How To Find Information
On Other POW Camps In
do not email me with requests for information on other POW camps.
Apart from the list detailing where the camps were and their numbers etc
(Click here) , I only have
information on Island Farm.
However, these are the methods which I used to find information and, hopefully,
one or two might work for you.
- Establish exactly where the POW camp
used to be.
- Visit or telephone local libraries
(especially reference libraries) in the area and search for any books or
newspapers which mention the camp. Most libraries have computer searches
these days and they can often help immensely. Note: A lot of POW camps
in Great Britain did not receive many POWs until after the D-Day landings
of 1944. This was because it was felt that if thousands of German POWs were
held in Great Britain and the Germans successfully invaded, then they would
have a ready made army if these POWs were liberated ! Therefore, many POWs
were sent to Canada and the USA during the early and middle stages of the
war. Keep this in mind when searching old newspapers via date.
- If you know the name of a local newspaper
which existed at the time of the camp, and the newspaper firm still exists,
contact them and ask them if they have anything in their archives. If not
ask them if they will publish an appeal for information. Most local
newspapers are always looking for a story especially the type which gets
the general public involved.
- This method sounds strange but try
it ! Find a local telephone directory of the area and look up and telephone
all the old people residential homes. Tell the person in charge what you
are looking for and ask them if they will ask the pensioners if they can
recall the camp or if they have any tales to tell. People who lived through
the war often have fascinating stories to tell and you'll be surprised what
they keep in old shoe boxes !
- The PRO (Public Records Office) in
Kew, Surrey has a wealth of information and even an on-line web site which
you can search. However, the staff of the PRO will not undertake searches
for you. You either have to make a visit or hire a professional researcher.
Given that I live in Wales, it was not cost effective for me to travel to
Kew, so I hired a researcher. It cost me £23 in the year 2000, and for this
I got one hour of research time, a photocopy of the complete Island Farm
file (provided me with the POW English examination result pages) plus postage.
Information on the professional researchers of the PRO can be found on their
- When you have a reasonable amount
of information, host it in a web site so that you can attract visitors.
You often find people with a PC will search their home town as a key word
in a search engine, so if you can get your site recognised, or links to
your site via local history sites, then this will help. If you don't know
how to host a web site, let me know, and I will help you all I can. Alternatively,
email me the information and I'll host it for you.
- Frequent WWII forums. There are a
lot out there on the web and they are often frequented by historians &
enthusiasts. These people are always willing to help if they can. A forum
which I recommend and which I have used often is to be found at http://www.feldgrau.com/forum/forum.html
GOOD LUCK !!!
P.S. If you ever do host a
web site let me know and I will put a link to it from my site which
will all add to help boost your visitor numbers.