POW work Camps 107 Italy and 2048L Schladming Austria

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Colin R, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I visited Schladming last year and with the help of a local, found the work camp site ( Camp 2048L) which was located about 200 metres from the railway station. There were 5 buildings, 4 of which housed about 65 prisoners while the 5th was the kitchen - where my father, Les Rhodes, a POW worked. The prisoners worked in a factory near to the railway station building pre fabricated P.O.W. barracks which were then railed to camps in Austria, Germany and Italy. The barracks were used as residential homes until about 6 years ago when they were demolished to make way for new housing and a garden centre. While my father was a New Zealander (19th battalion), I understand most of the others were British. The factory building was demolished last year to make way for a supermarket. Can anyone help with more info? Regards,
    Colin R

    Colin I can't find anything under Schladming or 2048L. What was the Camp of Registration.

  2. Colin/Brian

    As I am sure you may be aware there is an excellent website all about Stalag 18a
    which includes a list of all the work camps, including 2048L, but unfortuantly there doesn't appear to be any additional details about that particular work camp. I see that your father is listed in the roll call so I guess that you may have already been in contact.

    I'm in the process of obtaining a copy of this book;

    BOOK REVIEW. ‘Von der Front aufs Feld’ by Edith Petschnigg. Roughly translated as ‘From the front to the field – British prisoners of war in the Steiermark 1941-45’. The Reichsgau Steiermark is an area of eastern Austria on the border with Hungary. Known during the war as Wehrkreis XVIII (18) it contained the following POW camps; Oflag 18B and Stalag 18A at Wolfsberg; Oflag 18C, Stalag 18B, Stalag 18A/Z and Ilag 18 at Spittal an der Drau; Stalag 18C at Markt Pongau; Stalag 18D and Stalag 18B/Z at Marburg and der Drau; Oflag 18A at Lienz and Stalag 18B and Oflag 18A at Wagna. Yes, the numbers and locations were moved around a bit. For instance Stalag 18B was at Spittal from Feb 41 to Oct 42 and then moved to Wagna until it became an officers camp in August 1943.
    As we know, most of the British, Australian and New Zealand residents of the POW camps were employed on arbeits kommandos and the bulk of the book covers the experiences of these working parties. I was particularly pleased to see an 18 page list of kommandos as an appendix and a list on page 297 of the files in the public record office which mention Wehrkreis XVIII. The kommando numbers ended with an ‘L’ for Landwirtshaft or ‘GW’ for Gewerblichen Wirtshaft. Basically farming/forestry or factory/construction work respectively. The book also contains some good photos of groups of men in the kommandos and a very good picture on page 72 of British POWs working at the bomb damaged Graz railway station.
    This excellent book tells you everything you would like to know about the camps with the designation XVIII, unfortunately it does it in German.

    which is as it says in German so I can see a lot of hard work ahead. I'm looking for details of work camp 934L Glashutten, but if I come across anything about 2048L I'll let you know, but it may take some time.

  3. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris,
    thanks for that.
    I have been looking through War Crimes Files for anything on the Work Camp. None have turned up,but there are plenty regarding others attached to XV111A.

  4. Colin R

    Colin R Junior Member

    Thanks Chris and Brian. As outlined in my first post, my father was transferred from Italy, upon their capitulation, to Stalag XV111C at Spittal en der Drau on 14/9/43 from where he escaped in October 1943 with a Lt. James Crawford, a signalman with the Queens Royal Cameroon Highlanders. They were both captured 4 days later. Dad was at Camp 2048L, at Schladming from 25/4/44 until 14/3/45. Regards,
    Colin R
  5. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Lt.Crawford J.A. was sent to Oflag 4C Colditz. So he must have been very determined in his Escape attempts.

  6. Colin/Brian

    Book arrived today, on quick look through there was a Work Camp at Schladming listed as 942/GW which was factory or construction work, reference to PRO record WO 224/45.

