Hylands House and Park SAS And POWs

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by redtop, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Hylands House and Park Chelmsford housed troops and later a POW Camp.
    I know the SAS were there and I have just found out that G Battery 5 RHA were there in 1940.
    Is there any record of other units stationed there or records of POW Camp?
  2. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    The only way I found out if British units were at a particular place was to get the records of the Adjutant General of the Command for the place I was interested in. For Western Command most months there was a list of units raised or disbanded and their location but I admit this may not be true for all commands as I have not looked at all. Then you can also look at the smaller parts of the Command, called areas or if you are lucky the districts, or even sub-districts which may be at an individual county level. From these sources you may be able to build a timeline. Then you might be able to call up individual War Diaries for British Units. Very few POW camp admin records exist only the War Office inspection reports, if you are lucky in the FO series. POW Camps were administered centrally not by commands it seems and in looking at WC diaries the only things I recall picking up were escapes in the G series.
  3. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Thank you Osbourne 2
    These are areas I have yet to explore I also under stand that Mobile Bath Units are a useful source .
    Hylands House and Park is a well used military site ,troops have exercised there since the Crimea War and it was a Hospital in WW1.
    Surprisingly little in the Estates records . It does record that there was a POW camp but this camp does not show up on the UK listings.
  4. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    There were a larger number of hostels for PWs 'out-stationed' from main camps into areas distant from the main camp so the occupants were nearer their place of work. For instance, a POW main camp I am interested in,had over its 4 year life, more than about 25 attached hostels that were not separately numbered. Some of these were gently downsizing large camps that had once been numbered but now their management teams were too small for them to be managed viably and their number was dropped. One of these had been originally been built for US troops and housed over 3000 Americans in 1944. Other hostel sites formerly had been AA gun sites and searchlight batteries.
  5. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Osbourne 2
    Here in Halstead (Essex) we had two POW camps one at High Garret was formally a Signals outstation of USAF Gosfield.at one time it housed highly motivated German POW,s one an ex Submariner working on Farm stayed on after war and is/was my next door neighbours Father.

    Here are a couple of POW related (and may be boring) snippets.

    Just after the war my father worked on a farm near Eridge in Kent.
    Some days I would walk out to the fields with my mother taking his lunch.
    We would sit down to eat it alongside Italian POW also working on Farm.(dad had been fighting them not long before in N Africa.)
    As a child I can only remember dark skinned men with flashing white teeth . Not sure if they were guarded.

    Later we moved to Hainault in Essex ,German POW,s from a nearby labour camp had been employed laying down the roads for the new housing estate.
    Large stretches had to be pulled up and relayed.
    It turned out that the Germans had saved their sugar ration and put it in the batches of concrete (Sugar kills the cement)
    Osborne2 likes this.

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