First British Unit into Berlin 1st July 1945? PWX party.

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Stewart Coupar, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. Hello,
    I was reading through a website about the 10th Durham Light Infantry and came across an entry for one of their officers called Cyril Ronald Deane. He was a pre war TA officer with the 9th DLI. The thing I found of interest was that it said he commanded a PWX Camp Road recce party and this was the first British unit into Berlin. Here is the link to the site- Deane Cyril Ronald Captain 24888 - 70 Brigade

    What exactly was a PWX Party? As far as I can make out it seems to be a group that has to aid and process POW's and help repatriate them, but I am not too sure if this is correct.
    Secondly, is it true, or do we know who was the 1st into Berlin?
  2. Historic Steve

    Historic Steve Researching 21 Army Group/BAOR post VE day

    PWX = Prisoner of War Executive were those other than Germans or Italians, who could be of use to assist in occupational duties, especially if they spoke English.

    Timetable for the British occupation of Berlin as taken from various War Dairies held at Kew and “History of RAF Gatow”.
    25 Jun 45 – 2848 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment arrived at Kladow Airfield later part of Royal Air Force Gatow, the Russians locked them up in a hanger for “arriving too early”.
    29 Jun 45 – advance party of Headquarters Berlin Area arrived Kladow Airfield and main party departed Braunschweig with the Left Flank 2nd Battalion Scots Guards
    2 Jul 45 – Temporary Headquarters in the Olympic Stadium along with the advance party of 7th Armoured Division
    4 Jul 45 – Main parties of Headquarters Berlin Area and 7th Armoured Division arrived

    More here British Troops Berlin (under construction)
    4jonboy and dbf like this.
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    According to a Reuters report of 7th June 1945 the first British soldiers to enter Berlin in 1945 were 12 military policemen from 21st Army Group

    The first British soldiers to set
    foot in Berlin were 12 military
    policemen of Field-Marshal
    Montgomery's bodyguard, says
    Reuter's correspondent with
    the 21st Army Group. Their
    red caps, spotless equipment,
    and soldierly bearing tremend-
    ously impressed the Red Army
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    At the time in question PWX was part of SHAEF and involved in the recovery and repatriation of Allied POWs
    "The Prisoner of War Executive Branch, G-1 Division, SHAEF (known as “PWX”) prepared a “Detailed Plan for the Care and Evacuation of American and British Prisoners of War after the Cessation of Hostilities”, and later issued periodic reports trying to identify and update the location of the different PW camps and numbers of Allied prisoners." (WW2 US Medical Research Centre, R A M P Administrative Repatriation Procedures & Evacuation and Disposition of Recovered Allied Military Personnel). Camp Road Recce parties were involved in locating camps and I would think that the one in question was heading for Sachsenhausen.
  5. Hi,
    Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my little question. So it seems that even though his group was not the first into Berlin, they were still amongst the earliest group to make it to the city and it is possible that when he was there he was unaware of any other British troops present. It must have been a very strange and interesting time to be there.
    Thank you both once again for your replies.
    Kind regards,

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