Help decoding a POW card - Fall of Tobruk

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Rob Smith, May 8, 2022.

  1. Rob Smith

    Rob Smith New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm researching a Great Uncle of mine; James Hector Reeves,1763811,
    Royal Artillery - 88th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment - 282 Battery

    I've got a bit of information from online records. He seems to have been been captured after Tobruk, transferred to Italy, Villa Sereni PG 51, then PG 73, and then to Germany - Stalag 4F. He sent two cards home, which I have, one from Italy and one from Germany.

    I've today found this card on

    I can't work out what a lot of it means, although some of the camp names are familiar. Was wondering if anyone can help decipher and see if I'm missing something of importance?

    Rob download (1).png download.png
    Lindele likes this.
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard. Others here focus on POW camps and interpreting cards. Hopefully they will be along to help. PM sent with research tips.
    Rob Smith likes this.
  3. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Welcome to the Forum Rob,
    I cannot be of much help, but the camp was just about 20 miles from where I was born in March 1945.
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    Are you just interested in his time as POW?

    The card you have attached is not a POW card. It is a Royal Artillery “tracer card” held centrally and regularly updated as source documents are received. As well as noting POW locations it records his regimental movements.

    The POW details will be expanded on in the records held by Swiss Red Cross.

    If you want to obtain his ICRC POW papers you need to use the below link on Monday 16th May. You need to be quick off the mark as their enquiry capacity usually fills within an hour. In pre Covid times you would get a reply by post after 4 or 5 months.

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    He will also likely have a record in the WO416 series of German POW documents held at UK National Archives. There may even be a photograph held there.

    The brief details of his non POW movements will be recorded in much greater detail - with additional information - in his military service record that can be obtained from UK MOD via this link -

    Request records of deceased service personnel

    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  5. Rob Smith

    Rob Smith New Member

    Hi all, thanks for the welcome and tips.

    Hi Steve, I'm interested in anything I can find out! The WO416 seems to have him but only claims to have 2 cards (?), no photos etc. So I'm not sure how much I can really find out there. Looking like the Red Cross and MOD are my best bets.
  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    As you have online access you ought to be able to obtain his German POW number via Ancestry and see his UK Casualty List records via Findmypast.


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