The Wartime Memories Project - STALAG XXA POW Camp (357, Stalag Kopernikus)



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Trace your family's war heros POW Records now available online!

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Information.

The camp Stalag XXA (also called 357 in the early part of the war) was situated at Torun (Thorn) in Poland, where there were a number of defensive forts. The camp began begins in late 1939 with Polish POWs being held in Forts 9 and 10 which they converted to prisons.

The Headquarters of the camp was in Fort 17, until mid 1940, when a two-storey house opposite Fort 13, now in Okolna Street, was taken over. It was known as "Komendantury Stalag 20A".

Other forts were converted to hold the prisoners, Fort 11 (XI) named after Stefana Batorego, Fort 12 (XII) named after Wladyslawa Jagielty, Fort 13 (XIII) named after Karola Kniaziewicza held British POWs, Fort 14 (XIV) the hospital named after Jozefa Dwernickiego, Fort 15 (XV) named after Jaroslwaw Dabrowskiego held French POWs, Fort 16 (XVI) named ‘Kolejowy’ or ‘Railway’, and Fort 17 (XVII) named after Michala Zymierskiego were situated on the left bank of the River Vistula and were collectively known as Stalag 312. During the second half of 1941 Stalag 20A was enlarged. New barracks were built in the direction of Glinki to accommodate Russian POWs this new complex was known as Stalag 312/XXC.

Over 60,000 inmates passed through the Stalag 20A complex over a five year period, Poles, French, Belgians, British, Yugoslavs, Russians, Norwegians, Italians and Americans.

Those who met their deaths in Stalag XXA were buried in the garrison military cemetery except Russian POWs who were buried in a mass grave in the forest near Stalag 312, between Glinki and Cierpice. About 14,000 men are buried there.

The Thorn Complex was a sub-camp of the concentration camp in Sztutowic. It contained POW camps for non-commissioned officers and other ranks. The 357 designation was later transferred to Oerbke near Fallingbostel Click here for the page on that camp

The prisoners were liberated by the Americans in 1945.



I have been trying to trace my fathers wartime history. He was Peter Edwards of Sonning, Nr. Reading, Berks. In so far as I can tell, he was captured near Lille in France and then spent time in Poland at Stalag 20A (I think) until around January 1944. Peter was a keen footballer, could ice skate and was quite good at boxing if family photos are anything to go by. Dad also played several musical instruments such as mouthorgan, piano-accordian and the drums and up until the late 60's when he tried to compete with the tamla-motown groups, he could sing well too. Peter would have probably entertained the troops during the stay in Hitler's Hotels. If anyone remembers my Dad please contact me



My father was a prisoner in Stalag XXA (54) in Thorn. He was Henry Lee Spencer, born March 27, 1912, Plaistow, West Ham; died June 28, 2000 Duncan, British Columbia, Canada. Trooper 7881077, 2nd Battalion, Royal Tank Corps, 1929 - 1935. Trooper, R.T.R., Calais HQ 1st Armoured Division, captured May 25, 1940 during defense of Calais. Survived "death march" to Poland. Prisoner number 7358, Stalag XXA(54). "Escaped" to the East on Wednesday February 14, 1945 working his way down to Odessa where embarked on SS "Moreton Bay", March 7, 1945.

A couple of Dad's chums were Frank Bylett, Norwood, London SE25; and Bill Barlow, Salford, Lancs.

Like most men, Dad said little about his P.O.W. experiences. I remember him talking about: * how utterly unprepared the Brits were to defend Calais * how he saw one of his best friends killed by a Vichy/Nazi French sniper in one of the dock cranes at Calais (This would explain my Dad's lifelong antipathy for the French. I remember when I was a young man I asked Dad if he had ever shot a man. With a twinkle in his eye, he said "No - but I think I winged a Frenchman.") * how he was in a bunker when a German officer opened the hatch, pointed a Tommy gun at them, and said in good English, "It's all over for you chaps." * how he saw men, too exhausted to walk, murdered in cold blood in the May 1940 march to prison camp * how life as a prisoner was VERY unpleasant, and how men became very petty * how the Brits never doubted for a moment that they would win the war * how they starved in the last winter (1944 - 1945) * how the guards in the last winter (1944 - 1945) were mostly old men and youths * how Dad slapped around a young fellow who was ready to give up and die after years as a P.O.W. - a not uncommon problem * how prisoners "borrowed" a piano and installed it in a hut * how they listened to the BBC and the guards would ask them for the latest news * how he put sand in the tanks of German lorries headed for the Russian front, when he was assigned to petrol them up * how he respected the men of the regular German army * how Brits utterly despised the Nazis - as did most men of the regular German army * how the Polish resistance begged for help in January / February 1945, but British prisoners were warned not to help them * how hazardous was his escape through the Baltics to Odessa




This photo taken was taken at Stalag xxa I do not know the date but it shows my father Leslie William Bryan playing the drums. My father was captured in 1939 early 1940 I am not exactly certain as he passed away in 1970 and never said very much about the war, he had mentioned a few names but he only told me about Sam Kydd and some of the plays they put on.

M Bryan



My Dad Charley King of Old Ford The East End Of London is no longer with me after dieing of lung cancer 29 years ago and he is still dearly missed by me and all his Family. I must say before I start he was so Proud to have been in the H.L.I. and also meeting so many great guys in Glasgow, and while he was alive he always told me so many story about his time with the H L I David Niven really gave him the hump. His only reaming brother has recently died which has brought a very big hole in my life because he was the only one left to tell me all the stories about my dad and all the family life.

I was left alot of pictures regarding my Dads time in Stalag XXA. I have read and down loaded Private William Laws Diaries and on one day he describes an English solder being shot for smoking in a P O W Camp by a German solder, I have a photo of the Germans giving this poor sole a gun salute at his funeral. There are so many Faces, Football games Boxing Matches Concert shows, and unfortunately Funerals. Fortunately for him my Dad must have a few friends that he made while he was walking the P O W camps and a guest at Hitler's Hotels as we have no Photo's of him at all, only one and that was before the war, in full dress when he served in Egypt. He must given his to the boys who I've got photo's of, and he had a Photo of my mum which has the autograph of Marline Detrict on the back that's the only thing he could give her when she was there at his release. Any one who would be interested give me an E-Mail as its a shame for so much history to go to waste. As you know the Films never get it right!



I came across this photograph of my late uncle, Pte. 11719 Bill Clifton of the Worcestershire Regiment, amongst my mother's things after she died. The date on the back is March 1942.

He was in Stalag XXA (176) and is second from the left on the front row. He would have been about 23 when this was taken.

I remember him coming home to Malvern after the war, although I was only about 3 at the time.

The family and neighbours put flags across the street, and there was another soldier with him, but I can't remember a name. Perhaps someone remembers them, or this picture ?

Bill Clifton, 2nd from left front row. Ernie Cameron, 3rd from left in back row.



UPDATE: My Dad, Ernie Cameron, was a friend of Bill Clifton and he took Dad home in Malvern to have a bath before they got sent abroad. Dad recognised himself at once on the above photo, he is third from the left.

