Following the recapture of the prisoners, there is conflicting reports as to the way the prisoners were treated.  Officially they were not to be punished:

             "…….the prisoners were not punished because there were fears, if they were punished, then the enemy might retaliate and punish British prisoners."

             "…….there were no cases of British brutality towards the prisoners."

             "…….there were no atrocities...but they were helped along, shall we say, with the butt of a rifle, and if their elbows dropped when they had their hands on their heads, they would be knocked back up with a rifle butt."

             "…….I think there may have been a bit of rough housing and as far as I can remember they complained to the Swiss about their treatment, but when the delegation from the Swiss Red Cross came down they had no complaint."

             "…….the first thing we had to do in the guard room was undress completely.  We then had to sit down on the floor with legs stretched out absolutely straight with the back perhaps three centimetres from the wall.  When the muscle pains were so bad that we leaned back against the wall, almost automatically we had a beating." (Helmhart Perl)

           "…….they lined us up against the wall with our hands above our heads for a long time.  The soldier guarding us was waving his rifle and shouting and swearing.  Suddenly the gun went off and the bullet went into the wall just an inch or two above my head" (Karl Ludwig - one of the first prisoners recaptured)

          "…….our hopes had been so high, and here we were back behind barbed-wire.  Then I turned around and saw the piano and thought to myself, I must play something now and get things going again. So I sat down and played a piece I'd known by heart since the age of 10 years old. It was
The Parade Of The Little Goblins, and it revived the spirits of fellow escapers so much that I played it over and over again in the next three days. Then the performances came to an abrupt end when the British Officers decided that the recaptured prisoners should not be allowed the luxury of music and ordered the removal of the piano" (Brockmeyer)

Click below to hear ACTUAL tune re-played by Brockmeyer in 1977 when he re-visited Bridgend and Island Farm to take part in a BBC documentary called "Come Out, Come Out (Whereever you are)".

Part One      Part Two

The song in German is called "Heinzelmännchens Wachtparade" (sometimes Wachtparade is written w/o the 't'). Heinzelmännchens translates to 'little people'; Wachtparade (sometimes spelt 'Wachparade') may be translated as 'parade of the guards'. As children, it is a song which is sung quite often but not with the original words. The song was written by Kurt Noack


The authorities transferred all 1,600 officers (not just those involved in the escape) to Camp 181 in Carburton, Worksop Nottinghamshire, England on 31st March 1945, only 3 weeks after the escape.

The media had a field-day and put the blame on the laxity of the British guards. One newspaper even claimed that the guards had even had advance warning of a pending escape via a note being thrown through the barbed wire fencing.

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The troops who guarded the camp resented the comment bitterly. At the time of the escape there were fewer than 150 British personnel at the camp, 90 of these making up the guard company. Ten sentries guarded a mile of wire which works out as 176 yards to each sentry.

The House Of Commons Committee made a number of enquiries and came up with the following proposals:

  1. Satisfactory perimeter lighting should help detect activity
  2. Dog patrols could be put to better use outside of the boundary and well away from the guard patrols
  3. Occasional and irregular daytime roll calls should be conducted to discourage illicit day work and force them to work at night when the camp is quieter.
  4. Regular checking of material such as blankets and clothes to check for soiling
  5. Close observation by guards around the huts to detect soil disposal.
  6. New camp sites should be searched and cleared before occupation by POWs to remove all opportunity for POWs taking and concealing equipment and materials.
  7. Inventory boards should be placed in huts to prevent improper use of tables, chairs and beds etc
  8. A count of heads should be made after lights out.