Fort XIII (Wild, David. Prisoners of hope. 1992. London)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Living conditions in the huts

One of PoWs described living conditions in the huts in Stalag XXA. Obviously living condtions changed throughout WWII because of weather, packeges and attitude towards PoWs and such like.

A man said that there were 5 huts with 100 men in each one. In each room there were double-decker beds (sometimes there were even triple- decker beds-wtg). The beds stood aroud the walls. Each men received a sheet, pillow slips and two blankets plus a cover. Also in the room were lockers. For that number of people there were two tables. But most importantly, in the room was a stove- '' a pretty good one' as he said.
Nearby was a wash -house so that they could keep clean all this time.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What about graves in Torun?

Since August we have a big discussion in Torun about mass graves which were discovered in Glinki (district of Torun). During the diggins workres found a huge number of sceletors. Works were stoped and area was closed till clear this case. It's good to know that since 1941 there was a wooden hut camp for Soviets and other nationalities. After the War since 1945 Red Army imprisoned there Germans PoW which existed in terrible conditions. Estimated of dead there is around 4 000 people. We knew about exhumations but eveything seems that not all of Germans graves were found.

During our researches we have met a few people who gave us new facts about the camp after the war. Thanks German exPoW and Polish people who lived near the camp we know that was also Polish section there. We believe that when all researches will finish this place will be well memorialized and all investments will relocated. Below some picutres from local newspaper Nowości

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Many a time we wrote about parcels which came to Stalag XXAYou can read about them here Now we found a letter from 27th Dec. 1942, thanks to which we got the knowlegde about actually was in the parcels at that time. A Prisoner of War wrote that that week they received parcels from both Canada and England. Inside there were: roast port and stuffing, stead and tomatoe, Christmas pudding and cake. Also biscuits, chocolate, meat rolls, butter, bully meat, mashed potatoes. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Visit with lecture in Rypin

Thanks to our cooperation to Museum of Dobrzyńska Land in Rypin, Poland we had a great opportunity to give a short presentaion about Stalag XXA and working camps around Rypin. This city is located on the East of Kujawsko - Pomorskie region and since 1941 there was a working camp of Stalag XXA, Thorn (now Torun). Thanks help of the locals we possessed a lot of new facts: how did the camp worked and relations between citizens and Pows. What is more interesting,  we learnt about how partizans helped imprisoned soldiers, ways of escapes and farmers who hid soldiers who had decided to escape. Sometimes these stories could be script for a movie. We hope that with time we'll find new folders in local archives which fulfill white gaps in the history dedicated to personal storiers of British PoW's there. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

a summary of escapes from Stalag XXA and the attached working camps - part 2


Method of exit
Equipment preparation
Where arrived
March 1942
Cpl. T. McGraph
From main camp
Well equipped. Civilian clothes, razor, food, money
Sheltered 3 months in Toruń, given papers and new identity and escorted by organization to Spain passing all controls
Spain via Belgium and France
June 1942
S/Ldr B. Paddon RAF
From main camp slipped away from a local working party
An officer to Toruń for Martial court. Within few hours got away completely equipped: clothes, maps,  money, foreign worker’s papers
By slow trains to Gdynia, found no ships, came back to Gdańsk (Danzig)
June 1943
B.S.M. A. Paton
Pte. L. Green
Through window and wire of working party in Graudenz
Well prepared with clothes, papers and contracts prepared
Train to Gdynia
September 1943
Cpl. R. Doubleday
Cpl. J. Curry
Walk out from Stalag headquarter where both worked in Post Office
Fully equipped: clothes, papers and contracts
Picked up by lorry, sheltered in Bromberg. Taken to Gdynia
October 1943
Sgt. J. Glancey
Pte. J. Hutson
Capt. R. MacPherson
Capt. C. Armstrong
Back gate of Stalag headquarter
Fully equipped: contact with a lorry driver arranged
Picked up by lorry, sheltered in Bromberg. Taken to Gdynia
January 1944
R.S.M. A.E. Hawtin
Walked out of a main camp- past sentry by clever timing
Fully equipped
Helped by a fellow escaper- a Pole to Gdynia
February 1944
F/Lt. T.H. Cullen RAF
From main camp- over a frozen moat, scaling ladder over wire in a blind spot- passed a guard room
Fully equipped: clothes, papers and contracts
Picked up by lorry, sheltered, taken to Gdynia
May 1944
L/Cpl. W.R. Lloyd
Pte. E.V. Burfield
From back window of surveillance lager. Sentry distracted by a ‘fight’
Civilian clothes stolen from German confiscation store.
Sheltered in Torun, alone in a train to Gdynia

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Escapes from Stalag XXA in 1940

Few years ago, we wrote about the escapes routs from Stalag XXA. (see here: ) now we present a summary of escapes from Stalag XXA and the attached working camps. 


Method of exit
Equipment preparation
Where arrived
July 1940
T.S.M. Briggs, R.A.C
Walked away from a working party during a day
Civilian coat from a Pole, no food.
Walked by night. Helped by the Poles.
Making for Romania till heard it is occupied – then to Russian frontier
August 1940
L./Cpl. A.J. Webb, W.G; Pte J.R. Tomlinson
Through single wire around working camp
No food
Helped by Poles. Walked, chiefly by night.
Making for Romania till heard it is occupied – then to Russian frontier
August 1940
Cpl. H. Lovegrove
Knocked out single sentry at working camp in the evening
No food, swam the Vistula River
A Polish Labourer gave him a compass and a map
September 1940
L./Cpl. J.S. Allen
Pte. G. Green
Cpl. G.H. Clark
Walked away from a German- Polish guard while working
Little food
Helped by poor Jews
September 1940
Pte. J. Waller,
Green Howards,
Pte. W.J. Roberts
Cpl. R. Bainbridge
Through window and wire of working camp with axe
Some civilian clothes
Walked by night. Helped by American Pole. Travel by train
September 1940
Pte. E. Boughton,
Bdsmn. K.W. Bateman
From lavatory and under wire of working camp- at night
Some food
Walked for 4 weeks
October 1940
Pte. L.A. Coe.
Hid in shed on docks where working
No food no clothes
Swedish ship- no food for 3 days
October 1940
Cpl. W. Corkery,
Pte. H. Doyle,
Dvr. L. Massey
Window and wire in working camp
Some food
Walked by night for 10 nights – then passed on by Polish farmers