Recapture Stories


15th March 1945

Page 1 of a report by PS535 Brindley Ellis
detailing PoW recapture progress

15th March 1945

Page 2 of a report by PS535 Brindley Ellis
detailing PoW recapture progress

The above documents dont detail PoWs by name so I have written the below information including the PoW names

11th March 1945 - 05:10am - Llanharen

A.988721 Lt Heinz HERZLER
A.841036 Lt. Karl LUDWIG

The first two POWs, who got away from the camp, to be caught were Karl Ludwig and Heinz Herzler. They had planned to get aboard a truck, the type of which passed Island Farm most nights. These trucks were usually bound for Cardiff Docks where their contents were loaded on to ships and sent across the channel to France. Unfortunately, on the night of the escape, there were no trucks passing the camp. Failing to get aboard a truck the two POWs decided to try and catch a train at Bridgend railway station..

As Ludwig and Herzler made their way, they encountered a drunken man returning home. Ludwig and Herzler decided to hide in a nearby garden, but unfortunately the garden they chose to hide in belonged to the drunken man. As the man entered through the garden gate he decided that his call of nature was too great and decided to urinate into one of his garden bushes. Unfortunately, this was the hedge which Karl Ludwig happened to be hiding ! Having releaved himself the drunken man went into his house unaware that he had done something to a German that many people in Britain would have given up 10 years of their lives to do!

Upon reaching Bridgend Railway station, the two men hid in a goods wagon, but the train's progress was slow and was, unbeknown to them, going in the wrong direction. When it stopped at a little marshalling yard they got off, tried to get their bearings but were lost. They had ended up in Llanharan only 8 miles from Bridgend. Hoping to reach a main road going to Cardiff they started walking and unfortunately encountered a policeman (PC679 Phillip Baverstock) who was on patrol who arrested them.

Police report detailing the recapture of Herzler & Ludwig
signed by:
PC679 Baverstock,
PS174 Godfrey James and Inspector JJ Fitzpatrick

In the police station, what intrigued Baverstock most, was the tail of a shirt. On it was a map, drawn with painstaking accuracy showing the main railway lines and ports in southern England and Northern France. During WWII all roadsigns across Great Britain had been deliberately removed in the hope that it would confuse the Germans if they ever invaded or parachuted in to Britain. However, when the POWs had been escorted to Island Farm initially, one of the POWs had noticed that a map of Great Britain, and its rail system, was on the wall in one of the railway carriages. Thinking that this map would prove useful, in the event of an escape, he had traced the map on to the tail of a shirt.

Actual Shirt Tail
Map Drawing Found On A POW
Actual Handkerchief
Map Drawing Found On A POW


11th March 1945 - 2:00pm - Near Ewenny Vicarage - Military Ref: 358987

23. A.459877 Lt. Rolf SUND
37. A.927114 Lt Unknown

Caught by RAF Personnel - Found sleeping in a woods by RAF search party.


11th March 1945 - 4:45pm - Llandow - Military Ref: 385950

9. A.493466 Lt. Joachin GOTTSHALK
12. A.493475 Ob-Lt. Karl HERBLEIN
14. A.493488 Lt. Helmut KORN

Caught by RAF Personnel - Seen by airmen near aerodrome who raised alarm, then rounded up by party.


11th March 1945 - 6:00pm - Horgrove, Cefn Cribwr - Military Ref: 395040

13. B.22493 Ob-Lt Karl HELLRICH
41. A.536535 S.S. Otto WOELKY
45. A.852429 Lt. Heinz GRUNEWELD
52. A.459887 Lt. Karl WITTIG
53. B.12041 Uffs. Ernst BURMFISTER

Caught by military and police - Rounded up by in woods by a search party.


11th March 1945 - 9:00pm - St Nicholas - Military Ref: 53598

33. A.965632 Lt. Werner NUBER
49. A.506055 Lt. Gerhard STUMPF

Caught by PC808 Sexton - Seen by American officer who gave information to police, resulting in prisoners being caught.

