Polish Guard Companies: Marbury Hall Prisoner of War Camp 180/189

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Osborne2, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Marbury was, on 23 October 1944 one of three former British, then US Army Camps, or Italian POW camps that were turned into POW Camps for German prisoners. These were Marbury Hall then Camp 180, (later 189), Dunham Park, 189 and Toft Hall, 190, (later Camp 2).

    The guards assigned to these three camps were all Polish Army guards. I know some were freshly recruited into the Army as former Wehrmacht Polish conscripts and others were wounded Polish soldiers who could not immediately go back into combat. The Polish Guard Company at Marbury, located near Northwich, was 3rd Polish Guard Company. I do not have identification for the other two. I believe there might have been as many as 10 such Polish Companies in Britain. Other camps I know had Polish guards were Llanmartin 184, Comrie 7, Devizes Le Marchant 23 and Cumnock 22.

    Does anyone have any information on these units? Each one probably numbered 100-200 men. War Office records show there to be about 1600 Poles acting as guards on 26 May 1945.

    Do you have family who served in these units?

    Does anyone know where their parent headquarters were and who commanded them?

    Do you know when your relatives were recruited into these units and where they were located?

    Have you obtained their records from RAF Northolt*, and would you be prepared to share them with me?

    When Poles arrived in Britain after D Day in German uniform, they were finally screened at Polkemmet in Scotland. Does anyone have information on this?

    Finally, one person believes their Polish father was a prisoner guard in Cheshire in 1943. Does anyone know anything about this?

    This post was originally put on Polish Forums but has not evoked any leads.

    Thank you

    *All Polish servicemen who served in 1st and 2nd Corps have their personal records maintained at RAF Northolt.
    Poland in Exile - Useful Addresses. They should be consulted as to the way to apply.
    The staff working there have helped several people local to me obtain their father's and grandfather's records. Some have been rather surprised to find that their Polish fore-bearer was forced to serve in the German Army. Approximately 89,300 did before being able to join the Allies, especially after D Day.
     
  2. CL1

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

  3. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks CL1 for rounding it all up.
     
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    180 Working Camp, Marbury Hall Camp, Northwich, Cheshire | The National Archives
    Reference: FO 939/336
    Description:
    180 Working Camp, Marbury Hall Camp, Northwich, Cheshire
    Date: 1945-1946
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: CO Files 165/361
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    189 Working Camp, Marbury Hall Camp, Northwich, Cheshire. Also includes an inspector's... | The National Archives
    Reference: FO 939/177
    Description:
    189 Working Camp, Marbury Hall Camp, Northwich, Cheshire.
    Also includes an inspector's report (by James Grant, dated 11 October 1946) for 188 Working Camp, Johnstone Castle Camp, Johnstone, Renfrewshire.
    Date: 1946-1948
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: CO Files 152/174
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Proposed camp sites for the War Office at Dunham Park, Cheshire | The National Archives
    Reference: HLG 71/820
    Description:
    Proposed camp sites for the War Office at Dunham Park, Cheshire
    Date: 1942-1951
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: 95223/11
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    2 Base Camp, Toft Hall Camp, Knutsford, Cheshire | The National Archives
    Reference: FO 939/293
    Description:
    2 Base Camp, Toft Hall Camp, Knutsford, Cheshire
    Note: see also FO 939/85
    Date: 1946-1948
    Related material:
    See also:
    FO 939/85
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: CO Files 165/1

    2 Base Camp, Toft Hall Camp, Knutsford, Cheshire. Also includes reports for No 2 Bomb... | The National Archives
    Reference: FO 939/85
    Description:
    2 Base Camp, Toft Hall Camp, Knutsford, Cheshire. Also includes reports for No 2 Bomb Disposal Company at Richmond Park, SW London (March 1948) and No 2 Bomb Disposal Platoon at Hursley Park near Winchester, Hampshire (October 1947)
    Date: 1947-1948
    Related material:
    See also:
    FO 939/293
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: CO Files 152/4
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description


    TD
     
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Conversion of Polish POWs to DP status | The National Archives
    Reference: FO 1032/820
    Description:
    Conversion of Polish POWs to DP status
    Date: 1946-1947
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: HQ/011108/3/SEC
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    TNA holds a variety of files that may or may not answer some of your questions

    TD
     
  6. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for these TNA references. I have consulted some of them in the past, but two look as if they are unknown to me. I shall definitely be having a look at them, next time in London. You did well to find them. Every time I go into the on line search it seems something new comes out even if I think I have put in the same terms.

    I have tried the Sikorski Institute by visit for Polish material and they were very charming and tried to help, but their index system was not easy to negotiate.

    I have the Marbury FO records, plus Toft FO. There is no discussion of who the guards were except a comment from a visitor to Marbury that the Germans felt sorry for the Poles because at least they, the Germans, had a land to go back to eventually. That was about 1946.

    Edit. Changed three to two.
     

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