Who Am I ?
A lot of people have over
the months, that this site has been available, asked me how did I come to
host such a web site as this i.e. where did the idea come from, so:
My name is Brett Exton, I am 44 years old (in April 2011) and I live on the outskirts of Bridgend town, approximately 4-5 miles from where Island Farm used to be.
I work in the field of Information Technology and in 2000 I was looking for a theme, to use for an experimental web site, so that I could educate myself as to what web site hosting was all about.
During this period my younger brother went on a day trip to Colditz Castle and came home full of enthusiasm and tales about the various escapes attempts. From his visit he learnt that there was a web site devoted to Colditz Castle and we went on to the internet so that he could show me all about his trip.
It was whilst looking at this site, that I remembered Island Farm and it's successful POW escape and my brother and I tried looking for information about it and were quite dismayed when there was nothing to be found. NOTE: The books mentioned below were already in existence though out of print with some containing the errors I have also mentioned).
...Hence the idea was born
Thank you for visiting my
web site. I hope you found it as interesting to read as I did putting it together.
Please come back in the future because this site is far from finished and
hopefully will be added to with more information and more pictures as I locate
If you have enjoyed the visit then I would be grateful if you would either sign the guest book or send me an email and let me know your thoughts on the web site.
Thanks & best wishes,
site is a totally non political German POW / military history research site
and any suggestion that either Shawn or myself are Nazi sympathisers
is categorically unfounded and completely rejected.
& two sons
For their on going patience when I spend the small hours updating and researching this web site !
Not long after this web site went on-line, back in April 2000, I had the good fortune to make "cyber" friends with Shawn Bohannon, who is a "dedicated World War II enthusiast". He has contributed a tremendous amount to this web site, carrying out research and putting together POW profiles etc.
Anne Hewinson and her daughter Mrs Stella Pigott
It was Mrs Hewinson whose husband worked on the POW repatriation and gave me a copy of the repatriation list. It was this list which gave me many of the names of the POWs held at Island Farm.
Heinrich & Doris Behrends
Hinrich is the son of SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei Hermann Behrends. I was extremely fortunate to be able to meet him and his wife in June 2001 and he gave me the photos of his father which appear on his profile pages.
For sending me a photocopy of a 50th birthday card sent to the camp vicar (Gruber) which was signed by POWs. This photocopy gave me additional POW names to research. He also sent me a lot of the photos of the POWs holding their POW number boards.
She managed to get me a copy of the BBC documentary made about Island Farm and the escape called "Come Out" televised in September 1976. She also has a web site & a book about Friendships with German POWs: "Enemies Become Friends".
Who wrote an excellent book published in 1964 called A Taste Of Freedom which is an account of life in some of the other POW camps, as well as Island Farm, and some of the escape attempts.
Eden Camp Museum (Camp 83 - Former POW Camp in Yorkshire)
For their support and web link to this web site from theirs
The camp has been converted to a fascinating museum. See: http://www.edencamp.co.uk)
Provided a few profiles on some of the Admirals
Provided the photos of General der Gebirgstruppe Franz Böhme and documents related to his War Crimes Trial.
Williams / Ian Davies
Nevin provided the photos of Island Farm taken prior to it's demolition and Ian translated some German documents.
Provided images taken from the hut walls prior to demolition.
Francisco de Asís Romero y Medina
Provided some great additional photos to some of the profiles.
Very kindly donated to me a signed copy of his excellent book: "Liberated By Force 135" which is about the liberation of the Channel Islands in May 1945.
Jeanette Iskat & Family
Providing photos and information which appear on Otto Iskat's profile page
Provided personal photos and letters sent to Auntie and Uncle after the from Generalmajor Walther Hillert
I am grateful to Herbert Williams for permission to include extracts from his book 'Come Out Wherever You Are' (Quartet), which gives a detailed account of the escape and its aftermath.
Who, with the pupils of Brynteg Comprehensive, wrote a book about Island Farm. Given that the book was written in the 1980's, when the internet wasn't available, it is a very good account of Island Farm. However, I must mention that there are a few inaccuracies in the book....for example: