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Looking for Information on British/Commonwealth airborne medics in Rennes POW camp


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#1 sirjahn

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:52 PM

I am looking for any information/stories/accounts of British/Commonwealth airborne medical personnel that were captured on or about D-Day and were sent to the Rennes POW Hospital (also called Rennes Military Hospital or Front-Stalag 221 or 221W). From other POW accounts there were a number of Allied doctors and medic/aidmen, both wounded and unwounded, that treated the Allied POWs brought there.

My reason is because my Father was wounded and captured on D-Day and sent to Rennes arriving on June 13th. I am trying to get idea of the layout of the camp and the conditions. I know there was another POW camp (Lazaret Stalag 133) in Rennes but it held only lightly wounded and unwounded POWs and my Father's letters are postmarked from 221.

I have only found a few brief accounts and am looking to flesh out the story more completely. I have his medical papers from the Germans and the initial couple of entries are in English and refer to Jerries. So I think an Allied doctor wrote them. :) See attached.

Any new information will be greatly appreciated as I intend on visiting the building which still exists in Rennes in June 2011.

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 10 February 2011 - 05:51 PM.

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#2 wtid45

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:30 PM

I found mention a RAMC Captain, but it does not say what unit he was atached to. "There I met Capt. NELSON, R.A.M.C. [Royal Army Medical Corps] and orderly MATTHEWS, who later both went to RENNES hospital to work". Lieutenant John Kay England
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#3 wtid45

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:41 PM

Could this be him? Approximately two thirds of the Unit were still unaccounted for including the following officers:- Lt. Col. THOMPSON, Major J.S. DARLING, Lt.(QM) R.F. HARDER, Capt. D.H. Nelson, Lieut. R.M. MARQUIS, Capt. I.F.B. JOHNSTONE. If so he was part of 224 Parachute field ambulance RAMC. 224th Parachute Field Ambulance, RAMC Seems along with other RAMC doctors he was a POW see botom page of my link.
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#4 sirjahn

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:47 PM

I don't know the name of any doctor I am just trying to find out more information on the medical staff that might have treated my Father and any stories associated with Rennes.

Read the link. Good stuff. The transit POW camp was Lazaret 133 near the Rennes Airfield where the medical staff were separated out and sent to the Hospital to work.
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#5 dbf

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:01 AM

Try this link to download files for recommendations for awards.
The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details

and another (unchecked) Escaper & Evader file
The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details

The very first file contains this image (page 255) amongst escape accounts which mention Rennes hospital. I'm afraid it'll be up to you to skim through the accounts to see if they are relevant or not as nothing is indexed, but one escaper does mention landing on D-Day ...

Attached Files


Edited by dbf, 28 January 2011 - 12:42 AM.

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#6 sirjahn

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:41 PM

Thanks for that info. I am downloading it now and will search it. The sketch is of Lazaret Stalag 133 near the Rennes Airfield where the 'healthy' POWs were kept. Also kept there were French Colonial POWs interned from 1940.
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#7 sirjahn

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:30 PM

Okay, I have gone through with the Mark I eyeball all of the documents dbf referenced and found five accounts that have reference to the Rennes Military Hospital. (LTC P.H. Richardson, LT J.k. England, Cpl W. R. Le Bar, Nursing Sepoy Bashir-Ud-Din Ahmed, and Cpl J. P. Mannion) Le Bar, Richardson and England accounts mostly describe the transit camp (I believe called Lazarett 133) and escape from trains taking them further north. Bashir-Ud-Din was captured in 1940 and served in multiple camps before escaping from Rennes Military Hospital in June 1944 but his account is very brief with not much detail.

Mannion's account could have more of the detail I need but the interview write up only has page 1 of multiple pages in there which only covers his capture but not his escapes and his stay at Rennes Military Hospital. He was liberated when the Hospital was taken on 4 August 1944.

In Richardson and England account they refer to a Major Oxley, Capt. Nelson (probably the D.H. Nelson from the 224th Ambulance), Orderly Matthews, American Capt. Gouenberg (101st Airborne) as medical staff and Major J.W.B Marshall, Sgt. Parsons and Pte. Scott of 8th Battalion Parachute regiment with F/O B. Cowie (from New Zealand) were indicated as sent to the Hospital for treatment of their wounds. Additional orderlies were sent to the Hospital but were not named.

So anyone have any information on where to get the other pages of Mannion's account of captivity or anything from the other medical personnel or the wounded from the 8th Battalion?
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#8 dbf

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:53 PM

Dale
I've moved this over to the POW section for now.
Should you want it moved back to Airborne let me know.

Glad you found something of use.

Regards
Diane
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#9 airborne medic

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 09:46 AM

Just been told about this thread....it would seem three doctors from 224PFA were taken prisoner on or after D-Day....Lt Colonel Thompson, Major Darling and Captain Nelson....Thompson evaded for about 3 weeks so can't have been him and as previously posted it may be Captain Nelson did the treatment.....regret I do not konw anything else about him.....sorry....
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#10 horsapassenger

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:30 AM

Just been told about this thread....it would seem three doctors from 224PFA were taken prisoner on or after D-Day....Lt Colonel Thompson, Major Darling and Captain Nelson....Thompson evaded for about 3 weeks so can't have been him and as previously posted it may be Captain Nelson did the treatment.....regret I do not konw anything else about him.....sorry....


Captain Nelson gives a very detailed account of his capture and time at Rennes in his Escape and Evasion report IS9/WEA/2/18/67
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#11 airborne medic

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 12:19 PM

John,

Thanks when did he escape???
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#12 horsapassenger

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 01:47 PM

John,

Thanks when did he escape???


Niall

Although he planned a couple of escapes he stayed at the Hospital until the Germans left on 1st August. The Americans arrived on the 4th August and took over the hospital and began evacuating patients on the 5th. He then made his own way to IS9.

John
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#13 sirjahn

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 02:48 PM

Thanks for the information guys. I will follow up on this line. There also was a Major Oxley there according to other reports. Anyone know anything about him? I may have found an International Red Cross death report with his signature on it from Rennes.
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#14 sirjahn

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:01 PM

I got some great info from the E&E reports that Horsapassenger sent me. Oxley and Nelson's E&E and a bunch of enlisted men as well. Thanks a bunch.

One thing Major Oxley mentions is that he kept the Admissions and Dispositions record for the Hospital and brought it back with him. Anyone have an idea where that would have ended up?
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#15 horsapassenger

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:31 AM

My pleasure Dale - glad to have been of some help and good luck with your trip

John
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#16 Drew5233

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:36 AM

I got some great info from the E&E reports that Horsapassenger sent me. Oxley and Nelson's E&E and a bunch of enlisted men as well. Thanks a bunch.

One thing Major Oxley mentions is that he kept the Admissions and Dispositions record for the Hospital and brought it back with him. Anyone have an idea where that would have ended up?


Have you contacted the RAMC museum-They are ment to be quite helpful.
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#17 sirjahn

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:43 PM

I have gotten a reply back from the RAMC museum guys and they said they don't have that sort of thing in their archives. So I guess that it might have ended up with MI9 or as an attachment to the E&E report.
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#18 Jedburgh22

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:53 PM

The IWM documents collection has some administrative papers for the German Kommandantur at Rennes in WWII
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#19 sirjahn

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:56 PM

Hmm my trip to England is really going to be busy. How do I get access to the IWM collection?
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#20 sirjahn

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 03:47 PM

I have recently gotten my hands on a partial list of the A&D document maintained by Maj. Oxley. It is only the Canadians that were treated by and passed through Rennes. Anyone know of any other extracts like this for English or other Commonwealth countries?

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#21 brithm

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:36 AM

I know one of the names on the list, Trudeau from 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, after he left Rennes on the 7th July 1944 was later to work at Bitterfeld working camp for POWs doing railroad work with many other paras.

Captain Nelson of 224th Parachute Field Ambulance was repatriated by the American army I don't believe many or any escaped from Rennes Hospital.