Ernie CameronErnie Cameron

Dad was captured in May 1940 and taken to Stalag XXA but most of the time he and many others were sent to out to work on the roads and the farms. The work they did was hard and no amenities, not a lot of food not much of anything. He was also on the march in 1945 where he saw some dreadful things, Dysentry,starvation, frost bite, it was about 800 to 900 miles, was'nt it ,up the Baltics and down them. He recalls the Germans being terrified of the Russians finding them, as Dad said the "Russians" had no discipline at all. The air cracked it was so cold, they starved, toes dropped off and many, many, dying along the way.

There are lots of things now Dad tells me, if I ask him but it is only now not when I was younger, it holds too many bad memories for him. He says he can't believe it actually happened, that he actually did it, his family didn't recognise him when he got home, he was that thin, and now he is saying, what was it all for.

I've enclosed the photos in case anyone recognises themselves. Dad knows the faces but not the names. Could anyone help?

Ernie Cameron 3rd from left

Ernie Cameron

Ernie Cameron

Ernie Cameron, far right marked with an X.

Thank you very much. Dad enjoyed the site, we printed it off for him so he could read it quietly in his own time.

Sue Black



I am researching the story of Petty Officer Maurice Barnes of the submarine HMS Seal whose family lived in this village (Bergh Apton, Norfolk). Maurice was captured when HMS Seal surrendered on 5 May 1940. He was sent with other crew to Stalag XXa. He escaped in Summer 1940 but was killed by Russian guards on the Russian/Polish border on 9 September 1940. I would greatly apprecaite hearing from anyone who srved with Maurice, or who can shed any light on his life in Stalag XXa, his escape and his death. I would particularly like to make contact with a Warrant Officer of a Hussar Regiment who escaped with Maurice and who was probably the only witness to his death. Presumably he made it home to report the circumstances. His own story, or contact with his family, would be a great joy to us.

Bergh Apton Local History Group.



I have in my 2 letters from Stalag XXA, one from a J Lilley, the other from a George Hatt. The letters were never delivered to the family, but I found them at a stamp auction in Canada. If anyone knows of the families of these 2 men I would like to forward the letters on to them. They may be 60 years late getting there, but would be good if they arrive at their rightful home.

Jim McNaughton





My late grandfather George Edward Parr was held in Stalag XXa for much of the war. Unfortunately he rarely talked about his time there and all I have to go on is the few photographs that I have. I have learnt more through your website than I have from any other source, so thank you. My grandfather's name is on the list of prisoners as George A Parr, his middle name was actually Edward. I believe he was taken at Dunkirk but do not know what regiment he belonged to, can anybody help me to find this information? I know that he was held prisoner for at least four years but I am not sure if he was at stalag xxa for all of that time. All the photos that were sent from and to home all have the xxa mark on them.

I would be so interested to hear from anybody who knew my granddad or can give me any more information. He sometimes used to talk about how the men were marched for long periods of time, so I wonder if he was part of the forced march. He came from the Birmingham area and often told us that he used to be one of the camps barbers. Would this jog anybodies memory? I have some wonderful group photographs that were sent home from the camp.

Linda Ward.



I am trying to find information on my grandfather who died in the 1970s who was intered at Stalag XXA his name was Henry "Harry" George Cooper. I do not know his regiment but know he was with the rear guard at Dunkirk.

Adam Cooper



My Father was Frederick Willam Mitchell, he was a private in the Royal Ordnance Corps. He was captured at St Valery and was at stalag xxA.
This is a picture of him when he joined up.

The letter that was sent to his parents from the home office saying that he was at stalag XXA

He died in 1976 I was only seventeen, he didn't often talk of his time in the Army, but I do remember him telling me that he worked on farms while a POW and walked off a few times, he also told me of the long march he had to do to get to the POW camp.

Mark Mitchell



A 'Prison of Make Believe' - A story taken from a newspaper cutting of my cousins POW memories.

There were times when he looked through the barbed wire of the German prisn camp and wondered if he would end his days there.... Moments during an incredible 800 mile forced walk through the terrible months of a Polish winter when starvation made him want to lie down and die - and stay there in the snow. Yet Christopher Preston always found the will to go on. But behind that smile, he used to have before his death, is a tale of courage and fortitude, of a man incarcerated in Stalag 20. He was captured on the beaches of Dunkirk.

However his love of music and acting kept him sane. He as his fellow POW's put on shows in Bromberg and Graudenz, and his greatset wish was to once again meet up with his fellow POW's, such as Stan Ibbotson, a church organist from Leeds, Londoner's Lesley 'Monty' Banks, John Savage, Harry Stafford, Sid Steer from Kent and Eric goble. A key figure in the prison theatre group, Harry Stafford, a Saville Row tailor, made many of costumes. Many of the POW's stayed sane by playing at make believe. Many tried to escape but Chris never did. As the Russia's advanced so the POW's were forced to march from Stalag 20, 800 miles, through a Polish winter, sleepig in the open and eating pig swill to servive. Over 700 men set out, some 400 dying on route to Germany. in Triere, Germany, Chris and his friends were liberated by the Americans - THEIR WAR WAS OVER.

Please contact me if you have any info on Chris or his fellow POW's mentioned in this story.

Michael Preston



On Friday 2 July (until Monday 5 July) my son and I are taking my father to Gdansk to revisit his wartime POW sites. Dad is Frank William Biddlecombe. Now 85, he was a Private in the 6th Batt Royal West Kents. They were sent to France in the BEF and were taken prisoners virtually en masse at Doullens fighting what turned out to a rearguard for Dunkirk. A few weeks later he arrived at Thorn Stalag XXA. He was soon moved out to a satellite camp in Pietsendorf (Piecki) a suburb of Danzig (Gdansk) and from there engaged in his trade as a carpenter iaw the Geneva Convention working in Sopot for several years. In the last 12 months he has started talking about his experiences to his grandchildren. My sister and I have never heard any of this and the horrors he and his colleagues endured are mind bending! Thankfully we are recording this and I am taking a tape recorder with me to capture as much as possible. May I ask if anyone has any experience of visiting Poland and Thorn (Torun) in particular? Would much appreciate any tips; we plan to visit Thorn, Pietsendorf and possible Bromberg (Bydgoszcz) all places dad has talked about.

Tom Biddlecombe





My Father, Walter Grant is 5th from right on the top row. He was a Private in the RAOC. In the same picture is my StepFather, Eric Tuckerman 4th from right in the middle row. He was a Private in the RASC.

I hope other visitors will find their loved ones on the photograph and possibly put names to faces.

James



Here is a transcibed account of my Father in Law's diary of the forced march from Stalag XXa to Germany from January to April 1945. Charlie died in 2002 and his diary only came to light shortly before his death. Like so many he never spoke of his experiences as a prisoner of war but was heartened to rediscover his diary.

A Diary of Charles Redrup from 1st Jan 1945 to Repatriation on 22nd April 1945.

