Wednesday, 2 January 2013

POW Camp 116 - Mill Lane - Hatfield Heath


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Prisoner of War Camp 116 was set up in 1941 to house Italian prisoners of war, and from 1943-1944 it mainly held German and Austrian prisoners.

The POW's were allowed out to work on the nearby farms and one local has this memory of it......

"The Austrian and German prisoners of war were kept in a camp at Hatfield Heath and sent out daily to 'help on the land'. 
Our first batch were Austrian and they were hard workers and Mum was so sorry for them she looked at their ration for the day and promptly invited them to share our food - they even ate with us. 
The next lot were German and all but one of those were also polite, hard workers and they too shared our food and ate in the kitchen with us. 
My biggest impression was the way they stood whenever Mum got up and would never sit until she too sat down. 
Dad corresponded for some time with one of them, a Walter Scheile from Beilefeld in Germany."

The English Heritage Document entitled "PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS (1939 – 1948)" has this to say about it

Camp 116 
(Mill Lane Camp, Hatfield Heath) conforms to the so-called ‘Standard’ layout, with the guards’ 
compound consisting of MoWP huts, while the living huts are all timber Laing huts.