Hut 9 preservation group                                 

Island Farm, Former German POW Camp, Bridgend, WALES                   

 

Welsh Great Escape                         


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THE BIGGEST

GERMAN POW ESCAPE ATTEMPT

In THE UK...

 

 

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Western Mail - March 12th 1945

Posted by Henley Jenkins on 28 February 2014

 

 

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Posted to Hut 9 ,Island Farm P.O.W Camp and ROF Bridgend by Bill Espie

 

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Posted to Hut 9 ,Island Farm P.O.W Camp and ROF Bridgend by Bill Espie

 

 

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Richard WilliamsHut 9 ,Island Farm P.O.W Camp and ROF Bridgend

 

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Briefing after the escape

Allan Peet Written on the back is 'Escape of German Officer Prisoners of War, March 1945 Sand Hills'

and that Uncle Will (William Charles May) is in the Photo.

He's the Sgt in the other photo. Also I do know that the map on the shirt tail was in the family for years.. Wait out for more info

 

Sgt  William Charles May

 

 


SPECTACULAR VIDEO FOOTAGE from BBC Welsh History

Escape from Island Farm - Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are, first broadcast 13 September 1977

This nearly 40 years old BBC clip takes some of the escapees and local folk back to their temporary prison and provides an insight into the remarkable Great Welsh Escape story.


 

Island Farm was designated as Camp 198 and was to hold almost 2,000 prisoners. The first POWs were a mixed bag of Italian and German troops, but the War Office soon decided that the camp was too comfortable for enlisted men and that German officers should be held there. The first officer prisoners arrived in November 1944.

The POWs soon turned their efforts to escape. Two tunnels were dug in the camp, but the first was discovered in January 1945. The second tunnel escaped detection and on the night of 10 March 1945, 70 prisoners escaped. All were recaptured; some were found within a few miles of the camp. Others travelled much further, to places like Birmingham and Southampton, over 150 miles (240 km) away.

 

The biggest escape attempt made by German Prisoners of War in Great Britain during the Second World War! 70 prisoners escaped from Island Farm through a tunnel dug from Hut 9  (the only prison hut now left standing). The tunnel was about 70 feet (21 m) long and breached the perimeter fence. See our video and photo album footage on YouTube. Also see our Photo Album here.

 

Here is the link to a Channel 4 documentary on the Welsh Great Escape. A must see programme. It was on CH4 10 years go. You need to register but watching it is FREE.

Only three weeks after the escape, on 31 March 1945, the authorities suddenly transferred all 1,600 officers out of Island Farm Camp. It was then designated Special Camp Eleven and was prepared to receive senior German officers, many of whom had been captured in France and were awaiting trial at Nuremberg. In all there were 160 officers holding the rank of general, admiral, or field marshal, including a number of Hitler's closest advisers".

On 10 March 1945, 70 prisoners escaped from Island Farm through a tunnel dug from Hut 9 (the only hut now left standing). The tunnel was long enough to breach the perimeter fence of the camp. All German Escapees were captured.

See the full Island Farm story by visiting Brett Exton's historic website

www.IslandFarm.Wales

 

Monday 19th March 1945 - The Argus (Melbourne, AU)

 


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