  • MONDAY 1ST JAN 1945. Spent most of the day in bed reading. Wrote letters to mum and Joan.
  • TUESDAY 2ND JAN Had a hair cut today.
  • WEDNESDAY 3RD JAN Saw the doctor, must go back again.
  • THURSDAY 4TH JAN The boys for repatriation went on their way to England today. Lucky devils! Red Cross wp. 1 Canadian 30 yrs.
  • FRIDAY 5TH JAN Done my washing today.
  • SATURDAY 6TH JAN Lazing about.
  • SUNDAY 7th JAN Had a bath. Wrote card to Mr Turner.
  • MONDAY 8TH JAN Washed the collars of my two tuniques.
  • TUESDAY 9TH JAN Saw the doctor again today. Got another week of indoor work.
  • WEDNESDAY 10TH JAN Met Emrys Williams again today after three years. He is in our room.
  • THURSDAY 11TH JAN Done nothing but laze about.
  • FRIDAY 12TH JAN Its been snowing all day and very bad under foot.
  • SATURDAY 13TH JAN Ginger started to have his teeth out today and had to go in dark.
  • SUNDAY 14TH JAN Had a bath this morning. Wrote letter to mum.
  • MONDAY 15TH JAN Done my washing.
  • TUESDAY 16TH JAN Saw the doctor this morning and got light work. Must go back friday night.
  • WEDNESDAY 17TH JAN Got stung for a small job this morning.
  • THURSDAY 18TH JAN Had to go out on a working party today. All workers were recalled at dinner time except Stallag workers. All confined to camp. Issue of 25 figs . are under 1 hours notice to move.
  • FRIDAY 19TH JAN Still confined to camp. Air raids all day. Bulk issue red cross.
  • SATURDAY 20TH JAN Up at 3 am and started to evacuate. Marching all day, and spent all night in an open field. It was too cold to sleep. We were building fires all night to keep warm. No sleep. 3/4 loaf.
  • SUNDAY 21ST JAN On our way again at 6.00am. We came through Bromburg and spent the night in an old factory. We managed to get a good sleep tonight.
  • MONDAY 22ND JAN On the move again, all aches and pains. We slept the night in a farm, so I started to milk the cows. Immerheim .
  • TUESDAY 23RD JAN On waking up this morning all our guards were gone and the Russians are here. We moved into an empty house so I'm now OK! The Germans recaptured us again at 4.00pm. Started to march again. Vandsburger .
  • WEDNESDAY 24TH JAN Stopped one day then moved to Vandeburger .
  • THURSDAY 25th JAN Moved off this morning and stopped at Flatow . 1/3 of a loaf.
  • FRIDAY 26TH JAN Left Flatow at 1000pm and moved all night.
  • SATURDAY 27TH JAN We are now resting in a church at Jacov . Moved out at 3.00 pm on the way for Bankenbrugge and stopped in a farm.
  • SUNDAY 28TH JAN Stopped all day in the farm at about half way to Bankenbrugge.
  • MONDAY 29TH JAN On our way again at 8.00 am. and stopped over night in an officers camp at Bankenbrugge. 3/4 of a loaf.
  • TUESDAY 30TH JAN On our way at 7.30am. and landed at a big German Barracks in Grosse Varn Linde. More food than we could eat! Bags of spuds and 2 loaves a man.
  • WEDNESDAY 31ST JAN We moved out at 5.00 am and stopped overnight at Bon Walde. We moved into Bon Walde and then had to go 5 kilometers back for billets.
  • THURSDAY 1ST FEB On our way again at 8.30 am and stopped once more in a farm near Bad Polgin.
  • FRIDAY 2ND FEB We are still at the same farm. Stopped here all day.
  • SATURDAY 3RD FEB Marched to within 6 kilometers of Schivelbein. Stopped overnight in a farm. We have to carry our packs now as it is too wet for sledges to go any more.
  • SUNDAY 4TH FEB On the move again. Had 1/2 a loaf of bread at Schivelbein. Stopped at a farm at Sturgardt . 1/2 a loaf.
  • MONDAY 5TH FEB On our way once more and stopped at a farm 6 kilometers past Plame .
  • TUESDAY 6TH FEB We are now resting in the same farm.
  • WEDNESDAY 7TH FEB On our way again. We have done about 15 kilometeres.
  • THURSDAY 8TH FEB Done about 25 kilometers and stopped 6 km before Wolbin. A big air raid during the night. Our bed was rocking.
  • FRIDAY 9TH FEB We stopped tonight at a marine barracks at Misroy. We got a pea soup here. We were in sight of the sun today.
  • SATURDAY 10TH FEB We crossed the river in a ferry at Swinermunde.
  • SUNDAY 11TH FEB Stopped today at a farm near Usedone after 25 km.
  • MONDAY 12TH FEB We are having a badly needed rest today. The boys are in a very bad state.
  • TUESDAY 13th FEB 18 km today
  • WEDNESDAY 14TH FEB We stopped tonight near Jarmin after 18 km.
  • THURSDAY 15TH FEB We stopped at a farm near Pemmin where we had an issue of a few spuds.
  • FRIDAY 16TH FEB We arrived at a small village, Wagum . We have noe been promised a good rest.
  • SATURDAY 17TH FEB We are now resting. We got a cup full of soup and a loaf between 10 men. Issue of spuds.
  • SUNDAY 18TH FEB Still resting. Soup and spuds. 2 loaves between 5 men. We finished the last of our tea today. Am beginning to feel a bit weak.
  • MONDAY 19th FEB Still here.
  • TUESDAY 20TH FEB We have now been here four days. We have received half a loaf, 4 cups of soup, and a few pig spuds. Haven't had a smoke for two weeks.
  • WEDNESDAY 21ST FEB On our way again. Done 15 kilometers and stopped 6k from the town of Malchin
  • THURSDAY 22ND FEB 18k today, through the town of Tetenow, stopping just outside it.
  • FRIDAY 23RD FEB Moved on again and stopped just outside the town of Gustnow. 20k.
  • SATURDAY 24th FEB Resting here today.
  • SUNDAY 25TH FEB 18 km today.
  • MONDAY 26TH FEB Done 28k today and stopped at a farm 6k past Steinburg.
  • TUESDAY 27th FEB Resting today. Now two days without rations.
  • WEDNESDAY 28TH FEB 20k today to the village of Cambes, County of Schwerin. Had a jolly good soup today.
  • THURSDAY 29th FEB ??? 25 km to the village of Walsmahle, running all day.
  • FRIDAY 1st MARCH 25k again today to a farm 6k past Wittenburg. Very strong wind.
  • SATURDAY 2nd MARCH Resting today. Found my first louse again today.
  • SUNDAY 3rd MARCH Still resting.
  • MONDAY 4th MARCH Only 6 km today.
  • TUESDAY 5th MARCH Still resting, but then done another 20 km to the village of Grusse. We are now living on 2 slices of bread and a drop of watery soup.
  • WEDNESDAY 6th MARCH/THURSDAY 7th MARCH/FRIDAY 8th MARCH At Grusse.
  • SATURDAY 9th MARCH We are now stopping in the village of Grusse. I went for a job today chopping wood for a bit of extra food.
  • SUNDAY 10th MARCH Still here. Worked half a day.
  • MONDAY 11th MARCH Same as yesterday. We got red cross today. 1 parcel -100 American cigs between 3 men.
  • TUESDAY 12th MARCH/WEDNESDAY 13th MARCH Ditto
  • THURSDAY 14th MARCH No work today so I did some hair cutting for a few smokes.
  • FRIDAY 15th MARCH Work again making a farthing in the woods. We got spuds just for dinner. I got some jolly good soup of some.............. that were there.
  • SATURDAY 16th MARCH Chopping wood again on the old job.
  • SUNDAY 17th MARCH No work
  • MONDAY 18th MARCH We are on our way once more. Done 30 km to the town of Neu Haus. One of our boys got a 3 kilo loaf of bread.
  • TUESDAY 19th MARCH 26 km to a farm 6 km from the town of Domitx.
  • WEDNESDAY 20th MARCH Done 30 km passing over the river and on through the town of Dannenburg .
  • THURSDAY 21st MARCH We are now resting after having done 85 km in the last three days.
  • FRIDAY 22nd MARCH On our way again. 18km to the village of Borg County of Valgen.
  • SATURDAY 23rd MARCH 20 km today to within 6 km of Valgen . A Cut in the bread today to 6 in a loaf.
  • SUNDAY 24th MARCH 20 km today into the County of Celle .
  • MONDAY 25th MARCH Restday. Had a wash and a shave.
  • TUESDAY 26th MARCH 18 km today. 5 km from the town of Celle. RAF in good form.
  • WEDNESDAY 27th MARCH Big surprise. After doing 5 km we are now waiting in a cattle truck for the train at 6 pm.
  • THURSDAY 28th MARCH Arrived at the town of Emmenthal , after passing through the town of Hamelin which was in ruins.
  • FRIDAY 29th MARCH We are now waiting in a farm until we are deloused, and then going to live in a sugar factory. 2 slices of bread and half a bowl of watery soup. Had some pig meal.
  • SATURDAY 30th MARCH Still waiting to go to the ...billetts. An American bomber came down near here yesterday. The crew taken prisoner.
  • SUNDAY 31st MARCH Much activity in the village making road blocks. Olly, Jack, Alf, and me have decided to spend our next Easter together.
  • MONDAY 1st APRIL Spent nearly all day in bed. Very very hungry.
  • TUESDAY 2nd APRIL Up at 4am. Went to Hamelin for a delouse. The town was bombed before all the boys got back.
  • WEDNESDAY 3rd APRIL A big party went to the town of Hamelin to help clean up after the bombing. When the party got back we all got made to pack. We marched all night.
  • THURSDAY 4th APRIL Arrived at the town of Kaffenburgen at 4am. We then managed to get a bit of sleep. We have now had no food for two days.
  • FRIDAY 5th APRIL Done 20 km today. We were given some 8 spuds. 6 km from Bodenburg.
  • SATURDAY 6th APRIL 25 km today to the village of Badenstein. No food all day. We have been promised soup in three hours time.
  • SUNDAY 7th APRIL Done 25 km today. The Yanks are supposed to be 60 km behind us.
  • MONDAY 8th APRIL Another 20 km today.
  • TUESDAY 9th APRIL 25 km today. One of our boys died today!
  • WEDNESDAY 10th APRIL We heard Yankie tanks in the distance today. The guards are all scared. 81 days on the road. About 690 miles all told.
  • THURSDAY 11th APRIL Magdeburg Ummendorf 30 km. As soon as the tanks came through they threw us out cigs and eats. We are now having a most wonderful time! The greatest day of my life. The guards left in the night and at 11 am the Americans came through and released us. [The American 9th and 2nd armed division]. We are now eating and smoking like lords.
  • FRIDAY 12th APRIL Have been out in the village today getting eggs and other things. 96 eggs and 8 lbs of butter all told.
  • SATURDAY 13th APRIL Went out and got myself a new pair of shoes. Transport came at 2 pm and took us back to a collecting camp. I got a photo taken today.
  • SUNDAY 14th APRIL Got registered today and passed the doctor after dinner. Now waiting for the planes. Sitting in the picture hall.
  • MONDAY 15th APRIL Names were called for the planes but mine was not there. Perhaps tomorrow. Wrote letter to mum and dad. Took some more photos.
  • TUESDAY 16th APRIL Have been listening to names all day, but still no luck. Jack Hales, one of our mates was lucky.
  • WEDNESDAY 17th APRIL Still no luck but we are now put into groups, so stand a good chance tomorrow.
  • THURSDAY 18th APRIL No planes came today at all. I went and saw a film show.
  • FRIDAY 19th APRIL We have just been told to stand by for a plane. It has not turned up.
  • SATURDAY 20th APRIL It has been raining all day and still no planes have turned up. Went out this evening and got two rabbits for dinner tomorrow. Wrote to mum and Joan.
  • SUNDAY 21st APRIL We have just had rabbit spuds and gravy. It was grand. 6 pm. I am now on the plane on my way home. Landed at 10 pm. Have just had a bath and am writing this in bed.


