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Report - POW Camp 116, Hatfield Heath, June 2013

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by 12318, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. 12318

    12318 28DL Full Member
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    Prisoner of War Camp 116 was set up in 1941 to house Italian prisoners of war. From 1943-1944 it mainly held German and Austrian prisoners. The POW's were allowed out to work on the nearby farms.

    From a Harlow Star article in 2008:

    Many people may not be aware that the area we now call Harlow was once a place where captured soldiers were sent to work the land.

    German and Italian troops caught during the conflict had the opportunity to break from the incarceration of prison camps to feel some sense of normality working on the farms which dotted the area.

    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.


    Full article When enemy POWs tilled Harlow's land | Harlow Star Home Page

    Solo visit, June 2013

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    Combine harvester
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    View from the 2nd floor of the tower (I didn't fancy the ladder to the roof being on my own, looked pretty rusty!
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    Full set here POW Camp 116, June 2013 - a set on Flickr
     
    #1 12318, Jun 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2014

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