Stalag 17A - Regiment: Durham Light Infantry

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Eldast, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Eldast

    Eldast New Member

    Hi, I'm new to the site.

    My father was a POW in Stalag 17A, I believe from 1942, his name was Private William Turnbull and his POW number was 155754,

    I am putting together our family history and would like any information about his time in the camp, e.g. conditions and any useful info.

    My father didn't speak much of his time in the camp or of his army service . before enlisting in 1937 my dad did some professional boxing and he did mention that he boxed in the camp and I got the impression that he may have represented the camp in events against other POW camps, would this have happened?

    Hope someone can help
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi and welcome to the forum

    Just for info:
    W Turnbull in the UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945

    Name: W Turnbull
    Rank: Private
    Army Number: 4452904
    Regiment: Durham Light Infantry
    POW Number: 155754
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XVII-A
    Camp Location: Kaisersteinbruch, Austria
    Record Office: Infantry and Army Educational Corps Record Office, York
    Record Office Number: 20

    Adding his regiment as a tag to the thread may well help members, as some members are specialists in DLI for example

  3. Eldast

    Eldast New Member

    TD thanks for the hint
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member



    Have you applied for his Army Service Record? Should show the date of his capture and full details of his mitary service but likely little more info on his time as a POW. Cost £30. Money well spent.

    Do you know if he completed a post liberation POW questionnaire on arrival in UK?

    If he did so then it is searchable at the National Archives but not avilable online. Some forum members offer a look up service. Start a new topic with the Liberation Questionnaire Look Up Request title.

    Yoir best bet for POW info is via International Red Cross (IIRC).keep an eye on their website They are part way through a digitisation process to make all WW2 POW papers searchable and freely avaialable on the internet. Due for completion sometime 2016.

    I have my Dad's POW questionnaire and copy papers from Switzerland from 2012.

    Good Luck

    Steve Y


    Do you know if he was a POW in Italy until Sept 1943? If so a forum member offers a look up of the pre Sept 1943 Italian POW index which will give a Camp Number. Start another topic asking for a look up.

    My father went from PG 53 in Italy to Stalag 7A for 2 months from mid Sept 1943 then onto 17A for a short time before 17B. He was in a small working camp most of his time so no opportunity for boxing or sports of any description just work work and more work..............
  5. Eldast

    Eldast New Member

    Tully, thanks for the leads.
  6. Michael Parker

    Michael Parker New Member

    My wife's grandfather was Gunner John Bernard HANNEY (also known as Jack Hanney), Royal Artillery Service Number 1550086

    Jack was well known as a local boxer and rugby player in his younger days. In the Second World War he was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery. He was in North Africa and was captured by the Italians (possibly at Tobruk in 1941). He was transported to Stalag XV11A ( Stalag 17A), Uchatiusstrasse 101, 2462 Kaisersteinbruch, Austria. His PoW number was 154210 (according to National Archives, Kew). The site has been used up to recently as a Museum.

    Jack rarely spoke about his wartime experiences. He had said that after the RAF bombed nearby Vienna during the night the prisoners were taken there in the day to repair bomb damage. This would have been dangerous as the United States Air Force bombed in daylight hours. He also said that he had witnessed the train transports passing through Vienna. He recalled seeing Jewish people on board, including females wearing fur coats, but sadly there was nothing that they could do but watch.

    He was not known as a well-behaved prisoner and had reportedly attempted escape on several occasions. He had told his daughter that he had escaped for 4 days and was recaptured in a derelict farmhouse. He had suffered hunger and starvation as a PoW. He died in 2001 aged 87 years.

    I would be interested to know if you have found out more about boxing in the camp. Jack was a boxer and I am sure that would have been up for a fight !
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: J B Hanney
    Rank: Gunner
    Army Number: 1550086
    Regiment: Royal Artillery
    POW Number: 154210
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XVII-B
    Camp Location: Gneixendorf, Austria
    Record Office: Royal Artillery (Light Anti-Aircraft) Record Office, Ibex House, The Minories, London, EC3
    Record Office Number: 6

    Looks like he may have moved slightly again to 17-B at some point also shows he was in the LAA (Light Anti Aircraft) section of the RA

    Tullybrone likes this.
  8. Michael Parker

    Michael Parker New Member

    TD - Thank you very much for this information. I understand that 17B was a camp for the Americans PoWs. I do need to find out more to verify what happened to Jack particularly the family story of the escape.
  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Sorry but many British POW’s were “on the books” of 17B - many of them, including my father, detained at one of the many work camps linked to the main camp.

    The 4,000+ US airmen in the main camp were vastly outnumbered by 25,000 allied POW’s of other nationalities.

    Stalag 17-B - America in WWII magazine

    My father arrived from Italy at Stalag 7A at Moosburg in mid September 1943 before being sent to 17A in early November and then on to 17B at the end of the month - going to a work camp almost immediately.

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  10. Michael Parker

    Michael Parker New Member


    Thank you for the information.

    Michael P

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