Fontainebleau Hostel - Cheshire.

Discussion in 'UK PoW Camps' started by Malcolm56, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. Malcolm56

    Malcolm56 Active Member

    The Cheshire War Agricultural Committee hired out pows to work on farms. One group of pows was from 'Fontainebleau Hostel' in late 1945.
    I know that Marbury Hall was styled on Fontainebleau Chateaux, so I am guessing that Fontainebleau Hostel was linked to it.
    Does anyone know what the link is (same place, different name? / yet another hostel for Marbury?)

    Best wishes - keep safe.
  2. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Marbury was a base camp until 1946, although it probably [TBC] had billetees in a military bakery at Blakemere before then. No hostels are mentioned in a PID visit in September 45. The hostel at Comberbach was only a mile away, founded 42/43? and was occupied by Italians until 1946 before becoming a German hostel in the spring of 46. This hostel was certainly attached to Marbury from July 46.
    My random thoughts are: Does your source mention German, Italian or Austrian labour? Is this a humorous jest by the original writer? Is this in a list of other Cheshire hostels, and are they listed accurately by name?
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
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  3. Malcolm56

    Malcolm56 Active Member

    Ah - would have helped if I had remembered to post the attachment... and make that early 1945.... :blush:

  4. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Malcolm 56, some guesses, added to my previous. Firstly, very small sums of money. Two men for a month in those days? These sums should be the full rate for agricultural labour as agreed nationally, although the men would only get 1/- or 5p. The War Office deducted the rest for board and lodging IIRC. (You know all this, the rest is for others to consider).

    This I think this invoice is for Italian labour. Germans were working in agriculture from 1944, but not working out in one's and two's unless somebody could whistle up enough guards. Desperate guard shortage at this time.

    I will re-edit this later if I find out differently when I find my Tarporley records, but I have no record of this hostel at all, but many camps have extremely poor records as you know. Tarporley was for Italians until spring 46 when it transitioned to Germans, who did begin in hostels and not main camp IIRC.

    Local to Allostock, Toft 190/2 and Marbury 180 were Base Camps for Germans only Oct 44 onwards. Marbury's only billeted out were the 69 at Blakemere RASC bakery, so were under so-called 'guard' in one military place. The first time I know PW were released to work, under guard at Marbury, was May 1945 but not in agriculture. Dunham 189 had Austrians until June 45.There do not really seem to be any records for Dunham, but Austrian prisoners elsewhere in Britain were recorded as working more freely like Italians in Italian Labour Battalions, perhaps even billeted, but I am not sure.

    I have not answered your question, for which I can only apologise, but perhaps given food for thought. Pun intended.
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  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  6. Malcolm56

    Malcolm56 Active Member

  7. Malcolm56

    Malcolm56 Active Member

    I have received some info about Fountainebleau - It is believed to have been used to hold Conscientious Objectors who worked on local farms. I think this is likely to be correct from the circumstances. 1. No record with the main camps of this hostel. 2. The Invoice states 'Labour supplied', I have another from Toft Camp from the same CWAEC where it states 'Hire of Prisoners of War'. 3. Recorded memories of the site being a converted cafe.
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  8. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    The national pay of an agricultural labourer charged to farmers in 1946 for a POW was 14/- a day, or 70 pence, according to the press and the prisoner got 5p.

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