Interned in Belgium

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by timberman, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. timberman

    timberman Junior Member

    Interned in Belgium

    If this is in the wrong place let me know and I’ll re-do it.
    For several years I have been trying to find where my Uncle was interned in Belgium from Nov 1939 to May 1940 when he escaped and returned to his Sqn at Lihons only to find the Sqn had already left for England
    He had a forced landing in Belgium and was interned in a Castle that I think began with a B. In my notes I have it down as Borsbex Castle but have been unable to find this.
    He did spend some time in Antwerp Military Hospital before being sent to the Castle.
    I would appreciate any help

    Timberman
     
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    There was a fortified barracks at Borsbeek near Antwerp and the Belgian tank school was based there but I've not heard of its use as a prison.

    Any large house can be known as a kasteel or castle. It doesn't have to be a huge fortified construction.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Whats his name etc - He maybe listed in one of my books.
     
  4. timberman

    timberman Junior Member

    Thanks for your replies.

    When he was interned he was Sgt pilot A W Gilmore.
    He was flying Blenhiem MK1 L1148 (only just had this number always thought it was L1147 as my Uncle had lost his original Log book in France and his new one only started on the 16th May 1940)
    The other members of the crew were Sgt Turnidge and AC1 T Jervis

    Thanks
    Timberman
     
  5. timberman

    timberman Junior Member

    He was in 57Sqn
     
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It looks to me that the aircraft was a Blenheim 1,serial number L1148 of No 57 Squadron engaged on a reconnaissance operation on 16 Noveember 1939.The aircraft force landed on the Gent-Kortrijk road near Waregem and the three man crew was interned.

    No 57's base airfield was Rosieries en Santerre and Lihons is a village a km or so away from the airield.The first airfield that the squadron was posted to, when, with No 18 Squadron,it formed the Air Component,France, was Roye a few kms further south.

    Had a good look round the area looking at the old airfields of the Advanced Air Striking Force, France (10 Battle squadrons) and the Air Component France (2 Blenheim squadrons).Just off the Rosieries airfield is the village of Merharicourt where the RCAF VC W/O A.C Mynarski of No 419 Squadron is buried in the communal cemetery.

    This is the area which about 10 years ago,the French proposed to construct a new Paris international airport,based on the small town of Chaulnes.It may have involved the relocation of a number of Great War cemeteries.After considerable objections,the proposal was quietly withdrawn.

    As regards the prolonged internment of aircrews on Belgium territory.Until Belgium was invaded by the German jackboot,the Belgium Government tended to be strict in operating their neutrality.The Blitzkrieg on May 10 1940 changed all that and up to that time,King Leopold was reluctant to grant the BEF access into Belgium to cover the anticipated thrust through Belgium into France.When consent was granted, it proved to be too late.
     
  7. vestingjager

    vestingjager Active Member

    Rather late, but I just learned that the internees of the RAF were held in Fort2, one of the WWI brick forts of Antwerp, and home of the transport corps school of the Belgian Army.
     
    CL1 likes this.

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