting on German POWs in Stourhead, Wiltshire, somewhere I think I have a brief letter written to her by a German POW - must search it out.

Many thanks

Honora

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Graham Mark, Prisoners of War in British Hands during WWI (Postal History Society, 2007) offers the most definitive list. It has sections on the 50 or so major PoW and internment camps and an appendix lists perhaps 500 smaller camps, which were often work camps, sometimes attached to army camps and aerodromes (as in Wiltshire) or located to provide labour for farmers. There were no major camps in Wiltshire, and Mark lists only Sandhill Park, north-west of Taunton, in Somerset as a major camp, with none in Gloucestershire. (Sandhill Park is not to be confused with Sand Hill Camp near Warminster.)

I haven't come across a camp at Stourhead, but it's very possible that a few PoWs could have been "out-stationed" there to provide labour.

Lists are all very well, but in the past good intentions have sometimes faltered - and quite quickly - and where there has been success the results can be hard to consult. (as with the "hospitals" list).

Moonraker

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Does anyone have any information on a PoW camp at Heacham, in Norfolk? I know that there was one there but as to exact location, size, whether it was ever used, etc I have absolutely no idea! but I am ever hopeful that someone, somewhere does.....

Any help greatly appreciated

Andrew

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