Does National Archives Kew hold any repatriation list, names of men who were repatriated during the summer of 1944? Unable to find any, hoping someone could point me in the direction.
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#22 sirjahn

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:47 AM

Do you have the first name of Trudeau? I only have first initial D.

I am trying to compile a list of all the Allied POWs that passed through the Rennes Military Hospital and have been looking for similar information. If you come across anything please let me know.

Major Malcom Oxley, RAMC, was the Senior Medical Officer there and he had an Admissions and Dispositions listing of the patients at the Hospital when he was repatriated but I have been unable to find it so far.
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#23 brithm

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:33 PM

Trudeau's first name is Dennis and he was caught on D-Day 6th June 1944.

Trudeau is actually an American not Canadian from the looks of things. There were a few Americans in the Canadian parachute battalion.

Augusta GA New Homes – Grovetown GA New Homes – Columbia County GA New Homes

"When the war started in 1942, Mayor Dennis Trudeau who was born in Minnesota enlisted in the Canadian Army because his family was based in Canada, then served in 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion which was attached to the British Airborne Division, dropped in Normandy on June 6, 1944, captured by the Germans and was a 10 months POW..."
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#24 sirjahn

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:42 PM

It's been a while so an update is in order. I have found a total of 635 names of Allied POWs that were in the Hospital at Rennes at one time or another. 233 are British or Commonwealth soliders or airmen. I have found the list below of British or Commonwealth medical personnel that worked the Hospital.

Anyone have any additional information on these men or any others?

Thanks,


PVT Frank Arthur Booth 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
FSGT Charles Clark British Intrepreter for Capt. Nelson - Spitfire pilot Nom de Guerre for Joseph VanMolkot a Belgian told Germans he was South African
PVT Aubry James Coggins 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT J. A. Conrod Canadian N. Nova Scotia Highlander arrived Stalag 14 Jun to hospital as orderly 29 June
PVT Walter William Dunster 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT Thomas Walter Ellis Chief of Kitchen arrived 19 June
PVT George Francis Fox 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT Geoffrey Ivor Ginn 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
LCPL Frank Gleason (Gleeson) Stretcher Bearer
PVT William Reginald Godfrey 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT Aubrey Leroy Goulden Canadian N. Nova Scotia Highlander arrived Stalag 14 Jun to hospital as orderly 29 June Says same as Conrod story
SSGT Eric Charles Grisp (Crisp) 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co operating room assistant
SGT Arthur William Heath  224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT Dennis Heaton 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT Denis Hill 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co Orderly
LCPL Walter Howard 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co Orderly
LT Douglas Arthur James Messing/Supply Officer Canadian Royal Winnipeg Rifles arrived 28 June has last 3 weeks EPS menu
CPL William Kirby From War Crimes report
PVT Kenneth Samuel Kingswell Matthews (224th Ambulance Co.) R.A.M.C. [Royal Army Medical Corps] arrived 10 June
CPL Edward Ramsey Patrick Milne 1st Ulster Rifles Orderly Lazarett 133 9 June Hospital 23 June
LCPL Robert John Morris 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co Orderly
SSG Paul William Barnes Musitano mentioned in Newcombe E&E Glider Pilot after healed stayed on in Hospital as Carpenter arrived around 10 June, became carpenter on 28 July
LCPL John Kenneth Naughton  Stretcher Bearer Sanitary Squad  British Pathfinder 22 Independent Co.
RFL R. S. Naylor From War Crimes report Canadian
CPT Douglas Hugh Nelson  (224th Ambulance Co.) R.A.M.C. [Royal Army Medical Corps] arrived 9 June
PVT Arthur William Neville 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT Victor Noel Newcombe 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co Orderly married French nurse arrived 15 June
MAJ William Malcome Oxley Senior British Medical Officer arrived 18 June (223rd Ambulance Co.) Had A&D records for EPS
Rank? Albert Peters From War Crimes report
Rank? Fred Quarmby From War Crimes report
LCPL Kenneth Robinson 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co
PVT Markham Newton Robinson 225 Para Fd Ambulance Co Orderly arrived Lazarett 133 9 June Hospital 13 June
PVT Graham Percy Rogers 223 Para Fd Ambulance Co Nursing Orderly
PVT William Edward Rowe 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co Orderly
PVT R. L. Saulnier Canadian North Nova Scotia Highlanders arrived Stalag 14 Jun to hospital as orderly 29 June Story same as Conrod
PVT William Scoot 223 Para Fd Ambulance Co Nursing Orderly
PVT Hugh Archer Finn Smith 224 Para Fd Ambulance Co Orderly
PVT A. R. Steen From War Crimes report Canadian?
SSG James Joseph Walsby British NCOIC - American E&E reports unfavorable behavior