Names and Adresses of Charly's friends on this trek:
  • Malcolm McIntyre. Dunoon, Scotland
  • Michael Flynn. Belfast Northern Ireland.
  • George Lewis. Wrexham Wales
  • Alex Missen 2 London SE1
  • W Evans Middlesex
  • Fred Brewster Kentish Town London NW5
  • Alfred Olsen North Shields Durham
  • Jack Hales Berkhampstead Herts
  • Frederick Edwards High Wycombe Bucks.

Alan Scott [Son in Law]



My father Robert (Bob) Diamond was a POW in Torun (thorn) I dont know which fort. He told me he worked on the river, moving bags of sugar to Germany from Poland. He talked very little of this time, but we believe he was captured at Dunkirk. He sadly died in 2002 and I would be VERY grateful for any information or memories of him. He was of medium height with red hair and came from Glasgow

Eleanor Wood



My late Father James Forbes (Pongo) Adams (Cameron Highlanders) was captured with the 51st Highland Division at St Valery. He ended up a POW in Poland (Stalag XXA and XXB).

He came from Nairn and had joined the TA before the war. As a drummer in the Pipeband, he ended up with the BEF in France.

There is a photo on the Wartime Memories Stalag XXB web page, captioned "Photo`s of my father Kenneth Herbert Warner of the Buffs (marked with blue dot) and other prisoners at Stalag XXB". My Dad is standing at the end of the row next to Kenneth Warner.

Dad did attempt escape twice, once in Holland on the long march to Germany, and I believe the other time was when he was at Stalag XXA (Fort 13). He ended up at Stalag XXB. It was hard to get him to talk about his experiences. As a child, I can vividly remember him waking up screaming as a result of the nightmares (right up until the early 60's). He once let his guard down and told me how one night he awoke thinking he was dyingas he was completely soaked in blood. Sadly it was the chap in the bunk above him who had taken his own life.

The route details of the POW Forced March from St.Valery to South Holland in June 1940 are as follows

  • June 12 St. Valery
  • June 13 Yvetot
  • June 14 Forges
  • June 15 Formarie
  • June 16 Legionneres
  • June 17 Airaines
  • June 18 Doumatre
  • June 19 Doulons
  • June 20 St. Pol
  • June 21 St. Pol
  • June 22 Bethune
  • June 23 Seclin
  • June 24 Tournai (Belgium)
  • June 25 Renaix
  • June 26 Ninove
  • June 27 Aalst
  • June 28 Lokeren
  • June 29 Moerbrike
(Approx 250 Miles)

James Murray Adams



Photos from Stalag XXa and sub camps.






