A GERMAN POW MARRIES A LOCAL GIRL

In 1947, new legislation allowed POWs to venture outside of the camps, work on nearby farms and fraternise with locals. One such relationship between a Helmut Guettler (A German Navy Corporal held at Island Farm 1946 - 1948) and Zena Pickering led to a marriage on the 31st January 1948. (Note the card spells his name Helmut but the marriage certificate spells it Helmuth).

I personally, am surprised that society permitted such relationships. The newly weds would have settled down to live in a street where neighbours would have lost fathers, brothers, cousins and loved ones etc and here was a local girl marrying an "enemy". Perhaps people had had enough of the war and were only too keen to forgive and forget....

Below is the hand made wedding card signed by Feldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt !

CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE

Helmut Guettler far left of photo.
Photo taken in 1946 on the camp football pitch. These men were all employed as cooks or mess orderlies to the generals
Helmut Guettler standing in for himself 42 years later (1988)


The Wedding: 31st January 1948

von Rundstedt
General-Feldmarschall
Mrs and Mrs Helmut Guettler Ne Pickering
21 Bryncoch Road, Sarn Nr Bridgend

On the day of your wedding our very best wishesfor a long life full of happiness and good companionship
31 January 1948

Your fellow prisoners of number 11 Camp Bridgend

GŁnter Koball
Hans Reinhardt
Konrad Meier
Schmitt, Hubert (he wrote: last name, first name)
Ernst Webel

Names translated by daughter (Ursula Koball) in 2016

Copy of Marriage Certificate

PREVIOUS PAGE        NEXT PAGE          TITLE