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Report - POW Camp 116 - HATFIELD HEATH - Sept 2016

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Will Knot, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    The Explore....

    Away on business for a couple of days so in between sites I decided to go for a little solo mooch around one of the local explores......:thumb

    A Bit of History.....

    Prisoner of War Camp 116 was set up in 1941 to house Italian prisoners of war, and from 1943-1944 it mainly held German and Austrian prisoners.

    The POW's were allowed out to work on the nearby farms and one local has this memory of it......"The Austrian and German prisoners of war were kept in a camp at Hatfield Heath and sent out daily to 'help on the land'.
    Our first batch were Austrian and they were hard workers and Mum was so sorry for them she looked at their ration for the day and promptly invited them to share our food - they even ate with us. The next lot were German and all but one of those were also polite, hard workers and they too shared our food and ate in the kitchen with us. My biggest impression was the way they stood whenever Mum got up and would never sit until she too sat down. Dad corresponded for some time with one of them, a Walter Scheile from Beilefeld in Germany."

    The English Heritage Document entitled "PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS (1939 – 1948)" has this to say about it
    Camp 116 conforms to the so-called ‘Standard’ layout, with the guards’ compound consisting of MoWP huts, while the living huts are all timber Laing huts.

    The work was totally voluntary and the lifestyle quite enjoyable in comparison to the life British POWs endured in German hands.

    There were a lot of Italians at the main camp in Hatfield Heath, which was built for about 750 people. The camp was non-Nazi, so it was classed low-risk and there was a War Agricultural Committee which arranged for Land Girls to pick up prisoners and take them to allotted farms and then take them back again. There were also two satellite camps, one in Matching Tye and one in Bishop's Stortford, which were on a smaller scale and the prisoners at the Matching Tye camp were sent to work on land which is now Harlow.

    On with the piccies......;)

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    Thanks for lookin' :D I hope you enjoyed the report...... :thumb I Will Knot ;)
     
    SPQ, Lil'Legs, The Kwan and 8 others like this.

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  2. Camera Shy

    Camera Shy Old enough to know better
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    Can't remember ever seeing that before,nice one.
     
  3. Shatners

    Shatners Silly Bugger
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    Love that... really nice mate.
     
  4. Coolboyslim

    Coolboyslim Mr Reality Hacker
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    Nice that m8ty. Great looking place. Could do a few scenes from war films there . Looks good.
     
  5. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Been some on here before but not for a while, thanks buddy :D
    Cheers fella :thumb
    Thank you Coolboy, was quite a pleasant walk for a school day :D:D
     
    Coolboyslim likes this.
  6. caiman

    caiman 28DL Full Member
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    It appears to have been cleared a lot. It used to be very overgrown. Nice pics, by the way. Did you find the mess hall with the mural?

    You do know that you only saw the guards camp? The actual POW area is the other side of the large house.
     
  7. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Yeah, it was pretty clear and being kept that way. Most of the main POW area is 'live' being used for industrial units, vehicles and people were in and out constantly by the looks of it :(
     
  8. Xploring

    Xploring 28DL Full Member
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    This is great, might take a look. Don't live too far from here!
     
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