I have very few memories or photographs of my grandfather, Robert Miskimmin of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Whilst piecing together some information and browsing your site I have seen him in the photograph above, it's amazing! He is standing in the center at the back



Camp 2A><br>
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Camp 2



My father, Ronald Victor Page, lives with us in North Bay, Ontario. He wrote a book about his wartime experiences, "European Tour, 1939-1945". It was printed in a very limited edition (12 copies; one for each family member). There is a lot more to his story than he has revealed in his book. He has told us many humorous stories and some very sad one's since he finished the book in 1997. We are trying to encourage him to document more of his experiences and have the book re-written with our help.

Ron, a member of the East Riding Yeomanry, was taken prisoner near Watou, Belgium on May 30, 1940. After six weeks of being marched around France and then following a long train ride, he ended up at Stalag XXA, Thorn. About a month later his group was split up and he was transferred to Stalag XXB farm / labour camps, where he stayed for the next few years. On Jan 14, 1945, his group left Deutsch Eylau on foot on a journey through Poland and Germany. The estimated 800 mile march ended near Bitterfeld, Germany, on April 25, 1945, when they met up with US forces. Ron sketched out the general route they took. (See map below.)



Ron would enjoy hearing from any old comrades who may have taken "the tour' with him. He may be contacted as follows: ron.pageATsympatico.ca. or gffs.gpATsympatico.ca.

Gerry Page


My father, Thomas Tracey, was in the Argylls, captured at Dunkirk and imprisoned at Stalag XX (A) 3.. He never talked very much about his time there and I have been fascinated to learn what things were link thanks to your project. I have a Daily Record from April 14th 1945, with his picture as also Private Spratt of the Argylls and Private Michael McCourt of the Seaforths. The paper also tells the story of his return home with Privates Michael McCourt of Govan, Joseph Young of Durham, George O'Neil of Ramsgate and Fred Johnston of Stepney. They had escaped from the German prison camp at Hildeheim near Hanover, which they reached after a terrible march from East Prussia and Silesia - over 700 miles in ten weeks. I would be interested to hear from anyone with any further details.

James Tracey



An uncle of mine, William Dodds, is recorded as having been a POW at Stalag XXA. He had the dubious distinction of being gassed in WWI and then of spending most of WWII as a POW. He was captured at Dunkirk in 1940. He was always regarded as something of a black sheep and his father's only reported comment on hearing of his capture was that 'Hitler would have to watch out.'

Although I remember him, most of what I know about his experiences is second hand. I was told that the POWs had a radio under the floorboards which kept them informed of progress thoughout the War. This story may be somewhat exaggerated in the telling, although I see from the information on the Web that the POWs certainly did hear about the end of the War before their German captors. I also heard that he had a Polish girl friend who used to help with supplies of food.

I had heard he was on a march out of Poland at the end of the War, which is presumably the one described by many of the other POWs. He apparently jumped into a ditch in the course of the march, but this only resulted in his being liberated after the other POWs. My father met him at Newcastle Central Station about a week after everyone else had already arrived home. He got frostbite on the march and in later life had to have the affected leg amputated.

It is a long shot, but it would be interesting to know if this stirs any memories with anyone else. William Dodds came from Bedlington, Northumberland, and was with the Pioneer Corps. He would be in his early 40s when he was taken prisoner.

Chris Fisher



My father John Victor Goodwin, Royal Horse Artillery, he was captured on Crete after being shot by German parachutists. He was a prisoner in Stalag xxa Thorn Poland from 1941 to 1945. he had a great friend in Sgt Dennis Glover who he met in the camp. I have a few photographs one with Sam Kydd appearing in a camp play, he managed to escape on the march with Dennis Glover and was released by the Russians. His POW number was 25931, sadly he died on June 6th 2004 very fittingly. Sadly before we found this web site. If there is still anyone out there who knew my father as a prisoner I would love to hear from you, as I have lots of items from the camp and lots of memories. Look forward to hearing from you

Paul Goodwin



Fort XI today

Rings found on Fort XI

Rings found on Fort XI, (why were prisoners making these rings?)

Home made cup found on Fort XI

Selection of buttons found on Fort XI

Mess kits etc. found at Fort XI

Mess kits etc. found at Fort XI

POW Dog Tags

More recovered artifacts

Fort XI

Marcin Wisniewski with some of his discoveries at the site of Stalag XXA.

I live in Grudziadz - Graudenz; for 8 years I was study and lived in Torun- Thorn; and.. my hobby is searching with metal detector; a lot of people search coins, militaries or other things, I am searching mostly stalags.. for some years I was found a lot things who has belong for prisoners Stalag XXA and Stalag 312 in Thorn;

Your page is very good and very interesting; in polish internet lack information on this theme; its amazing to say (on yours photographs) people, who leave there..

greetings to you from Poland Marcin Wisniewski



I am trying to find information about Feldwebel Benz ,from friends or relatives, who was in charge of Fort 15 POW Stalag 20A (He was a British POW in the WW1) and in charge of Fort 15 when I was an Australian POW there in 1941 to 1943.

Faithfully Yours

Jack M Walker



Can anyone help me trace fellow members of the regiment who were confined with my father as a POW in 1940-45. My father - Private 6286696 Sydney Grindy of the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). He served with the 1st, 2nd and 5th Battalion between 1937-45.

He was taken prisoner at Le Milliard on 24th May 1940. He was confined in Stalag XXA at Thorn (9/6/40 - 16/4/41) Stalag XXB at Marienberg (18/4/41 - 17/5/43) Stalag XXA at Thorn (27/11/43 - 23/1/45). He was also posted to the following work camps - Elbing Camp from 20/5/41 - 17/2/42 and Konitz Camp from 11/4/44 - 23/1/45. I am partculary keen to trace any members of the regiment who may have been confined with my father during this period.

I wish I had listened more to my father on the few occasions he spoke about his experiences in the camps. Much of what I have read on the memories page (which is excellent) I remember my father speaking about when I was a young boy. I only wish I had been able to record this information, as many of the contributors to your excellent memories page have already done. As a family we are desperate to contact people - of any nationality - who may have know my father during his time as a POW. Can any one help in some way or offer us some advise.

Susan Grindy and Ian Grindy



H E ('Joe') Norman on the right
letter from Joe

I'm writing about my uncle H E ('Joe') Norman who was at Stalag XXA, having been part of the Dunkirk rearguard with the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry and taken P.o.W then. I attach a photo sent to his mother (my grandmother) in March 1943, with a copy of the reverse. Uncle Joe has only recently started to talk about his wartime experiences and I now hope to obtain a lot more information which I hope to pass on in due course.

Anything regarding the other man in the photo above (Joe is pictured right) or people who knew him (or of him) would be appreciated. John Bushby



My Grandfather, John Thomas Patrick - Lincolnshire Reg - was held at Stalag 20A after being captured in Norway.

He would never speak of his time there to me and even refused to send for his medals. Sadly he passed away in 1992 and is very much missed (though I now have the medals). I would love to find out more about his life there (Nan has just given me a box full of letters and photos which has fired up my interest). I would love to hear from anyone can remember him or any of his friends.

