Home Office file - has anyone looked at it?

Discussion in 'UK PoW Camps' started by Malcolm56, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. Malcolm56

    Malcolm56 Active Member

    There is a Home Office file which looks like it might be interesting - has anyone already had a look at it, and if so, is it as useful as the details appear? I asked how much it would cost to send me a copy - £476 :omg:

    Prisoner of war camps in the UK: list of locations and copies of administrative instructions.
    Reference: HO 215/201
     
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  2. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

     
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  3. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    I have opened this file at Kew. It contains (from memory) the whole, or at least it must be the bulk, of the standard operating procedures [SOP] for the commandant of a British run POW camp, which I have not seen anywhere else, although I think there are hundreds of other files at Kew for POWs that no one has looked at. This is a very long document. I would like to have spent more time on it but I was pushed for time.

    Another portion in the rest of the file are detailed, often dated, lists of camps opened at a particular time. I found the lists for autumn 1944 interesting as one could get an idea of the failure to judge the numbers of prisoners that would be taken in collapse after the UK/US breakouts in August 44. There was a consequent very hurried effort to open more camps. The lists include Italian and German camps, Ukrainian/Russian and the camp numbers. I don't remember seeing hostel lists, but for 1944 to VE day German POWs were not in hostels but base camps or, much much less, working camps

    It is now evident to me that Roger Thomas Prisoner of War Camps (1939 - 1948) | Historic England (2003) must not have seen this file or else there may have been greater accuracy in his listing. Having said that, bless him for what he did. It is only now that with the benefit of the work of members of this forum, and their own websites, we can begin to piece the story together a little better.
     
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  4. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Just emailed Roger to have a look at this thread.
     
  5. Malcolm56

    Malcolm56 Active Member

    Thanks O2 and others. One of these days I will get back to Kew and have earmarked this HO file as one to start with.

    When I went many years ago - in the card index era - I found some IRC camp inspection reports. I photographed some - many had not been translated from French. I put my translations of these online, but there were more. Trouble is, even with the digital index, I cannot find the reference code for where these reports are now held.

    I agree about the Roger Thomas report. It was a tremendous help to build the 'framework' of the camp system. Yes there were errors, but I know that the details I post also contains errors. We can just acknowledge this and keep learning, amending and publishing our research.
     
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