Records of South African POWs in Europe

Discussion in 'South African' started by OzWartalker, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. OzWartalker

    OzWartalker Junior Member

    Hello fellow war talkers!

    I am new to war research, having taken an interest only upon recently learning my grandfather was a soldier in North Africa in the 1940s.

    I am very interested in acquiring any knowledge at all of his movements after he was taken prisoner, as all I have are family stories.

    His name was Fred Anthony Ernstzen. He was a Private in the South African Union Army as of 9 January 1941. He served in the Cape Corps attached to the Q Services Corps, 5th Brigade: 1st Division.

    His service number was C274832. He ended up in Northern France in 1944.

    If anyone can help me piece together his movements dating from his capture in North Africa, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Geotrac

    Geotrac Member

    Hello fellow war talkers!

    I am new to war research, having taken an interest only upon recently learning my grandfather was a soldier in North Africa in the 1940s.

    I am very interested in acquiring any knowledge at all of his movements after he was taken prisoner, as all I have are family stories.

    His name was Fred Anthony Ernstzen. He was a Private in the South African Union Army as of 9 January 1941. He served in the Cape Corps attached to the Q Services Corps, 5th Brigade: 1st Division.

    His service number was C274832. He ended up in Northern France in 1944.

    If anyone can help me piece together his movements dating from his capture in North Africa, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks!
    Hi "Oz",

    Just came across your post. I am on a similar mission with my GF, who was captured at the fall of Tobruk and ended up as a POW in Italy and then Poland, after which he took part in the "long march" or "death march" until they were liberated by the Americans. Sadly, many POWs succumbed during this dreaded march. A very good place to start is request his military records from the now SANDF. It only took me about 3 weeks and I received all his records, which was really enlightening. The e-mail address is sandfdoc@mweb.co.za if I recall. (I don't have it with me at the moment) Wishing you luck and stay in touch and let me know how it goes! Best regards "down under"!

    George
    (PS. I know of an "Erntszen" here in CT... Can't remember his first name. Do you have any family here in CT, SA?)
     
  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    I joined the forum last year and was given the attached link to request POW records from the Red Cross in Switzerland. I applied online last October and should receive my fathers record imminently if other forum members experience is anything to go by. It is a free service for next of kin. My father was captured at Antelat, Libya 22nd December 1941 whist serving with 3rd Battalion Coildstream Guards. The majority of his Battalion (bar 200+ who escaped) were captured at Tobruk in June 1942.

    ICRC Archives

    Best Wishes

    Steve Y
     
  4. cherylorton

    cherylorton Member

    Hello fellow war talkers!

    I am new to war research, having taken an interest only upon recently learning my grandfather was a soldier in North Africa in the 1940s.

    I am very interested in acquiring any knowledge at all of his movements after he was taken prisoner, as all I have are family stories.

    His name was Fred Anthony Ernstzen. He was a Private in the South African Union Army as of 9 January 1941. He served in the Cape Corps attached to the Q Services Corps, 5th Brigade: 1st Division.

    His service number was C274832. He ended up in Northern France in 1944.

    If anyone can help me piece together his movements dating from his capture in North Africa, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks!
    Hi there. I am leaving for Perugia in 12 days, to revisit the camps where my father was a POW. He too was captured at Tobruk in June 1942, and so this is a pilgrimage on his behalf. He never managed to get back and thank all the people who helped him there, in both Fara in Sabina and Marsciano. So now I have the honour to do so. The Red Cross in Geneva has been invaluable, the SANDF has been amazing, all my dad's records were sent on to us. Links to the Italian situation were there, passed on by the Red Cross at the time. This website has been just amazing, so many people have come forward with offers of help. Be patient, I am sure when they read your post they will oblige. Also, the National Archives in Kew have so much information. I am hoping to get up there before I leave, to see what else I can find out, but my main ambition to locate the camps has been achieved, and I am so grateful. Good luck, and to the others who have responded to your post.
    Regards
    Cheryl
     
  5. Geotrac

    Geotrac Member

    Hi,

    I joined the forum last year and was given the attached link to request POW records from the Red Cross in Switzerland. I applied online last October and should receive my fathers record imminently if other forum members experience is anything to go by. It is a free service for next of kin. My father was captured at Antelat, Libya 22nd December 1941 whist serving with 3rd Battalion Coildstream Guards. The majority of his Battalion (bar 200+ who escaped) were captured at Tobruk in June 1942.