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#25 sirjahn

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

My recent expedition to NARA in College Park, Maryland hit pay dirt. I found the Admissions and Dispositions record kept by the Allied doctors at Rennes. I have been validating the 658 US entries without much problem but the British and Canadians are causing me some problems.

I have names and service numbers for the 272 British, 88 Canadians and 1 New Zealander but no way to check the accuracy of that information. I have gotten validation of the 4 British and 2 Canadian dead information from Geoff's engine, another 123 British and 31 Canadians using E&Es and a War Crimes report with a partial German A&D record. Which leaves me 147 British, 55 Canadians and 1 New Zealander to validate. Of these POWs, 70 left the Hospital to enter the Stalags or escape/die enroute.

Any idea on where I could cross check the personnel information? My understanding is that the UK has no online database where I could go.
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#26 alieneyes

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:04 PM

Any idea on where I could cross check the personnel information? My understanding is that the UK has no online database where I could go.


Hi Sirjahn,

To give you some idea of what you are up against here: The service files of all Canadian personnel are held by the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. But you, or anybody else, cannot gain access to them unless you can prove they have been dead 20 years.

If you write the LAC and send them your list of names they will only tell you where and when these men enlisted and where and when they were discharged. It is up to you to prove they have been dead 20 years.

In the UK, you will run up against the Data Protection Act of 1998 and they will not even give you that info.

Sorry that the news isn't any better.

Regards,

Dave
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#27 sirjahn

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:30 PM

Well I have been hunting and pecking in the CWGC data and was wondering about the accuracy of some of the dates in there. I picked up a couple of POWs that the database says died before they got to Rennes. The POW data matches service number, last name and first initial to the A&D but CWGC says they died on 10/06/1944 but the A&D shows that one coming into Rennes 21 June and leaving 23 July not dead. Do they occasionally mix up the DD/MM format into MM/DD?
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#28 alieneyes

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:52 PM

They shouldn't but sometimes there are errors in their scanning of documents.
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#29 brithm

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:33 PM

sirjahn,

great work you are doing; I don't know if you have Major J.W.B. Marshall on your list who was 2 i/c for 8th Parachute Battalion was at Rennes and liberated from the Hospital.

John Marshall | ParaData

Regarding your search for confirmation, an avenue you have probably taken, the Red Cross Historical section must have some record and possibly the Rennes or Brittany archives, if there is such a place.

How many are you sure were still taken prisoner who were not liberated or died of wounds etc.

brithm
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#30 sirjahn

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:53 PM

Yes I have Marshall referenced in a couple E&Es. I have been in contact with the ICRC in Switzerland without much luck. I followed up with the French Red Cross and they were a black hole never responding. I know from E&Es that the French Red Cross helped at Rennes but I can't seem to get any info on that.

From the A&D there were 655 US, 271 British, 88 Canadian, 1 New Zealander and 1 Netherlander that are on the report. 270 US, 122 British and 36 Canadians of those POWs moved out of the Hospital and into the Stalags. 30 US, 4 British and 2 Canadians died in the POW hospital. 1 British Officer was moved to a German Hospital near by and died.

Additionally the Hospital held a number of French Colonial wounded from 1940 (I estimate 30ish) that were treated by French Military Personnel who were on parole.

I have found that the Hospital Allied medical staff consisted of 38 US, 41 British and Canadians above that number of wounded. There were 57 French doctors, nurses and administrative staff working there as well.
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