    Any thing further will take some searching as it will need translating.

  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Thought I'd add this to the general pool of knowledge regarding escaping British POWs in Italy.

    This came up during my research into my old Tank Commander's award of the MM.



    Attached Files:

  8. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that Ron,
    my records show Tpr.Pugh J 7937449 as having Escaped on 12/9/43 and S.Mjr Thomas W.T. 7340821 listed as Escaping on 16/9/43.

    P.G. 70 was one of those Camps where the S.B.O. didn't realise the futility of the"Standfast" order and did his best to contain the Prisoners.
  9. LSG

    LSG Junior Member

    Kio Ora Colin

    My Dad was also in Stalag 18A. A large number of Kiwi's where there.

    I have been providing Ian Brown with info in regard to Stalag 18A in Wolfsburg and there is an excellent site URL below & your Dad is listed in the Roll Call.


    Do you have any photos or info you could send to Ian. Even if you email Ian as your Dad has a question mark after it to confirm what happened to him.

    Have a look around the site at the photos also work parties if you know where he was you never know a photo may have turned up from somewhere in the world.

  10. eNZedFred

    eNZedFred Junior Member

    My Dad was in the Taranaki Company of the 19th and was captured the same place and day. He told me the story about being lined up on the wharf and everyone got a coloured stripe on their arm. He called it sheep raddle. (Marker paint for sheep, as he was a sheep farmer) I think it was red or blue.
    I don't remember what colour he got, but he said the other boat was torpedoed and many killed. I'm quite sure the boats were the Jantzen and Nino Bixio.
    He went to Bari then on to 57, and then a work camp near Padova (Padua).
    He spent 4 months on the loose in Italy, being re-captured 31 December and then taken into Germany.
    I wish I had more for you. He never really talked about it.
    Cheers, Fred.
    PS. This is my first post, so still trying to learn more myself.
  11. 629_SQN

    629_SQN DFC

    Hello there and welcome to the forum :)
  12. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum Fred,
    I would think he would have been on the Nino Bixio rather than the Jason which was torpedoed 8 months earlier.

  13. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    I am researching my father's WW2 experiences etc and would appreciate any help. He, Pte.Leslie John Rhodes, machine gunner, 19th Battalion, New Zealand Army, was captured 15 July 1942 at Ruweisat Ridge (Alamein). shipped to Italy (possibly on the ship Nino Bixio which was torpedoed by British submarine 17 Aug. '42). Arrived in Bari (possibly transit camp P.G.65 or 75) then to P.G.57 at Gruppignano. Was in POW work camp 107 at Torviscosa 20 Oct '42 - 9 Sept '43 with Henry A Bennett of Kent U.K, Joseph Savage of Belfast Nthn. Ireland, Thomas A Gilliard of Liverpool, U.K., Alan Auty of South Shields, Durham UK, George Wilton Of Plaistow, London, plus several hundred New Zealand and South African POWs. Sent to Austria to Stalag XV111B, Spittal en der Drau from where he escaped in Oct. '43 with Jim Crawford of Queens Royal Cameroon Highlanders - but recaptured 4 days later. Was also in Stalag XV111A, Wolfsberg, XV111C at Sankt Johann Markt Pongau and spent from 25 April '44 until 14 Mar '45 as a cook at work camp 2048/L in Schladming, Austria. Sent to Margate, U.K. at end of war then back to N.Z. 2 months later. Does anyone remember him or have info re these places or know the above mentioned POW's. Thanks and Regards
    Colin R

    Hi Colin,
    Are these your men(Prisoners of War British army 39-45)
    Cpl T A Gilliard] RASC Regimental No T/135006 Camp Stalag 18A Pow No9196.
    Bdr A.Auty RA Regimental No 841943 Camp Stalag 18A Pow No9197
    Gnr .H.A.Bennett RA Regimental No 6098379 Camp Stalag 18A Pow No9192
    Sgt .G.Wilton Rifle Brigade Regimental No 6700643 Camp Stalag 18A Pow No9198
    Rfn.J. Savage .R.Ulster.R Regimental No7012391 Camp Stalag 18A Pow No 9195
  14. Colin R

