The Wartime Memories Project - STALAG 21D POW Camp

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Stalag XXI D was located on the Polish border near Posen.

The camp was split over several "forts". "Fort 8" was a fort which dated from the Franco Prussian wars as was "Fort Roach" which was situated on the river Warter. It was reported that the water pumps at these camps up pumped rats as well as water.

Here is a postcard of a POW football match, sent by my father, Albert Palmer to my mother at home in London, whilst at Stalag 21d. I am not too sure of the location of the football match, it could have been at Stalag 21d, but it also could have been played at another POW campsite, which was built with the wooden huts. The date of sending the postcard from Stalag 21d was the 21st November 1943.

This is a photograph of my mother Annie. After she received the hand-drawn birthday card in July 1943, she went to a professional photographer to have her picture taken, which could be sent to my father in Stalag 21d. The date she sent the photograph was July 30th 1943 and it bears the German rubber stamp on the back.

Chris Palmer.

  • Albert Palmer Read his Story

    John Newbegin (bottom right) in Fort Rauche, with all the names of the men in it, I hope that it may comfort someone's family.

    John Newbegin, Stalag 21d posen working party at a coal mine.

    My father, George Smith was in Stalag XX1D. He was taken POW at Dunkirk, above is a photo of him in the camp, standing top left. The background is the same as the picture from Victor Tute, how remarkable. We know he was shot in the leg whilst carrying messages and captured. There was also a story that the guards gave him a German shepherd dog to look after whilst in the camp. Mom said he was very upset when he had to leave it behind when he left. He was in the Royal Artillery, the only thing I have left of his, are his army boot brushes and his stirrups, I had these gold plated and are on show on my fireplace. My Dad died in 1955, he was 36, I was 5. None of the family knows anything about him, I barely remember him, my Mom who died recently, would not talk about him and we never knew who his real family were, I think there were some skeletons in his wardrobe but we will never find out about them.

    George Smith is top left.

    George Smith is in top row 2nd from left

    George Smith is my friend's father, he was held in Stalag XXIb and XXId

    My Grandad, Pte. Gordon Singyard, was in Stalag XXI D4. My parents have a number of photos taken of him in the camp, that were sent back to his wife (my grandmother) during the war.

    I also have a notebook Gordon kept during his time in the camp, which began when he was captured in France, 1940. It lists all of the items he was sent from home, plus there's poetry etc.

    I also have a couple of Christmas cards given by the Germans to inmates so that they could send these on to their loved ones in England via the Red Cross.

    My Grandad did recount a number of stories about his time in the camp. One I remember is that he said there were some very large factory chimneys nearby; during Allied air raids, the chimney tops stuck out over the German's smoke screen, so they sent Jews up to knock the tops off with jack hammers. They were given no safety equipment of course. My Grandad said the prisoners could see this happening from the camp.

    During air raids, the guards would make the prisoners put their fingers in their ears and squat - how terrifying that must have been.

    In 1945, the camp was liberated by the Americans. The 'residents' of Camp 4 went down to the local village (Kuhndorf? Gordon has 'Kuhndorf Posen' written in the front of his note book), and visited the German barracks. Many of the prisoners recovered souvenirs, including uniforms - they also found a stash of Dresden china, and loaded up their kit bags. Unfortunately, when returning to Blighty on a Lancaster, the bags were located over the bomb doors - on the tarmac back home, the doors were opened, whereupon the bags dropped to the tarmac, instantly smashing the china! My Grandad used to tell that story so well.

    John Clark

    My late father, Ellis Phythian was held in Stalag XXID. He escaped from a working party near the camp on 31st March 1943 and was awarded the DCM.

    Nick Phythian

    My Dad was in 21D, Victor Kenneth Tutte (Also known as Bud Fletcher) He was born London England in 1919.

    Victor Tute is in the center on the front row.

    A post card sent from Stalag XXId by Victor to his sister Marie who was in the Womens Land Army.

    Victor is alive and well and living in South Carolina, USA.

    Thank you for this site.

    Jane E. T. Mayberry


    Bobby Morris and others at Stalag XX1D

    Jim Jamieson
    Prisoners in Stalag 21D 1942

    A Pow postcard received by wife of Capt Grieve, Streatham Home guard in 1942 with picture of reverse (below), the sender, E Hake is 2nd from right, back row.

    Back of Postcard

    Mick Ackrill

    List of Prisoners

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