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Polish Guard Companies in Britain for POW Camps


Budworth 1 | 2
21 Aug 2018 #1
Hi, I am a new member and cannot speak or read Polish.

I am researching to write books and give talks on military history in Cheshire during WW2. I want to document the Polish contribution to the military history of the area before it is too late. So little is currently available and must be recorded.

I have learned that on 23 October 1944 three former British then US Army Camps were turned into POW Camps for German prisoners. These were at Marbury Hall then Camp 180, (later 189), Dunham Park, 189 and Toft Hall, 190, (later 2). The guards assigned to these three camps were all Polish Army guards. I believe some were freshly recruited into the Army and others were wounded soldiers who could not go back into combat. The Polish Guard Company at Marbury, located near Northwich, was 3rd Polish Guard Company. I do not have identification for the other two. I believe there might have been as many as 10 such Polish Companies in Britain.

Does anyone have any information on these formations? Each one may number several hundred men.

Do you have family who served in these units?

Does anyone know where their headquarters were and who commanded them?

Do you know when your relatives were recruited into these units and where they were located? (I think I know of about 7).

Have you obtained their records from RAF Northolt, and would you be prepared to share them with me?

Finally, one person believes their Polish father was a prisoner guard in Cheshire in 1943. Does anyone know anything about this?

Please post on this thread or PM me if you can help. Thank you all.
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,816
18 Dec 2018 #2
Have you obtained their records from RAF

This site may help you in terms of Poles serving in the RAF.

listakrzystka.pl/en
OP Budworth 1 | 2
19 Jul 2019 #3
This is just a bump for this thread. I now know that approximately 1600 Poles were guarding German prisoners in Britain by 26 May 1945. TNA WO32/11132. Does anyone know where these troops were stationed and what their parent unit was?

Dirk diggler thank you for your message.
Atch 16 | 3,417
19 Jul 2019 #4
Hi Budworth. Do you know about Cultybraggan in Scotland? It housed some of the most extreme SS men. The British guards there were replaced by Polish guards in 1944. A prisoner there kept a book of sketches, one of which depicts Polish soldiers.

sundaypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2018/10/IMG_1948-e1540557145118.jpg

"The Polish hated the Germans, and drawings in the book of images by Peter depict the Polish soldiers in a much tenser light to the British and Scots depicted beforehand."

There is also a Red Cross record of a German soldier being shot in the head by a Polish guard for getting too close to the camp perimeter.


Full article is here:
sundaypost.com/fp/watch-cultybraggan-the-story-of-scotlands-prisoners-of-war/

Some of the Polish guards settled in the nearby village of Comrie, so there should be some local knowledge about them. The camp is the only remaining POW camp in the UK which is fully intact and it's administered by the Comrie Development Trust. You might be able to get further information from them about the Polish staff.

This is a nice site about POW camps which may be useful to you, lots of photos.
ukpow.it/442268345
OP Budworth 1 | 2
19 Jul 2019 #5
Atch, thank you for this. I was aware of Cultybraggan, which was otherwise known as the Comrie camp by the War Office when it was functioning. I have the camp guide book near me now. The three references are new to me though and I thank you for them. I shall follow up with interest. The camps down this end of the country have families of former guards still local to the site and I have interviewed some of them. A problem I am hitting is that most know nothing really of their ancestor and some never realised they had been in the Wehrmacht. I suspect the guards did not want to talk about that, or the memories of what they went through during the war were not ones to be talked about. Some of the stories I have heard must have been awful for the participants.


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