POW Prisoner Exchanges

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by cliffx, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. cliffx

    cliffx The Weakest Link

    Hello All,
    I have previously been helped greatly by members of this forum when looking for details of my father, and as always I am looking for more help.

    I am currently waiting for his service records, its been just about 6 months but I am encouraged by hearing that another person who applied a couple of weeks after I did have received their records 2 weeks ago.
    However, I have just been informed, via the widow of a mate of his who went through the war with him, that my father was liberated early being subject of a prisoner exchange. This is absolute news to me.
    The ICRC have him still in Stalag 357 on 14/7/1944, but no mention of liberation.
    Anyone have any idea if there are records in the National Archive for prisoners exchanges?
    My father was Thomas Falconer 854198 and was in the RA.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    There were at least five Exchange Repatriations.

    The first i believe was in 1943 when 588 Naval and Marine Personnel were exchanged for the same No of Italians.

    These were not sick and injured though.

    There are lots of Files at Kew on repatriation which are mostly full of Administration Details.
    It is a matter of illiminating possibilities until you find what you are looking for.
    Perhaps it would be easier to wait until you have the date he arrived in the UK .
    WO 32 holds some administration Files on five proposed Repatriations, but there are many more.
  3. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if there is any significance to the Red Cross list for 1944 not showing a P.O.W. No.
  4. cliffx

    cliffx The Weakest Link

    I don't have a copy of the list so I have no idea. Everything else I have read bears his POW number as 50080.

    Are there any other references that may help?

    Thank you very much for your help - You have been brilliant.


  5. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Hi Cliff,
    Prisoners of War (British Army) 1939-45 has S/Sgt T Falconer Reg No 854198 Royal Artillery PoW No 50080 Camp 357 listed.The book is reputed to be correct up until 30th March 1945.
  6. cliffx

    cliffx The Weakest Link

    Thanks for that Verrieres,

    I have a copy of that book, and these numbers are substanciated by the ICRC attestation which I have posted here previously.

    Interesting that the other bloke who just got his records also hails from Shields and was also subject of a prisoner exchange in 1942 I think. That information came from an article in The South Shields Gazette mainly because he was one of the first POW's to return home.

  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Cliff,

    I might be stating the obvious, but I assume your father suffered a rather terrible injury prior to capture that may have resulted in the loss of one or more limbs? I only ask as this seems to be one of the main criterias for repatriation.

  8. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Not Shields Gazette but a bit here regarding the `3rd` repatriated Pow in Sunderland
    Repatriated 16 DLI POW

    Ex 16th DLI
  9. cliffx

    cliffx The Weakest Link

    Interesting Question Andy,

    My father was wounded in the left shoulder and ear and carried shrapnel in those areas for the rest of his natural. He was awarded a pension based on a 25% disability of 50 quid a year, which remained unchanged for his lifetime.
    Hardly equates to loosing a limb but that is all I know. The other bloke I refered to was similar I think, wounded but not seriously (easy for me to say) - and I suspect was in the same unit, both being RA, from Shields and in the TA at the outbreak of war, volunteering immediately.
    I will be interested to see how much of this stuff is in his service record when it eventually arrives - he (like all others) did not ever talk about this.

    He did however tell me a small amount when upon recovering from a major cancer operation shortly before his death. When coming around he seemingly had a flashback to a similar (but less salubrius) occasion when he was taken prisoner. As usual he was reticent to tell me much except it frightened the bejesus out of him.

    Thank you Andy, I had almost forgotten that bit.

  10. cliffx

    cliffx The Weakest Link

    Thanks Verrieres,

    Interesting article, will have to delve further into this repatriation practice.

  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Cliff,

    No worries, from my experience, the main reason for repatriation was the Germans and vice versa didn't want to look after those that were badly injured, if they were deemed not able to contribute further to the war effort they were considered for repatriation.

    The Germans made a big mistake with Lt. James Langley of the Coldstream Guards. On returning he went on to be a key figure working on escape routes out of occupied Europe amongst other things.
  12. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Illness was another reason for repatriation.
  13. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    didn't Jimmy Langley Escape through to Vichy France and get repatriated by the French as an Escapee.

    Long time since I read his story.
  14. cliffx

    cliffx The Weakest Link

    Well done AMD199 you have rattled my bucket,

    After sleeping on this it occurs to me that my dad only once mentioned that he had suffered from Malaria during the war and I wonder if that was the reason he may have been involved. I don't know when or where he got it but that may well be it.
    I think Jimmy Langley was from a different mould - mighty bloke from all accounts.

  15. The Viking

    The Viking Active Member

    Good eveving can i ask where you applied please would it be the MOD?
  16. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Read Boldness be my Friend by Richard Pape. After some grim experiences he succeeded in faking a serious kidney disease and got repatriated - this involved making a fake penis to contain an appropriately contaminated urine sample and confound the Swiss medics carrying out examinations for repatriation.

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