11th March 1945 - 10:15pm - Stormy Road, Kenfig Hill - Military Ref: 285051

5. A.997414 Lt. August BACHMANN
32. B.22504 Ob-Lt Rolf HORSTHEYER

Caught by D.E. Edwards Station Road, Laleston - Came across prisoners on roadway whilst cycling home. Conveyed them to Police Station.


11th March 1945 - 11:35pm - Aberbaiden, Kenfig Hill - Military Ref: 301065

1. B.22506 Lt. Wilhelm ALTFAHRT
6. A.997413 Lt. Carl BROCKMEYER
18. A.997417 Ob-Lt. Eduard RAVE
38. A.853224 Ob-Lt. Gerhard SCHLAUGH

Caught by RAF Personnel - walked in to RAF Control Point


12th March 1945 - 4:15pm - Pencastell Farm, Kenfig Hill - Military Ref: 286044

8. A.531801 Lt. Gerhard FIEGEL
17. B.22523 Lt. Hans KROMER
42. A.997419 Ob-Lt. Werner BOEHM
46. A.428903 Hptm. Josef KRAMMLING

Caught by Richard Jones of Pencastell Farm - Observed in corner of field whilst farmer was working, with assistance of farm hands taken to station. Jones in company with his nephew, David Rees Thomas, were working in a field on the farm, about half a mile on Bridgend side of Kenfig Hill Police Station along Stormy Road, when they saw a movement in some bushes in the corner of the field they went to these bushes and found the four prisoners hiding against the hedge under the bushes. They brought them to Kenfig Hill Police Station.


12th March 1945 - 8:30pm - Stormy Road, Kenfig Hill - Military Ref: 285051

2. B.22566 Lt. Wilhelm BIRENBEUL
34. A.814636 Ob-Fhr Willy NATHER

Caught by Special Sergeant 458 Stanley Lewis Stormy Road, Kenfig Hill - Apprehended by S.S. Lewis whilst he was on patrol. Special Constable Sergent Lewis was patrolling Stormy Road, Kenfig Hill abount half a mile on Bridgend side of Kenfig Hill Police Station, when he met two prisoners coming along the road towards the Police Station. S.Sergt came along with them, and brough them to the station.


12th March 1945 - 9:00pm - Y.W.C.A (Young Women's Christian) Hostel Pencoed - Military Ref: 403029

15. A.493487 Lt. Rudi KONSOLKE
27. A.459888 Lt. Heins ZILLES
44. A.432856 Hptm. Friedrich FINKEIN

Caught by War Deptment Police - Observed in headlights of car by unknown woman who gave alarm.


13th March 1945 - 3:05am - Dyffryn House, St Nicholas - Military Ref: 538939

16. B.22515 Ob-Lt. Hans KLEIN
51. A.852416 Lt. Karl WAECHTER

Caught by War Reserve Police - Found in the grounds of Dyffryn House, and apprehended by PWR.


13th March 1945 - 10:35pm - Cwmgwrach - Military Ref: 308268

10. B.72112 Lt. Werner GRAUDUSZUS
36. B.59256 Lt. Johannes SCHELTZ
39. A.965634 S.S. Karl JOBST

Caught by Civilians - Observed in headlights of PSV (Public Service Vehicle) conveying war workers, chased and captured by occupants of PSV.

Tough Nazis dont resist


13th March 1945 - 11:00pm -Between Severn Tunnel and Magor - Military Ref: unknown

28. A.459889 Lt. Joachin ZUCHNER

Caught by Monmouth Police and railway employees - Observed with two others to jump from goods train and later apprehended by Monmouth Police and R/ly employees.


14th March 1945 - 12:40am - Neath Boro and County Boundary - Military Ref: 195197

A.965629 Lt. Paul RAUCH

Caught by Neath Boro Police and Military - Arrested on the Neath and Brecon Railway.