    ICRC Archives

    Best Wishes

    Steve Y

    Many thanks for the heads up Steve! I will give that one a bash! I have recently managed to obtain servive records from SA Defence Force, which has proved to be very interesting, to say the least! They are however a lot of unanswered gap, especially since capture as POW (Tobruk, 21/6/1952) until release after the "death" march on around 7/5/1945 (STALAG 344 / VIIIB, Lamsdorf, Poland)

    Best regards, George
     
  6. Geotrac

    Geotrac Member

    Hi Cheryl, so glad things are starting to fall into place for you! You must be sooo looking forward to your trip. I did not realise that your father never made it back and am sorry to hear this... Did he pass away in the POW cap then? Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that OzWartalker and I are in conversation with e-mails and PM's, etc... So yes, this site is amazing and lends some form of closure. You mention the "Red Cross in Geneva were invaluable"... Did you wait long for info and what type of info do you get from them?

    Wishing you a blessed trip!

    George
     
  7. Geotrac

    Geotrac Member

     

    Attached Files:

  8. cherylorton

    cherylorton Member

    Hi Cheryl, so glad things are starting to fall into place for you! You must be sooo looking forward to your trip. I did not realise that your father never made it back and am sorry to hear this... Did he pass away in the POW cap then? Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that OzWartalker and I are in conversation with e-mails and PM's, etc... So yes, this site is amazing and lends some form of closure. You mention the "Red Cross in Geneva were invaluable"... Did you wait long for info and what type of info do you get from them?

    Wishing you a blessed trip!

    George
    Hi there, just to clarify, yes my father did make it back, but always wanted to return one day to thank the folks that helped him while he was there, and during his escape and returning down Italy to allied lines. It is his mission to revisit the places that I am fulfilling in his absence. Today he would have been 90 years old, he was only 21 when he escaped. He was 72 when he tried from Rome, but due to a train strike was unable to get to his destination. I had written to the Geneva Int Red Cross, and they had documentary evidence of his presence in H206, Nocera, PG54 in Fara Sabina, and PG115 in Marsciano. All invaluable in my quest to revisit his past. Good luck in your quest. Regards, Cheryl
     
  9. Geotrac

    Geotrac Member

    Hi Cheryl,

    Sounds exciting... Not sure if you follow the posts from "Jacksun" from Canada. (He also owns the Powvets" website and does some amazing work!) He posted this map this morning which I found incredibly interesting... Thought you would too!

    Best regards,

    George
     

    Attached Files:

  10. cherylorton

    cherylorton Member

    Hi Cheryl,

    Sounds exciting... Not sure if you follow the posts from "Jacksun" from Canada. (He also owns the Powvets" website and does some amazing work!) He posted this map this morning which I found incredibly interesting... Thought you would too!

    Best regards,

    George
    Thanks George, will add to my collection to take with me.
    Regards
    Cheryl
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Cheryl,

    I have just come back from Rome (no WW2 reasons) and it was a fantastic trip. But extremely hot, 40 degrees +, so be prepared!:)

    Good luck and may it be all you hope for.

    Steve
     
  12. OzWartalker

    OzWartalker Junior Member

    Hi all,

    Apologies for the late reply. Many thanks for the handy hints. I'm still going hard and strong on the research. So slow, but I'm confident the info is close.

    Good luck to everyone in their hunt!
     
  13. Delores

    Delores Member

    Hi i dont know how to enter the forum i have a question al i have on me is my late fathers stack of letters he send from prisoner war camp ww2 italy. From red cross. PW/SA 9207 on letter. He was a kanonier. From south africa L. JJ Labuschagne birthdate 22.2 22 was in camp in the North walked out after liberation fellow orisoners was shot and killed. He hid in the mountains where red cross picked him up. Half dead starved with malaria. He never spoke until his last days
     
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Delores

    Welcome to the forum

    I would suggest starting a seperate thread in this section of the forum - http://ww2talk.com/forums/forum/26-prisoners-of-war/ as it specifically concerns POW's. I would also suggest you title your new thread with your father name and service number, also add some tags with his unit information and camp numbers.

    We have several members in Italy who will be able to help you with your research.

    TD
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    At the time with the speed of the site, the new thread appeared before my post popped up on here :(

    TD
     

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