Lisa



I have had the most exciting morning after finding a picture of my dad on your website. Dads name is Ken Wall, he was a prisoner at Stalag xxa in camp 13A after being captured at Dunkirk. The picture you have of the cast of a play performed at camp 13A shows my dad in the front row and second from the right. (See below) It was a wonderful suprise when Dad saw the picture and it brought back so many memories. A couple of questions. Does anybody remember the title of the play? Does anybody remember seeing the play? Does anybody remember my dad? Are any of his fellow cast mates still around. We would dearly love to hear from anyone with any answers to any of these questions. Does anybody from camp 13a remember the Saturday night concert parties in the camp and an act my dad and his mate Ted Hitchens did called Wall & Hitchens. We can't thank you enough for this great suprise and your terrific web site.

Regards Phil & Ken Wall



My husband's grandfather is Jozef Ciesielski. He was captured by German forces while defending Poland on March 17, 1939. He was interred in Stallag XXA and Stallag VIG. His numbers were 2426. In May 1941 he was transferred from one to the other, but in what order I am unsure. Joe passed away in 1996 and never really talked about his experience. In doing genealogy work on my husband's family, I have been very interested in trying to keeping Joe's memory alive for being one of the survivors.



Harold Astbury

My late father was a prisoner in Stalag XXA (3A) in Poland following his capture at Dunkirk. He joined the territorial battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment after the Munich crisis along with pals in their local rugby club in Coventry. As L/Cpl Harold Astbury 511320 he went to France in January 1940.

He was first wounded by "friendly fire" when he was struck in the head by shrapnel from French anti aircraft fire. His steel helmet saved him but to the end of his life he had pronounced scars in his scalp, which we would feel as children. He returned to active service just before the German invasion. He recalled the advance into Belgium was dispiriting as they passed through the cemeteries of the Great War. He told the tale of meeting Lord Gort, the C in C while his section were digging a tank trap. After explaining to the General about what would happen with the trap when the Germans came, a junior staff officer piped up at the back. "The fellows talking as though they'll be here next week" Which was, my father said, was precisely what did happen.

At Dunkirk he said his unit along with others formed a defensive line on a canal on the Franco Belgian border. The next day they found the other units had been withdrawn. The Germans arrived and after a firefight he was wounded by a bullet passing through his top lip and he passed out from loss of blood. He, along with all those who did not get away then passed through Holland where he was seen by representatives of the Red Cross. He was given a pencil and a scrap of paper to put his name rank a serial number. This eventually reached his mother attached to a Red Cross postcard saying he had been seen and was alright, although now prisoner 12197. Others of his regiment were not so fortunate and were summarily executed by the Germans after capture.

In Poland he was in a fortress built on the old German/Russian border. He said that at one time the Allied prisoners did not occupy the whole fort but that there were displaced Polish families there as well. A sad story he told me many years later was of how the prisoners were exercised by being marched round the top of the fort and that a prisoner had committed suicide by jumping from the fortress wall. He was always disparaging of the prisoner of war films made after the war as they always portrayed the life of officers and not that of other ranks who were required to work by the Germans. Therefore plans to escape could only be hatched in what free time they had. Certainly there were successes in getting home.

escape

This picture is one I think was sent to my father by two escapees. The innocent scene of two friends fishing is in fact the disguise they used. He also kept to the end of his life a corner of a postcard with an address in Lisbon, which showed someone had reached neutral Portugal. He also had his City and Guilds certificate for Spanish "place of examination Stalag XX". It was part of an escape plan. They would all learn Spanish and pass themselves off as volunteers for the "Blau" division, who were Spanish Nazi sympathisers fighting in Russia, returning on leave to Spain, which was then neutral. There was also tragic irony, two of those who knew to escape returned to active service and one was killed in North Africa and one in the Far East. He also talked of the mysterious repatriation of a prisoner nicknamed "the thin man" as he looked like the actor in the thin man films.

Prisoners set to manual labour. He told of working at the Christiana tabacfabrik packing tobacco for Germans on the Eastern front. They brought tobacco from the Balkans in cattle trucks and mixed it with a little Virginia tobacco bought before the war. The cattle trucks had been used to move animals and the prisoners were required to sweep everything out of the trucks. This was done with great care so that many a German light up a pipeful of cow dung in Russia! Before the war he was in the post office and also worked sorting prisoners mail and I have been contacted through the website by some one who can remember working with him.

The prisoners were paid in camp money for this work but the War Office then deducted this from their Army pay accruing in England.

I also attach photos of my father as a prisoner and of a play put on in the camp. The photo in the contribution by Bill Overy is from the same set. My father is on the back row third from the right in a light jacket. Of the actors he only recalled Sam Kydd who was famous in the sixties as "Orlando" on ITV.

camp show
cast
poster for show
Soldiers in Stalag XXA

He said that from the camp they could see the vapour trails of the German experimental launching of V" rockets from Peenamunde on the Baltic but discounted as fantasy the Polish reports of the Germans firing railway engines into space.

Finally the war turned our way and one day in June as he travelled on a train he could see the Poles barely able to control themselves with the news of the Allied invasion of France. As the Russians closed in the prisoners were marched west. By that time the guards consisted of hard-line Nazis too wounded to return to the front and very elderly men whose only skill was an ability to speak English. They were more concerned to reach the western allies and escape the Russians.

He was finally liberated one month short of five years after his capture. The relived German guards were last seen going off to captivity on an American tank. He was given a "K" ration by the Americans, which contained a hairbrush and shaving kit including a shaving brush, which he then used to the end of his life. The only items he was able to "liberate" were a Nazi party swastika armband and a large bottle of De Kyper cherry brandy. However it was so cold this froze in barracks they were billeted in and the next day a sticky mess was across the barrack floor as the bottle had split

While a prisoner a young woman from Coventry wrote to him, they had known each other slightly before the war. Her letters to the camp came in a distinctive peach envelope, each of which he kept until the march to the west.

He returned to England and they married in the autumn of 1945.

I also see from the site there were many Scots from the 51st Highland Brigade prisoner as well and as a child there were many visits to old comrades on our summer holidays to Scotland. He also talked about being kept in the forts round Thorn (Torun) and being exercised on the parapets, but that also Polish refugees/displaced families would occupy parts of the forts. Until I read the contributions I did not realise how large the march West had been. He described being on the road with a general stream of refugees including a circus at one stage. Those guarding them by then were either disabled hardline Nazis or elderly men he portrayed to me as being like private Godfreys more concerned about finding and surrendering to the Americans before the Soviets got them.

His grandson idolized his grandfather and I am sure would welcome any information from anyone who knew him during this time. Mark Astbury



My late Uncle Cpl Ted Sinnott, born 1921, Widnes, Cheshire (then Lancashire) taken pow at raid on St Nazaire, France 28/3/1942. Eventually transferred to lamsdorf 8b / 344 around June 1942 before transfer to Stalag XXA Thorun, Poland (1944) and eventually Stalag 357 Fallingbostel, Germany and liberation April 1945. He served with South Lancs Regt. before joining No 2 Commando in late 1940 after surviving Dunkirk. It would be great if anyone reading this knew of my uncle/or about life in this camp, and could contact me via e-mail.

