Deaths in XXa and XXb

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Tim091, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Long story, try to keep it short. A relative was in both Torun and Marienburg and survived the Long March. I have all of his letters home from 1940 - 45.

    This triggered an interest in those camps and I have been collecting books and ephemera concerning those camps.

    I recently acquired a set of photos from WW2 stamped XXa showing the funeral at Malbork cemetery of a Gunner Thomas Crook RA.

    I have found some info on him online and have been able to create a basic family tree for him. What I am interested in is how he died in captivity and wondering if there are any resources for researching that?
    BarbaraWT likes this.
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    A few potential free sources spring to mind -

    1. His Red Cross papers in Switzerland. Red Cross will have communicated his cause of death to UK Authorities via official German "Totenliste".

    You can apply in September via this link -

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or the Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    I would include a specific request for his cause of death.

    2. The RA card index - a forum member might attach a copy for you.

    3. Online local newspapers might have a mention of his passing.

    IMHO his Army service papers likely won't have details of his death.

    GRO WW2 death certificate will also likely have no detail other than "died as POW".

    Good Luck

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
    4jonboy likes this.
  3. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Thanks Steve. The CWGC has his date of death and names his parents which was useful. One of the photos I have shows his service number (773645) on the grave marker.

    I haven't found anything in a newspaper search but will persevere with that.

    Red Cross sounds promising, I will pursue. Cheers.
    BFBSM likes this.
  4. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    "Shot by sentry":

    4jonboy, vitellino, SteveDee and 3 others like this.
  5. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Wow! Thank you so much!

    "Whilst trying to escape" was no doubt the official German report.

    Very sad.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    For the record
    UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947
    Name: Thomas Crook
    Age: 34
    Birth Date: abt 1910
    Death Date: 1 Aug 1944
    Cemetery: Malbork Commonwealth War Cemetery Pol. 2
    Father: Thomas Crook
    Mother: Frances Crook
    Regimental Number: 773645
    Region or Memorial: Poland, U.S.S.R.


  7. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

  8. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    A very sad story. Tim, it would be so good if you could post some of your relatives letters from XXA!
  9. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Hi Tim
    I’d be interested in your book list.
  10. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Hi Barbara, I'll put together the list and post it here. Maybe I'll start a new thread on it so others can add to it.
  11. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Hi Barbara, I have started a thread.
  12. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Studying the picture of the grave has led me off on another investigation on the grave next to Thomas Crook's. You can see from the pic that it is a Leslie Wilson.

    He is:

    Leslie Stephen Wilson
    Service No: 10785
    Age: 35
    Regiment/Service: New Zealand Infantry, 23rd Bn.

    Son Of David And Julia Wilson, Of Caversham, Otago, New Zealand.

    He has a "proper" headstone now.

    I wonder if anyone (harkness ?) can shed light on how he died?
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Tim091 well done on adding the photo Private Leslie Stephen Wilson (Unknown-1944) -...

    Leslie Spencer WILSON
    BIRTH 6 FEB 1906 • Milton, NZ
    DEATH 20 FEB 1944 • Poland

    Birth 06/02/1906 Milton Clutha Otago New Zealand
    Death 20/02/1944 Poland
    Father David James WILSON (1877-1954)
    Mother Julia BAUMGARDT (1882-1962)

    These detail also make him 38 years old not 35 as mentioned above

  14. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Thanks Tricky Dicky . How did you find that info? I am on Find My Past and couldn't find anything other than the CWGC info (which has the middle name as Stephen) and the NZ war graves who also have it wrong.
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Ancestry family tree

  16. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    Thanks TD. It's annoying that different ancestry sites have access to different databases. Looks like I'll have to subscribe to that too!
  17. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    It is a problem but if some have FMP membership and others have Ancestry then hopefully we can work together and come up with the best answers available
    I have considered changing to FMP but there are members here with access who at the moment fulfill any needs I may have - in the genealogy sense that is :rolleyes::unsure::whistle::blush:

  18. Tim091

    Tim091 Active Member

    :)Makes sense. If you need anything from FMP let me know.
  19. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Hi Tim
    How is your research going?
  20. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    Hi Tim

    It sounds like you’ve got a treasure trove of family history there. My Uncle was at Torun XXA 1940-44 as well. Sadly, he died on the long march near the end of the war. He wrote letters but I have no idea what happened to them.

    How is your research going? Have you read any of the letters? It would be great if you are interested in posting some.

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