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…

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. I now consider him very much a co-owner of this web site and am glad that I have his knowledge and expertise!

Thank you for visiting our web site. We hope you found it as interesting to read as we do putting it together. Please come back in the future because this site is far from finished and hopefully will be added to with more and more pictures as we locate them.

If you have enjoyed the visit then we would be grateful if you would either sign the guest book or send us an email and let us know your thoughts on the web site.

Thanks & best wishes,

Brett Exton & Shawn Bohannon


Disclaimer

This web 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.

SPECIAL THANKS:

My partner & two sons
          
For their on going patience when I spend the small hours updating and researching this web site !

Mrs 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.

Clyde Davis
          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.

Pamela Taylor
           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".

Robert Jackon
           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)

Stefan Schlemmer
           Provided a few profiles on some of the Admirals

Mr Ian Sayer
          Provided the photos of General der Gebirgstruppe Franz Böhme and documents related to his War Crimes Trial.

Mr Nevin Williams / Ian Davies
           Nevin provided the photos of Island Farm taken prior to it's demolition and Ian translated some German documents.

Mike Jones
           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.

Mark Lamerton
           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

Hilary Powell

           Provided personal photos and letters sent to Auntie and Uncle after the from Generalmajor Walther Hillert


Further Reading:

Herbert Williams
           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.

Susan Hawthorne
         
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:

  1. She incorrectly calls Generalfeldmarschall Ewald Von Kleist, "Edward" (which if correct would translate as Eduard)

  2. A photo stated as being Generalmajor Dr. Walter Robert Dornberger, the V2 Rocket engineer, is definitely not a picture of Dornberger. It is actually Generalleutnant Emil-Heinrich Gunzelmann.

  3. A photo of a POW mentioned as being an "unidentified POW" (he is actually Generalleutnant Alfred Kurz) is shown with the photo the wrong way around i.e. the photo is inverted so his medals are on his wrong side and his tunic is buttoned the wrong way.

  4. A photo which claims to show Rundstedt returning to Bridgend from the Nuremburg War Trials also shows General der Panzertruppe Heinrich Kurt Alfons Willy Eberbach (disfigured nose). Eberbach did not give evidence at Nuremburg and so consequently this is a photo of Rundstedt and Eberbach's initial arrival at Bridgend.
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