Regards, John Sinnott



Jack Henry Perks (Taffy) Welsh Guards. Caught in Bolougne May 28th 1940. POW No: 8027 STALAG XXA AND STALAG 13 Working parties at Bruss Sept 1940 to October 1941 Also at Dorf Waldorf 1942 to 1944 - Farm Work Does anyone have any memory of me?

Jack Perks



Pte Bill Overy

6288279 Private William Henry Donald (Bill) Overy was in the British Army, serving with the 5th Buffs, an East Kent Regiment. He joined the Territorials on the 3rd May 1939 when he was 24 and in April 1940 he went to France. In May they took up positions along the ARRAS-DOULLENS road to defend the town of Doullens. They had no backup troops to their rear or any aircraft for support. They had three Bren guns for which there had been little training and three 0.55 inch anti-tank rifles and one 2 inch mortar which unfortunately had no ammunition. All this to stem the onslaught of the 218 tanks of the 6th Panzer division, which overrun them on the 20 May 1940 and he was captured.

Following his capture they were all herded into a field with thousands of others of all nationalities where they stayed for about 3 or 4 days. When they moved off they received a black loaf, about 9 inches long, to share between six of them. They marched on for days often raiding empty houses to get food and wine to go with the turnips they collected from the fields. Eventually they arrived at a railway siding, where they were loaded into cattle trucks, 40 to a truck, with no ventilation, except for a narrow window about a foot square. They traveled for days through Luxembourg. Germany and Poland some days they ate and some days they didn't.

They arrived at Thorne in Poland to Prisoner of War camp Stalag XXA which was a large fort but the food was still bad consisting of one litre of watery soup at mid day and at tea time a loaf between five of them and ersatz coffee made from acorns.

POW`s Stalag XXa

About 20 men all from the Buffs, were sent to DANZIG in EAST PRUSSIA to work on farms and from there they were allowed to write a card home every two weeks. By Christmas 1940 they were moved to Stalag XXB at MARIENBURG in EAST PRUSSIA. It was very cold and the snow was deep and with no greatcoats it was very bad but for Christmas they had their first Red Cross parcels. They returned to Stalag XXA in the spring and then in the summer of 1941 moved to a new camp outside Thorne.

POW`s Stalag XXA

Parcels started to arrive from the Red Cross and from home, so what with these and they exchanged coffee, tea and chocolate with the Poles for white bread, eggs and cakes, life was fair. They got the bread and eggs past the guards by making pockets inside the lining of their coats and dropped the eggs down inside. They had concerts at night in the camp, also football, a lot of the players were professionals from big clubs back home in Britain. Every Sunday they had a church service.

POW`s put on a play, Stalag XXA

POW Football Team, Stalag XXA

In the spring of 1942 they were put on a farm work party in the village of GRUSSAUS GR SCHONWALDE near GROUDENS. They lived in a large house with two Polish families and the farmer and his wife and two children.

Bill Overy and a friend

They were split up into pairs to go onto the farms and the guards took them out at 6 in the morning and returned for them at 6 at night. A lot of things changed, they gave the women tea and coffee and showed them how to brew tea. The women did their washing, for which they paid them with soap, chocolate or cigarettes from their food parcels. Bill Overy made friends with John Whitticker from Derby who was the camp barber and they shared their Red Cross parcels so they went a lot further. They would often meet prisoners from other farms and exchanged news, much was wild rumors but it helped to keep up their moral.

Bill Overy (left) with two friends

During this time there was a new arrival, which was always a great event as they always had more news. He was Jack Imlack, a New Zealander who had been captured in Crete and was from camp Stalag XXB. He had been in a lot of trouble because he hated the Germans and one night a guard hit him with his rifle, so he hit him back and broke his jaw. For this he got 8 months in a civil jail and it nearly killed him, he was 16 1/2 stone when he went in and 8 stone when he came out. They took him in with them sharing their food parcels.

POW`s Stalag XXa

In the spring of 1944 they got hold of an old radio that they kept under the floorboards. Every morning two were left behind to clean the rooms while the guards took the rest to work. This gave them the opportunity to listen to the British news and write it down. When they delivered the milk later they would pass on the news to other areas.

So came the great day, 6th June 1944. Bill Overy was one doing the cleaning that morning and when they put the radio they found out the Allies had landed in France. They could not believe it and as luck would have it, they did not write it down or pass it on they just could not believe it. When they got back to the fields they told the others, forgetting some of the Poles had learnt a bit of English. By that night the entire village knew. Of course the guards didn't know, they were not told until two days later, so where did the news come from? Their rooms were turned upside down but they found nothing and the Poles kept quiet. Later that week three of them were returned to Stalag XXA with their corporal. When the corporal was being interrogated they heard all he said from the next room so they were all able to tell the same story. They said they had heard the officer in charge of the guard talking about it. That was that, they went back to Schonwalde and the officer went to the Russian front. All mail from home stopped from July 1944 and food parcels came only one a month, so their food had to be rationed. Winter came and in November it started to snow and the temperature was 20 degrees below zero.

Group of POW`s Stalag XXA

Early in 1945 they were told they would be leaving at the weekend and they would be walking. So they got rid of all excess baggage, except food, their spare shoes and clothes they gave to the Poles. The three of them made a sledge to carry their food and on the Saturday they left, pulling their sledge, to a camp called Possen. The journey there was not too bad, plenty of snow but at night the guards found them shelter in a barn, as there was only twelve of them. Food was a problem though as their food parcels were very low. It took four days to reach the camp that was an assembly area for all the working parties in the area. They stayed for two days waiting for everyone to arrive then they each were given two Red Cross parcels and they loaded their sledge and started on their way. There were about 400 British and 200 Russians and 25 guards and 6 dogs. The German officer rode in a small buggy pulled by two horses. They had a short rest every two hours, which was not too bad at the beginning but then some started to lag behind. The Germans turned their sledges over and hit them with their rifles and made them leave everything. One night they spent in the open in a football ground, and in the morning they left quite a few behind frozen in the snow. Even if they sheltered in a barn, they never took their boots off as they would freeze solid and it would be impossible to put them on again. As food became scarce the Germans killed some horses to make soup and at one of the place they caught a rabbit, which they killed and ate raw.

The snow was nearly gone by the time they arrived in STETTEN and crossed the river into Germany but it was still very cold and the rain meant they slept in wet clothes at night. At this point they left the Russians behind. Days did not seem to matter anymore. Walking, walking and more walking. One day they arrived at a farm where there were about 200 British POWs, they were in a terrible state with dysentery and typhus and they were dying like flies. The guards were scared stiff so they quickly moved them on. The Germans started to get trigger-happy and two lads were shot trying to pick up potatoes and another when he relieved himself during the night. And still they walked on, first one way, then another, until they reached the town of CELLE. In HAMBURG they were put into huts near the station. That night the station was bombed but none of them were killed. The guards did not know where go, so they started to take them south into Germany while the sound of gunfire got closer. At this point Bill, John and Jack thought they had had enough so they planned to make a break for it when they moved off. After about an hour they dived into a wood but the Germans sent the dogs after them and they were recaptured. John had been hit around the head with a rifle that split his ear and when they next stopped, they were trying a bit of first aid when the British NCO, in charge, told them the guards had gone.

So at last they were free, after 5 years. The change that came over them was unbelievable. Where it had been every man for himself, now those who had cigarettes shared with everybody else. It was a wonderful feeling. Of the 400 who had started out on the march, less that 200 were left. Not all had died, a lot had been taken into hospital on the way but it was still a shock.

They were told to tidy up and were soon busy shaving and washing, as best as they could. The NCO's went to look around and when they returned they said the Americans were down the road and as they were still in the British Army would march into town. Then they were taken by truck to the British main depot at a place called HEREFORD about 4 hours drive away and then to MUNSTER and flown to Brussels. That night in Brussels they went to the Churchill Club for their first taste of English beer in five years. The next day they boarded another Lancaster for England and home.

© Bill Overy.





More stories from Stalag XXA on Page 2





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Send an E-mail to The Wartime Memories Project



List of Prisoners

  • James Forbes "Pongo" Adams. Cameron Highlanders (51st Highland Division).
  • Harry Adams. 4th Green Howards
  • Jack Adderley
  • L/Cpl Harold Astbury. 1/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • E "Stooge" Axon
  • Bill Barlow
  • Lesley 'Monty' Banks
  • Petty Officer Maurice Barnes. HMS Seal Read his story
  • Fred Bates
  • Pte. Frank William Biddlecombe. 6th Batt Royal West Kents Read his story
  • J.E. "Dicky" Bird
  • S Blacker
  • George Harold Bowdidge. Royal Artillery
  • Fred Brewster
  • Ken Brown
  • George T. Brown
  • Leslie William Bryan. Read his story
  • L/Cpl Jack H Burdess. 6th Btn. Durham Light Infantry. Read his story
  • Thomas Burke
  • Frank Bylett
  • Ernest Cameron. 7th Btn. Royal WorcestersRead his Story
  • Donald Martin 'Coker' Cargill Read his story
  • Jack Cherry
  • Bill Clifton. Worcestershire Regiment Read his story
  • Jozef Ciesielski
  • George Collis. Royal Engineers
  • W. Cope
  • Henry "Harry" George Cooper Read his story
  • Sgt Matthew "Matt" Cooper. Royal Artillery
  • J.R. Craig
  • Pte. Frank Curtis. Australian (died 6/9/43)
  • Harry Dalby. 1st Btn. The Black Watch Read his story
  • D "Daisy" Day
  • Robert "Bob" Diamond
  • Dingley
  • William Dodds. Pioneer Corps Read his story
  • Laurie Dorins
  • Lance Corpral William Downie. Cameronians. Read his story
  • Frederick Edwards
  • Lewis "Lew" Seccombe Farmar Edwards. 1st Bn Queen Victoria's Rifles Read his story
  • Peter Edwards. Read his Story
  • Dennis Evans
  • Sid A Evans
  • W Evans
  • Richard John Lillico Feltham. New Zealand Army Medical Corps. Read his story
  • Sgt. J Ferguson
  • Don Freeman
  • Colin Fowler
  • F Fuller
  • Michael Flynn.
  • Jimmy Gates
  • W.A. Gibson
  • Ron Gilkes
  • Arthur Grant. Inf. Wiltshires "C" Coy.
  • Pte. Walter Grant. RAOC
  • Ivor Griffiths
  • Pte Sydney Grindy
  • Eric Goble
  • A. Godfrey
  • John Victor Goodwin. Royal Horse Artillery
  • Sgt J Gorton Nav. Lancaster ED996 GZ-J. 12 sqd.
  • Pte Leonard Green
  • Dick Hale.
  • Jack Hales
  • A H "Tarpot" Hancott
  • George Hatt. Read his story
  • Ernest John "Jack" Hartley. Worcestershire Regiment Read his story
  • Eric Haynes
  • George Henry Robert Hayward. Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
  • J Henderson
  • John Hogan
  • Frankie Hosier
  • Stan Ibbotson
  • Jack Imlack (NZ)
  • E "Issy" Isabell
  • W A "Alec" Jackson
  • R "Bob" Jacobs
  • L/Cpl R C James
  • Frank Jenkins
  • George Henry Jones. Royal Corp of Signals.Read his story
  • Charles "Charlie" Albert King. Highland Light Infantry Read his story
  • N "Knotty" Knott
  • G "Stan" Landgridge
  • Sgt A S "Stan" Lane
  • R A B "Lofty" Lane
  • Pte. William C. Law. 2nd GLOUCESTER REGT.
  • M S "Mikky" Leng
  • George Lewis.
  • J Lilley. Read his story
  • Pte. Roy Alfred Lonsdale. 1st Kensington's Read his story
  • D "Piccolo Pete" McIntee
  • Malcolm McIntyre.
  • "Mac" MacFarlane
  • "Ginger" Mc Guire
  • Sgt Leslie Matthews. 12 sqd.
  • Robert Miskimmin. Royal Scots Fusiliers Read his story
  • Alex Missen
  • Pte. Frederick Willam Mitchell. Royal Ordnance Corps. Read his story
  • J "Natty" Nattress
  • Georges Neuray
  • G. Nicholson
  • Sgt Robert (Bertie) Nicholson. Royal Artillery
  • H E ('Joe') Norman. Buckinghamshire Yeomanry
  • Jack Northmore
  • Alfred Olsen
  • Pte William Henry Donald (Bill) Overy. 5th Buffs
  • Ronald Victor Page. East Riding Yeomanry.
  • T.Q. Palmer
  • David Parker. B Coy 6th Btn. Durham Light Infantry. Read his story
  • George Edward Parr. Read his story
  • Angus Paton
  • John Thomas Patrick. Lincolnshire Reg
  • R "Bob" Pearce
  • Sapper Rex Pearson. 262 Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
  • Jack Henry Perks (Taffy). Welsh Guards.
  • Jim Pittock
  • Christopher Preston. Read his story
  • Sgt William Thomas Pringle, RCAF Lancaster I ED357 PH-S. 12 sqd.
  • Charles Redrup
  • John Savage
  • N. Scudder
  • Cpl Ted Sinnott. South Lancs Regt/No 2 Commando
  • Harry Smith
  • Pte R.M.Smith.
  • Paddy Smith
  • Robert Fergus "Fergie" Smith. Royal Engineers Read his story
  • W H M "Bill" Smith
  • Sgt Ernest Southon. (Shot down. 13th July 1943 Lancaster LM328 GZ-F2) 12 sqd.
  • Tpr Henry Lee Spencer. 2nd Battalion, Royal Tank Corps Read his story
  • Harry Stafford
  • Sid Steer
  • Harry Tapley. 2/5th Queens Royal Regiment and 4th Btn Gordon Highlanders Read his story
  • Alf Taylor
  • W "Bill" Taylor
  • Sgt D. L. Templeman W/Op. Lancaster DV157 PH-Z. 12Sqd.
  • Thomas Tracey. Argylls
  • William "Truey" True
  • Pte. Eric Tuckerman. RASC
  • Walter Vasey
  • Colin Virley Read his story
  • Jack M Walker
  • James Waining. 1st/5th Notts and Derby Regiment.
  • John Whitticker
  • F. Wright
  • C W Young (2nd pilot Lancaster III ED820 PH-A) 12 sqd

If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch. Add Your Story



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