My BEF Grandfather's brief words on Calais, Stalag VIIIB, and more ...

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by hague, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. hague

    hague New Member


    Thanks for letting me join such a great community!

    My Grandfather Walter Hague was part of the searchlight regiment sent to Lille and ultimately Calais, then captured several days later, he survived various POW camps, spending most of his time at Stalag VIIIB. He missed the Long March back to Germany as he escaped, unknowingly, before they started to empty the camps. He was recaptured, and ultimately repatriated via Prague which is now my home. I would love for you to read his story and please, if you can add anything at all my family and I would love to know. I am keen to know more about the Searchlight Regiment that went to Calais and if there is any mention of him, or any records that mention him as a POW please.

    I share the dropbox link on the understanding that his words and images are for private use only -

    Thanks and kindness

    Incredibledisc, papiermache and dbf like this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Chris
    Welcome and thanks for sharing your grandfather's memories. I've moved your thread from User intros to the POW section, because I think it'll be best received there.

    If you haven't already found them, there are a few threads/accounts about Calais in the 1940 section.

    All the best.
  3. hague

    hague New Member

    Thanks. :)


  4. hague

    hague New Member

  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    what for, no need. :)

    Loved the poem at the end of the account by the way.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Chris

    Do you have his service or POW number?

    Is this him??

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: W Hague
    Rank: Gunner
    Army Number: 1520732
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 1430
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: 344
    Camp Location: Lambinowice, Poland
    Record Office: Royal Artillery (Coast and Searchlight), Corps of Military Police and Military Provost Staff Corps Record Office, Savoy Hotel, Bournemouth
    Record Office Number: 8

    I am guessing it might be as his POW number is very low, and it refers to Coast and Searchlight

    Your confirmation would be appreciated - I looked partly through your link but could not find any numbers.

    hague likes this.
  7. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum, Chris, and thank you for sharing your grandfather's vivid account of surviving winters that began with snowfall in late October.

    hague likes this.
  8. hague

    hague New Member

    Hi TD

    This is him!!!

    I just confirmed his army number with my Dad. Thanks so much for your kind contribution and info.

    I have actually visited the site of VIIIB in Poland though there is nothing left on it, I did ride a bike around the area a little and found an old concrete fence post but that was it. The museum there is quite good if you haven't been.

    If you have any other advice on what else I can find out, or search, it would be appreciated.

    Thanks again so much for your efforts!!!!

    Warmest regards


    PS: Apologies for the delay I thought I would get a notification of the posts, very sorry.

  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Hague

    If you have not already the I would suggest a copy of his service records, a copy of his possible Liberation Questionnaire from The National Archives at Kew, and chase the hell out of of Drew5233 as he is the BEF 'kid' so should be a font of all knowledge on what happened up to his capture - he may need confirmation of his service record before that though to confirm who he was with as regards units

  10. alex lewis

    alex lewis Member

    Hi Chris
    Do you know what searchlight battery your Grandfather was part of in 1940?
    I've been researching my Grandfathers unit, the 1st searchlight battery unit. He also was up near lille on the French/ Belgium border and taken prisoner in Calais.

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