PoW Camp 648 King Harry Ferry

Discussion in 'UK PoW Camps' started by Martin Richards, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. Martin Richards

    Martin Richards Active Member

    I visited Devon and Cornwall in the summer last year and one of the sites i failed to find was PoW Camp 648 King Harry Ferry.

    I am heading back to the area on the 10th of March to spend a few days as part of my MA at the University of Falmouth and I plan - weather permitting to take another look for this site.

    The info I have is that like many such sites it was a US Pre-D Day Camp.

    My Assumption is that it is close to Trelissick Garden:
    SW 83619 39610
    Latitude: 50° 13' 0" N
    Longitude: 5° 2' 3" W

    Does any one have any thing more accurate than the basic assumption that it was on that estste ?
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    A thought about locating this and indeed other camps. If they supplied farm labour there will have been some correspondence with the local County War Agriculture Committee and this may well contain a fuller postal address especially if the place of work was more than a certain distance from the camp when it was the CWAC's responsibility to organise transport. CWAC papers should be in the County Archives and available to the public.
    Tony56 likes this.
  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  4. Martin Richards

    Martin Richards Active Member

    Thanks I will take a look at their arvcchive if i have the time.
    I think it was archives at Kew where i found out about this site and there have been local newpaper articals about US Vets revisiting the Trelissick Garden so as i say the assumption is that it was 1st a US Camp then a PoW site. None of the National Trust people though that i talked to when i passed through the area knew much about the army camp other than it was "near by"
  5. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Probably not helpful to an exact location, but interesting:

    I worked at Golden Manor, nr. Probus and during the war we had Italian POW's working on the farm. They came to work each day by lorry. Up the road was a camp of Americans getting ready for the D-day landings.
    The Americans came up to the farm for eggs. One days the Italians were being lead out to go back to their camp - one of them called out "hey American" - it turned out that they were brothers. The older one had emigrated to America, the younger had stayed in Italy with his Mama. It was very moving as the whole conversation for those few minutes was "have you heard from Mama".
    I used to ride a horse to work and had to have spepcial permission to travel on the roads. Nr. King Harry Ferry the road was blocked with vehicles for four days - I would go home for lunch and then back to the farm and the traffic hadn't moved
    BBC - WW2 People's War - Italian Brothers
  6. CornwallPhil

    CornwallPhil Senior Member

    Prior to D-Day the Americans had a small camp in Trelissick Park consisting of bell tents and nissen huts with messing in some of the outbuildings of the estate. As you stand in front of the house this was off to the right sloping down towards Channalls Creek. They were not allowed to block the view from the house to the river. The main purpose of the camp was accommodation for those working on the embarkation hards at Tolverne and Turnaware Point.
    I have never come across any evidence of the site being used as a POW camp.

    The nearest known POW camp is at Mylor Bridge on a site that was a HAA Battery. This remained in use until 1948 when it was utilised for Ukrainian refugees.

    The photograph below shows troops embarking at Turnaware Point for D-Day. Trelissick is the white house top right. As you can see the park in front of it is clear. The US camp was behind the tree line that runs down the slope to the left of the house.

    Within the Trelissick Estate is Penhale House which housed the Falmouth Heavy Anti Aircraft Gun Operations Room throughout the war. This is hidden amongst the trees to the left of Trelissick House.

    If there was a POW camp at Trelissick it is unlikely to have been called King Harry Ferry. Is it possible your reference is to a ship moored in the river used as a POW ship, or an offloading point for craft bringing back POWs from France? Turnaware Point loading for D Day.jpg
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  7. Martin Richards

    Martin Richards Active Member

    Okay and thanks.
    This is one of the more obscure ones the only referance I have had to date as to this camp is from the Forces Postal Service.
    The norm as i say is that post The Desert Campain a number of existing military camps were made into PoW camps as before then most PoWs were captured in small numbers.
    Then this happened again after D-Day, a lot of camps built for the US / UK / Can were made into PoW Camps.
    It is interesterting that you mentioned the Anti Aircraft Gun.
    What happened here was that there were lots of AA Guns all over the county with a few Nissen Huts to support the troops that manned them.
    As the air raids lessened a number of sites were released and following the end of the war even more sites were released and the Nissen Huts were used to accommodate PoWs as "Hostels" whist working on local farms etc... there are a couple of sites like this close to where i live

    And there is the possiblity that although the Name / Number was taken out that the camp was never actually used for PoWs -

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