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Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Memories of Ampthill....
or maybe trying to trace an old friend or relative
...any local history in fact

Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby Stephen Risby » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:41 pm

Please can I enlist the help of your readers in research I am undertaking upon Italian and German prisoners of war who were held in Bedfordshire between 1941 and 1948.

Can anyone provide me with the locations of the camps and hostels listed below, or do they have any photographs or memories of these camps and their occupants that they are willing to share?

The Ducks Cross Camp at Colmworth had a number of satellite hostels, in Cockhayne Hatley, Farndish, Ravensden, Roxton, Highlands Farm in Moggerhanger, Harrold Hall, Godmanchester and Sharnbrook. There was also a tented camp at Tempsford and a requisitioned girl’s school in Upper Dean. A hostel was planned for Biggleswade but I cannot ascertain if it existed.

There was a Hutted Camp in Sandy possibly connected to an unidentified ammunition dumps nearby. Another dump at Shefford also had its own hostel.

I also believe there was a dump and hostel in the grounds of Old Woodbury Hall, Gamlingay together with camps in Potton Mansion and somewhere on the John O’Gaunt golf club.

Around the brickfields were camps in Lidlington, Houghton Conquest, Church farm in Marston Mortaine and at Chimney Corner.

In Ampthill there was a camp on Park Road and another in a Houghton Road, but I cannot locate this on a map (or Google). This may be identical though to a Hutted Camp somewhere in Houghton Conquest.

Lastly there was a camp in Green Lane, Clapham.

I can be contacted on 01582 597073 or by email: steve_helen_risby@sky.com.
I shall be away from home until 4th September, which hopefully will allow people time to collect the thoughts for me.

Yours truly, Stephen Risby.
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:27 pm

Have you tried Memory Lanes website - see his profile here:

memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=143

I have read something about the camp in Ampthill - so can only presume that it was in one of the local history books by Andrew Underwood - have you seen them? They are at the library along with several other local studies books.

Just checked and it just says that in WW2 "the football pitch and a large area northwards and eastwards were taken over by the military authorities who built a PoW camp" it included a nissen hut concert hall and a Lutheran Church
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby Fortytwa » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:28 am

As a kid I used to make a nuisance of myself in the clapham barracks.

If memory serves the huts were full of old military equipment, not that I ever broke a window and got into the huts you understand. This would have been in the Mid 70s

If you go onto google maps I think the huts are visible on the road known as The Baulk. I remember getting to Clapham from Brickhill, passing the convent, then down onto Green Lane. Beyond that the memory fades.
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby Memory Lane » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:50 am

Here is an extract of the few Bedfordshire POW images on my website.

http://www.ampthillimages.com/Media/POW ... index.html
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby Sveti » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:04 pm

Sounds a fascinating project - best of luck with it!
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby mikeg » Mon May 16, 2011 10:53 am

Memory Lane wrote:Here is an extract of the few Bedfordshire POW images on my website.

http://www.ampthillimages.com/Media/POW ... index.html


some very nice images here! Are these public domain or copyrighted and are these the best quality you have? I'm a bit of a military collector so maybe fancy blowing some of these up (excuse the Pun)! Cheers Mike
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby sizzla » Mon May 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Great images. Was the camp in the park in the area by the tennis courts? There are a couple of sheds there now and some hard standing with no obvious purpose - I wonder if these are remnants?
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby TheWinch » Thu May 19, 2011 2:05 pm

I seem to remember the large area of hardstanding used to be a scout hut or something - and it did look vaguely like one of the pictures...
Was removed in recent history, certainly within the last 20-25 years.
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby Paradise_Alley » Thu May 19, 2011 7:07 pm

Didn't the sea cadets use it?
To jest pieprzone rondo!
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Re: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire

Postby TheWinch » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:33 pm

Hmmmm. I think you may well be right...I do seem to remember a mast type thinggy dangling from the front of it. Unless I am indeed going slightly mad.

Hope you are enjoying your trip and the lack of aircon not making you sweat too much! lol etc etc...
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