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POW in Soltau


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#1 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:33 PM

Good Morning, I'm a new subscriber to the forum and I am seeking some advice in regard to my Grandfather who was wounded and captured at Ypres in 1915. He was Pte Walter Doughty of the 4th Battallion East Yorks Regt and following his capture was confined as a POW in Soltau. Living relatives suggest he was made to work in a Salt mine; Would this have been the Ehmen mine and is there any way I can find out more about his confinement? Would there, for example, be any POW records of his time in Germany? I assume that he was discharged after the war (1919?), and wondered how I also might access records of his discharge from service. I know he was awarded the Silver War Badge and presume he received this on his return to England. Any advice on how I might trace his history would be much appreciated.
Geoff.



#2 Jim Smithson

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:33 PM

Welcome to the Forum Geoff

Your Grandfather has a Medal Card

Attached File  Doughty__Small_.jpg   25.71KB   4 downloads

However, using the numbers on the cards he does not seem to have surviving service or pension records. I also looked at the reports from returning prisoners at the National Archives, 2 Doughtys but not I'm afraid Walter.

Others may come along with more ideas so do keep coming back to look. You will find this a very welcoming place with a host of experts in all kinds of fields willing to help.

Jim

#3 matteyre

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:37 PM

Hi Geoff, you can request his red cross records from the CIRC in Geneva, this takes some time but will detail which camps he was held in... I did this for my grandfather who was wounded and captured at Loos in 1915. He was in Munster 1, Hameln and Minden camps, and was also forced to labour down the mines. I've not managed to find out much about this, but know that there were Russians held with him as he learnt some of the language and had some carvings that they had given him.... he was emaciated on his return, and my grandmother held a lifelong grudge against the germans for this. Towards the end of the war he was transferred to Urk in Holland where he made a bit of a nuisance of himself....
Hope this helps, Matt

#4 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:03 PM

QUOTE (Jim Smithson @ Nov 3 2009, 02:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Welcome to the Forum Geoff

Your Grandfather has a Medal Card

Attached File  Doughty__Small_.jpg   25.71KB   4 downloads

However, using the numbers on the cards he does not seem to have surviving service or pension records. I also looked at the reports from returning prisoners at the National Archives, 2 Doughtys but not I'm afraid Walter.

Others may come along with more ideas so do keep coming back to look. You will find this a very welcoming place with a host of experts in all kinds of fields willing to help.

Jim


#5 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:11 PM

Jim/Matteyre many thanks for your replies. Most helpful (especially the medal card). Am I likely to get any more info from Kew or is it all available on line? This is a fascinating forum. I just wish I had happened on it before.

Geoff

#6 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:36 PM

Matt what is the CIRC and how do I make a request for the Red Cross information?

Thanks Geoff

#7 Doug Johnson

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 07:31 PM

Hi Geoff,

Before you contact the ICRC I would read this here. If after reading that you still want to procede then the route is through the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) web site.

I have had a look on the "Behind the Wire" list of PoW interviews and he is not there. Very few were actually interviewed and for most there are no records of their captivity.

Ehmen was certainly a salt mine attached to Soltau but there may have been others. Unfortunately if he was only at Soltau that is all the ICRC will be able to tell you they do not seem to have records of any work placements.

(Cd 9150) Miscellaneous No 23 (1918) - Report on the Employment in Salt and Coal mines of the British Prisoner of War in Germanyis the official report relating to work in the mines and will give a good flavour of the conditions in the mines. These reports are not easy to access but I do have a copy of it if you to read it.

Doug

#8 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE (Doug Johnson @ Nov 3 2009, 07:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Geoff,

Before you contact the ICRC I would read this here. If after reading that you still want to procede then the route is through the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) web site.

I have had a look on the "Behind the Wire" list of PoW interviews and he is not there. Very few were actually interviewed and for most there are no records of their captivity.

Ehmen was certainly a salt mine attached to Soltau but there may have been others. Unfortunately if he was only at Soltau that is all the ICRC will be able to tell you they do not seem to have records of any work placements.

(Cd 9150) Miscellaneous No 23 (1918) - Report on the Employment in Salt and Coal mines of the British Prisoner of War in Germanyis the official report relating to work in the mines and will give a good flavour of the conditions in the mines. These reports are not easy to access but I do have a copy of it if you to read it.

Doug


#9 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:18 PM

Doug thankyou for that. My judgement based on the link you provided is that I'm unlikely to acquire much more from the ICRC for the £120. The Salt and Coal mine Employment Report you reference sounds an interesting read if you could make that available without too much trouble I'd be most grateful. Incidentally another recent 'fact' elicited from my Uncle about Walter Doughty, (his father), is that at some stage during his confinement he was involved in making! Does this ring any bells or make any sense to anyone?

Geoff

#10 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:21 PM

....that is making envelopes! Sorry about that. My IT skills are not the most polished.

Geoff



#11 Doug Johnson

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:18 PM

Geoff,

All types of work was done by PoWs so making envelopes is a possibility. It is work which could easily be done by any PoW and does not directly involve munitions etc. Unfortunately there is little chance of confirming this. In rare cases the work location could have been inspected and there may be a report in FO383 (these reports often include a list of names). I do not have copies of all these reports as they stopped publishing them in 1917.

Doug

#12 Philip Watford

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:38 PM

Geoff,

I believe my granfather was a POW at Soltau, but not until 1917 during the 'Battle of Arras', and I have recently found many postcard/photos of him and others..see attached.. you may recognise your grandfather?

