P.O.W. camp 203

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Oscar8, Mar 11, 2023.

  1. Oscar8

    Oscar8 Member

    Looking for location of P.O.W. camp 203 in september 1943.
    Possible in North Africa.
  2. pete

    pete Junior Member

  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Hello Oscar,

    Why are you interested in PG 203? You will see from my website that it was at Castel San Pietro, Bologna. What made you think that it might have been in North Africa in September 1943?


  4. Oscar8

    Oscar8 Member

    Hi Vitellino,

    It is about a German Soldier who is captured on may 12th. 1943 in Tunisia by the British.
    On the september 12th. 1943 he is in P.O.W. camp 203.
    On the october 25 th. 1943 he is registered at the Polish Forces in the U.K. and 2 weeks later added to the First Polish Armoured Division.
    I don't understand why should he brougt to Italy ?
    Is it possible that there is another P.O.W. camp 203, example in North Africa or the U.K.
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Oscar8 has now clarified it is a British POW Camp 203 and the TNA record states it was open 1943 July- Dec. See: Camps: 203 POW Camp | The National Archives

    Roger Thomas's work does not list a POW Camp 203 in the UK; his list misses camps 201-210. See: https://historicengland.org.uk/imag.../prisoner-of-war-camps/prisoner-of-war-camps/

    I could not find anything else online about this camp, presumably in Tunisia and which had a temporary life.

    Polish-Germans and Poles were conscripted after 1939 into Wehrmacht service; there is a thread here on the subject: Poles in the Wehrmacht.

    When the Axis armies surrendered 267k German and Italian POWs needed to be accommodated prior to moving on. I am aware that some Italian, less certain that German POWs were held in Algeria and worked on farms. No quickly found information on where this mass of humanity were held.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2023
  6. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    During my research into my fathers war I found that on his way to the middle east they stopped at Durban for a couple of weeks and were at a large military camp at Clairwood Racecouse, which also was a POW camp.
    It appears that the convoys between Durban and Suez carried Allied troop reinforcements north and returned south with both Axis POW and wounded Allied soldiers.
    Maybe this is the location?
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    I would not exclude the possibility that German (and Italian) POWs after Tunisia were moved to South Africa and beyond. May be even to the UK itself. Plus, four months after his surrender he is in POW Camp (which is not in the UK) and six weeks later he is registered at the Polish Forces in the U.K.

    No POW Camp 203 can be readily id'd in South Africa and the only indications I could see were for Italian POWs.

    I would expect the soldier was identified or self-identified as a Pole / Polish during the initial POW registration process and as Polish forces were part of the 8th Army he could have been seen by them too - once id'd. Screening and vetting proceed slowly and are finalised in the UK by the Poles.
  8. Oscar8

    Oscar8 Member

    Your link is clear to me.
    British POW Camp 203 and the TNA record states it was open 1943 July- Dec. See: Camps: 203 POW Camp | The National Archives

    Now the big question is where was that POW camp.
    Unfortunately I can't visit the National Archive.
  9. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

  10. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2023
  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Well done, just read through the stamp collecting document. Alas no Camp 203 is id'd and the South Africans held very few German POWs, one passage refers to two thousand and the vast majority were Italians, from North and East Africa. Curious how many were held in Zonderwater Camp, 100k plus and the number of French held too. For the curious about 100k see: http://www.zonderwater.com/en/

    The puzzle remains.:)
  12. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    back to the Poles in German uniform aspect, juts encountered several posts on the theme (minus sources though). See:Russian soldiers KIA Holland

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