PoW Camp 187 Ivybridge - Using Drone To Confirm Location

Discussion in 'UK PoW Camps' started by Martin Richards, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Martin Richards

    Martin Richards Active Member

    PoW Camp 187 Ivybridge is a great example where i have been able to use my drone in locating a camp

    had a picture of the area from England From above that shows a factory as a land mark
    EAW014978 PoW Camp 187.jpg

    Look at the Chimney and how it lines up with the rest of the building in the for ground then look at the same thin on my own pic.. Image 2019 09 6355.jpg
    Also the actual site lools quite large and has a Camp nmber of 1887.
    It also has a number of 404.

    could this actually be two different camps with a commum service area between the two?
    andy007 and SteveDee like this.
  2. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Numbers for the same site can be more than two, and quite a few exceed the number. Without me ever finding the exact reason in the records, I think that the number does not apply to the site but the prison camp management team. For instance, Camp 189 at Dunham Park was closed as a camp and kept as a hostel when they began to run it down in 1946. Camp 189 moved to Marbury with the same commandant as had run 189 at Dunham. Camp 180 closed at Marbury and moved out elsewhere.
    A parallel is army camps and units. The camp did not have a number only a name, it was the unit occupying it.
    Some of the Camps numbered in the 600's and above may have taken their numbers from the Pioneer Corps units acting as guards. Whoever can help with a reference from the TNA War Office files on the numbering protocol would do us all a service. See Hellen, A. (1999), Temporary settlements and transient populations. The legacy of Britain’s
    Prisoner of War camps. Erdkunde (Archive for Scientific Geography) 53(3), and Prisoner of War Camps (1939 - 1948) | Historic England for the difficulties in numbering
  3. Martin Richards

    Martin Richards Active Member

    sorry to say but the EH report is not worth the paper its written on.
    Thus far i think i have found about 10 sites where the location is correct.
    Camps can have two numbers at the same time as one for German and one for Italian. And or Officer and Enlisted.
    Camps opened and closed all the time and at no tim did two camps have the same number.
    This Camp if you look at he original pic is H shapped as such it implies two compounds
  4. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    My apologies but I can't quite follow what you mean in sentences 3 and 4.
  5. Martin Richards

    Martin Richards Active Member

    PoW Camps treated Officers and Enlisted differently.
    Officer PoW did not have to work.
    Some camps were divided into compunds and carried diffrerent numbers one for enlisted one for officers.
    likewise if a camp held Italian and German.
    The camps could be single compounds, two different compounds or camps almost next door to each other.
    also camps were opening and closing through the war.
    However, different camps sould not have had the same number at the same time.

    Also i really do not understand what English Heritage did in publishing locations.
    I have been to sites that they visited dug and photographed but for which their published location is 500m out.
    i have laos been to sites where they say that they could not find the camp to find that not only do al the locals know where it was but that there are also remaining hut bases
  6. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you I now understand you better. I am writing this reply this way to try and help other researchers, I know you are there or ahead of me already.
    I suspect EH were on a limited budget and did most of what they could from a desk top with no field work. EH were then, when reference in post#2 was written, civil service and expenses budgets were limited. Probably even more limited now. They did say (from memory) that they had trouble locating some sites. Their list is better than no list.

    I recommend TNA file HO 215/201 for some very detailed lists. Late 1944 early 1945 seem pretty comprehensive.However, there probably can never be a definitive one, splitting out camps and hostels, and getting the change overs from Italian or German, to (sometimes) mixed, to single nationality again, sorted out. For instance Toft Hall went Italian, US Third Army HQ staff, possibly Italian briefly, then German troops of up to 30+ nationalities.

    I agree two different camps did not have the same number as each other at the same time. The number was always for one location at the time, even if it moved locations.
    I do agree some camps had several compounds all separated by barbed wire, for example see the book by Valerie Campbell Camp 165 Watten which ended up with about four (from memory), one kept even in 1947-8 for C+ Black prisoners.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  7. Martin Richards

    Martin Richards Active Member

    Yep I agree whith what you say

    have been at this for 12 month - Peter Wood has been at this for over 10 years.

    each of use comes at this from a different perspective and end goles.

    in my own case i am ex-forces and i am very very interested in this as a subject and am also looking at this subject as part of a a master’s degree in of all things Photography.

    having said this I am ex forces and a former aircraft designer.

    my current perspective in regards my Master’s Degree is in finding the sites and photographing then as they are today.

    however, this is just one thread amongst many.

    I plan to go on to a PhD and plan to use the Pow Camps as part of that degree.

    the received view is that the UK landscape is Man Made - Okay Prove it ?

    In WWII Military Sites built within the UK were only one of two two types;- adaption of existing sites OR purpose built.

    Typically a purpose-built site started as an empty field, a military camp was built using PreFab buildings and buildings of a 100% common kind from a catalogue.

    some of these camps were then turned into PoW Camps.

    Post war things changed a lot.

    Now given that these sites started as an empty field

    built on using PreFab and of the peg buildings

    we have some 400 or so effectively identical sites within England Scotland and Wales.

    its now 2019 and I can look at locations that were once identical and are now car parks, housing estates, caravan parks, local airports, farms and EVERY thing in between.

    This gives me a model of proof for my PHD in that the changes in any landscape are ruled by two very simple forces - Entropy and Economics

    as with any subject like this you havetop take aview muli disaplined view and NEVER EVER EVER trus single points of referance ...

    my own work and notes may be found on line at:



    MA Photography

    one thing though I have agreed with Peter Wood and with a number of people in which the former camp is on private land NOT to initailly dicslose in open web post the location of a number sites.

    Getting the permission to photograph on private land involes trust, yes I have used long lenses and telephotos leb=nses to get around a few things but if some one applies conditions on my work I MUST abide by them.

    as i have said i have visited and talked to people at sites where English Heriratge has visited then when they publish state a wrong location.
    In my own view I suspect it may be down to how they recored locations as say North 55 44 33 West 001 02 03 BUT when they publshed in 2003 they just did North 44 West 001 02 etc....
    Osborne2 likes this.

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