    Colin R Junior Member

    Thank you. Yes they are the same men (same POW & regimental numbers). I received 1 A4 page photocopy of a list dated 6 August 1943, of prisoners at Campo 107, a work camp about 5kms from Torviscosa, from the Red Cross Archives in Geneva. We visited the Torviscosa and the camp site, now known as Villagio de Roma. About 90% of the camp buildings have been demolished and replaced with houses. I know I would be pushing my luck to find these men now.
    Colin R
  15. John Edwards

    John Edwards Junior Member

    Lt.Crawford J.A. was sent to Oflag 4C Colditz. So he must have been very determined in his Escape attempts.


    Lt John Anson Crawford was my Grandfather who escaped and evaded capture in Warsaw for over a year before being recaptured and sent to Colditz. He was with the Queen's own Cameron Highlanders.
  16. Colin R

    Colin R Junior Member

    Thanks John. It now appears your grandfather is not the man I am looking for. According to a list of Britsh officer POW's at Colditz on Officer List (new) | Colditz Castle Trips and History your grandfather arrived there on 27/10/42.
    On a "General Questionaire for British/American Ex- Prisoners of War" completed 18/5/45 by my father when he was repatriated to Margate, England, at the end of the war he stated he escaped from Stalag 18A at Spittal en der Drau, Austria with Jim Crawford, a "Tommy" (englishman) in October '43, and they were recaptured 4 days later, with Dad being returned there. On the Stalag18A website, a Jim Crawford is listed on the roll call (no other details). The dates do not tie in, nor does the name Jim / John. Unfortunately it appears I have been lead down the wrong path by someone meaning well, who linked Jim with your grandfather John.
    I was referred to an article which appeared in the Sunday Herald on 30/01/2000, written by Trevor Royle of Edinburgh, and titled "Raising Hell in Colditz" . It is an interview of your grandfather by Trevor (apparently done over the phone - Trevor advised me in 2009 they never met) and was written to coincide with a programme which was on Channel 4 on 31 / 01 /2000 called "Escape from Colditz". I have not seen it. What a shame - when I saw your post, I thought I was on to something.
    I hope you find some of the above of help. Regards, Colin R
  17. Colin R

    Colin R Junior Member

  18. raygreer

    raygreer Junior Member

    Hi, I have just joined. I am researching my uncle Gilbert Greer who served in the 26th Bn in the NZ Army. He was taken prisioner in North Africa in Nov 1941 and POW in various Campo in Italy ending up in Campo PG 57 and Campo 107. After Italy's capitulation in Sept 1943 he escaped to Yugoslavia and joined the partisans. He was reunited with Allied Forces in Jan 1945 being taken off from Zardar by a British warship. I'm interested in any information about this time. Ray
  19. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the Forum Ray.

    I have a Report made by Mjr.Gibbon RTR who led a group from Caporetto to Otacac in Jugoslavia which contains comments by Capt. D G Riddiford 2 NZEF.
    The group being led were split up at sometime after an attack by the Germans.
    The File also has statements by Sgt F R Sayers AIF and 41107 Pte J E Lochhead NZEF amongst others.

  20. raygreer

    raygreer Junior Member

    Thanks Brian, I'm interested in seeing the report that you mentioned. I have a copy of the book that was written by Capt. Riddiford and recently published by his widow, but it has no mention of my uncle. He was one of a group of five who escaped from Campo 107 in Sept 1943 and were taken off from Zadar in Dec 1944. There names were: Ptes A.W. Bassett (21 Bn), T.C. Green, G.A Greer and L. S. A. Mair (26 Bn), and S.D. Rutherford (20 Bn) Ray

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