US Controlled PoW German Camps in Britain

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Osborne2, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    I found this list of US managed and guarded POW Camps in the UK. Without checking all of them, two, at Bury and Oldham, were previously British controlled camps. I suspect there were, later, others added to this list.

    Fold 3/WWII/ European theatre army records/5 Geographical Command reports/603dd-Western Base Section. History of the Quartermaster, August 1942-August 1944/ 228.

    Again, without carefully checking, I seem to think most of these were later handed back to to the British, certainly Haltwhistle, Oldham, Bury, Cummock, Devizes, Swanwick,Rugeley. In time I will confirm these transfers.

    Edit. Adderley Hall, Shropshire removed 12.7.18. Edit 5.8.20, More precise document reference supplied.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    Mathsmal, Dave55 and Lindele like this.
  2. Mathsmal

    Mathsmal Senior Member

    I think these were transit camps rather than permanent camps at that point. I know that POWs were taken to camps in Scotland prior to being shipped to the US. As you mention, I believe all of these camps were moved to British ownership at a later date. There were also a number of US Army Hospitals that treated POWs, for example near Weymouth, in Oxfordshire, Blockley in Gloucestershire, etc.
  3. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Mathsmal I agree with your analysis.

    POW "export" from Scotland was probably timed to coincide with troopship arrival from USA. 70% of all US troops debarked in Britain came through Clyde ports. So empty ships were able to clear POWs away. The POW deal was 50%/50% split of Germans, US/UK+ Empire. There is literature that describes the nationality segregation at Kempton Park by the British, does anyone have a description of what, if anything, the US did? Britain made a big effort to segregate Polish nationals forced into the Wehrmacht, and after screening, take them into the Free Polish forces.

    I will check out my assertion that all the camps listed in #1 became British Camps progressively, I suspect this happened after direct trooping by the US into Cherbourg, rather than through Scotland. Few dates are published for the actual opening of POW Camps, but a few do.
  4. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    I have retrieved the British POW camp numbers from
    This is the best list I have found, but there are inaccuracies, as there are (acknowledged in some of my posts where they occur) in my posts.
    Burton on the Hill 157
    Flaxley Green 16 and 175
    Glen Mill 176
    Warth Mill 8/9/12a/177
    Doonfoot 14
    Cumnock 22
    Haltwhistle 18
    Hayes Swanwick 13/179
    Borrough House Not sure yet
    Butterwick 159/163
    North Burton 136
    Devizes Not sure yet

    For those not so au fait, the re-numbering is not uncommon. The earlier the number, generally the earlier the camp was created. Before 23 October 1944, according to my records, there was no camp with a number higher than 191, as on that day camps 180,189, 190,191 were founded for the first time. These POW camps were formed because US fighting troops no longer came to mid Cheshire marshaling area to use the sites.

    These early numbered camps were all /mostly built as standard camps to a basic design and were (probably all) stockaded (barb wired). Toft Hall 2/190 Cheshire is clearly wire fenced in Google EarthPro 1945 photo.

    Looking at the number distribution Mathsmal is correct in saying they are transit camps, but they were pre-existing camps which had housed, and may have been built, (as Tarporley 74 was) by the Italians who then occupied them. Because Italians were in 1944 increasingly 'cooperating', they did not need to be in wired camps. So I suspect these camps were cleared for D Day and handed back to the British by the US before 23 October 1944, because the US was altering its shipping movements (my post preceding). Contrary opinions gladly welcome.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  5. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Borrough House Driffield. I am still uncertain where this is.

    Devizes. Le Marchant Camp No 23.. Valuable evidence here in Roderic de Normann's book 'For Fuhrer and Fatherland' p54. He states it became a British POW Camp 11 September 1944, so in US hands for about 3 months. At p60, a Home guard witness said that at first the guards marching them from the station were Americans. At the beginning until later in the year the US and British used it as a transit camp.

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