My grandfather was William Watford: Born 12.10.1894 – Guestling, West Sussex.
His army details are- Sapper B Watford 2nd Musketry –Training Battalion 1871631 & B Watford Fieldstation 252 Party “B” Company Royal Engineers
Private & Sergeant 2nd queens regiment 9702

Hope ytour research is successful.


Regards



Philip Watford

#13 bootneck

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:12 PM

Phil

A search of the enlistment register for the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment covering men who enlisted between 3 August 1892 and 31 January 1919 and received army numbers in 1920 held at the Surrey History Centre (their reference: 7791/1/1/1) found the following information:

Army Number: 6076268
Old Regimental Number: L/9702
Name: Watford, William
Attested: 8 July 1919
Where: Guildford
Age: 27 years 9 months
Term of Service: 4 years
Born: Guestling, Hastings, Sussex
Married: Ivy Irene Gower, Sittingbourne, 19 April 1919
Children: Basil William Watford, born Aldershot, 2 May 1920 and Tony Watford, born Aldershot, 27 April 1922
Promoted: Lieutenant (Quartermaster) 8 June 1935
Former Service: 8 years 348 days The Queen’s

No details of his service or medals is recorded that leads me to believe he was captured early in the war.

Service records for both Officers and Soldiers whose regular or reserve service ended between 1921 and 1997 are still retained by the Ministry of Defence and you will need to contact the Army Personnel Centre at the address given below:

Army Personnel Centre
Historical Disclosures
Mailpoint 400
Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
Glasgow G2 8EX

For telephone enquiries, please use the number below:
Telephone: 0845 600 9663
Fax: 0141 224 2144
Email: disc4@apc.army.mod.uk

The Ministry of Defence does not normally release information from a service record to persons other than the individual concerned or their next of kin. There is a search fee for genealogical enquiries which currently stands at £30.00. You will find further information at http://www.army.mod....mily/6980.aspx.

regards

Bootneck

#14 Philip Watford

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:25 PM

Hi Geoff,

My grandfather William (known as Bill) Watford was also in Soltau..I have a number of postcard/photos taken whilst he was in the camp. I have attached one file as an example and I am quite happy sendig more direct to you. The photo attached has the signature H J Brazingt(on?) in pencil on the reverse.

Let me know if I can help.Attached File  H J Brazington.jpg   42.9KB   8 downloads


Phil Watford
watfordp1@aol.com

#15 Gunner3883

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 04:19 PM

Hi Geoff, my other half Grandfather was a prisoner of war in Saltau. He was Sgt George Rumbelow of the 7th Suffolks, he was taken prisoner at Cambrai on the 30 Nov 1917. We would like to see your postcards please.

Paul Allen
pallen883@btinternet.com

#16 Geoff Doughty

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:23 PM

Paul/Phil. Please accept my apologies for not having responded sooner. Ive not visited the forum for some time and just happened upon your posts yesterday. Ive attached the only postcard I have of my Grandfather at Soltau. He is on the right of the picture. Ive no idea who the other chap is. The reverse contains his address in Soltau, his name and number; no message or date. It was sent to his 'sweetheart' in Hull, East Yorkshire later to become his wife and my Grandma. The card was written in his own handwriting.

#17 Cookie

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

Hello all

im sorry i havent replied to this topic sooner, my grandfather Daniel Cook 18th hussars was also a prisoner of war at Soltau.

and brought back some postcards and camp show programes which i have scanned into a photo bucket album

http://s251.photobuc... camp pictures/

please take a look, you knever know he may be on one of the group photos

cheers

cookie2050

#18 Philip Watford

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

Hi Geoff,

see my reply Family History Monthly,

Phil Watford

Attached Files



#19 sadsam

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

Evening all,

I have just joined the forum and am having a look around.

My Grandfather, Private William Evans, 5th Btn Oxs & Bucks LI was held in Soltau Lager until his release on 17th January 1919.

He was transferred from Munster Lazarett having been captured at Montescourt in France on the 21st March 1918.

Very interesting to see the pictures of the camp, I am surprised they were allowed to take them and also surprised they have survived.

I believe my cousin has some letters written by my Grandfather while he was in Soltau.

I know the original poster of this thread was a long time ago but it may still be worth writing to the ICRC - I believe they have now relaxed their rules on who pays and close family now get the records for free.

I have visited Soltau myself but sadly before I knew Granddad had been there. I went with 4 Sqn RAF (harriers) in 1990 or 91 and it was the bleakest place you could imagine. Hard to think what it must have been like ninety odd years ago.

#20 maggie_h

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:58 PM

Cookie.

 

Its two years since you posted the link to your photos of your grandfather Daniel Cook in Soltau POW camp so I hope you are still around.

I was very interested to see that my grandfather is in one of the photos - the one with 4 rows of internees, all in uniform. He is in the front row on the left. 

The copy I have of this and a similar photo are dated December 1916.

My grandfather was Sgt Rowland Hill of the Nigeria Regiment (an armourer) and was in Soltau from 1916 -1918. He ended up there as the ship (RMS Appam) on which he was returning to England from Cameroon was captured by the German raider Moewe.

I have approx.50 photos and postcards from Soltau amongst other material I am sorting through. I will post these pictures online as soon as possible and also look through to see if I can see Daniel Cook in any of them.

Does anyone else have photos of Soltau or information on conditions in the camp?

I am aiming to put this information into the IWM Lives of 1st World War website.

Maggie