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Remembered Today:

Where was the Étaples POW Camp?


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Does someone know exactly where was located the ETAPLES POW camp? My understanding is it was in BEUTIN. Is that right? Where precisely? Also, was there other camps in the area between ETAPLES and ABBEVILLE? Other question: who was in charge of that camp? Any specific infantry unit?

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On https://www.1914-1918.be/service_sante_etaples.php   (in French) :

"German prisoners were also cared for in Etaples as there were about six thousand of them in seven prison camps around the camp. Organised in labour companies of 500 men, they worked as labourers in the army's construction sites."

"Les prisonniers allemands étaient aussi soignés à Etaples car au nombre d’environ six mille, ils occupaient sept camps de prisonniers situés aux environs du camp. Organisés en compagnie de travail de 500 hommes, ils travaillaient comme manœuvre dans les chantiers de l’armée."


And on  https://forum.pages14-18.com/viewtopic.php?t=9483  a list of the French-controlled POW camps (Main camps in Italics, rest are sub-camps)

No Beutin or Etaples on there I'm afraid.. Unless ofcourse they were British-run?





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Thanks for helping :) I  think the Etaples camps were ran buy the British army. I'll look closer at maps showing the POW hospital. Maybe POW camps are shown around...

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Are you researching a specific German soldier? If so, can you please tell us his name. His records at the Croix Rouge may tell us where he was held POW.

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No I'm not. I'm rather looking for any connection between German POWs and the Canadian Railway Troops 7th battalion, who spent 5 months from May to September 1918 in Conchil-le-Temple and vicinity, working on quadrupling the Etaples - Conteville line. They were using many Chinese and POWs units. 

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Whilst prisoners of war were held at Etaples in the period you are researching German prisoners were organised in groups of 100 or more and supervised by the POW Companies of the Labour Corps. 

You would therefore need to know which POW Company(ies) were engaged.  They were not usually required to keep a war diary.

As an introduction see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-labour-corps-of-1917-1918/

A forum search will give a number of threads on the POW Companies and I’ve tagged @themonsstarwho seems to have a good knowledge as to the deployment of the POW Companies 

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I was looking through Etaples Commandant diaries earlier. Didn't have a specific time frame so I scan read through from April 1915 to Dec 1918.

There is an increase in POW related entries for 1918. They frequently mention that various named POW Companies arrived at (locations given) with numbers of POWs.

I'll check tomorrow in more detail and look for the Canadian connection.

There is also a large scale map showing the Etaples administration area.


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I’m seeing many references to movements of men from many units congregating around Rang du Flier and later in Conchil-le-Temple from April 1918.

I can’t see the 7th Canadian Railway Troops’ arrival but they leave Conchil 14/10/1918.

The dairies are free, just register with TNA. Login and ‘add to basket’ checkout and agree to T&Cs and download. There is a monthly summary at the end of each month.



I don’t know the area and I can’t say I know the role of all the units mentioned EG. Art. Works Coy., Railway Construction Companies RE.,  Area Employment (GG), Prov. Labour Coy. There are also: Railway Telegraph Coys., Canadian Railway Bridging Coy. Port Construction Coys. There are mentions of ZERABLES which I can’t find.

Rang du Fliers seems to be the centre of a a lot of Railway work.

There are a lot of movements of these units so you’d have to sift through to make sure they aren’t arriving in the area and then leaving. I have no idea if there are any more details for any of the POW companies. Canadian Railway Troops may have diaries with the Canadian Archive although I can't seem to find them!

Just to give an idea of the POW companies movements which continue into October.

74 POW Coy.  Rang du Flier 438 POWs
139 POW Coy.  Bahot 418 POWs

296 Railway Construction Coy. RE Rang du Flier
9 Lab Group Rang du Flier
Railway Telegraph Coy. Dannes

25 POW Coy.  Rang du Flier 450 POWs
96 POW Coy.  Rang du Flier 409 POWs
15 POW Coy.  Wailly 414 POWs

68 POW Coy.  Villers 379 POWs
67 POW Coy.  Coline Beaumont 408 POWs

4 POW Coy.  Etaples 409 POWs
25 POW Coy.  left Rang du Flier for Marquise

111 Chinese LC left Etaples for Houdain
122 Chinese LC left Etaples for Houdain
157 Chinese LC left Dannes for Etaples

Broad Gauge Workshop RE Rang du Flier


Edited by TEW
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Tew, I'm on this page but cannot see how to download.

Help, please.


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That's WO95/4027, a higher level than WO95/4027/6.

You could 'go to browse' from there to find /6 & /7 or follow my links in blue, earlier post.

There are two parts to each diary.


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There are two 1918 diaries for 7 battalion Canadian railway at TNA.

Phone playing up and can't copy the link but just search within WO95 (any of these references) and add 7 battalion Canadian railway as (exact word of phrase).

Should offer you the two diaries.

As there are so many different units you'll have to experiment with the search function, their diaries may not be indexed as you see them in the commandant's diary.

It's not looking promising for the POW diaries but there could be be higher level diaries and ones that cover transport and railways in general for Etaples.

Always interesting to see what comes out of research like this.


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Thanks so. much. I'll cross-check this information with what I found in the 7th CRT war diary.

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  • 1 month later...

just came across this subject and reminded me that there was a train crash between Frevent and Bonnieres and Im sure it was carrying Canadian soldiers during WW1. many were injured possibly killed when the stationary train was hit from behind by another train. Google isnt helping at the moment so cant post a link

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