German POW camp at Bakery in Watnall


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Dear All

Was wondering is there anyone who can shed some light on the above......I believe that there was a German POW camp at the bakery site in Watnall. I was wondering does anyone have any inforamtion in regards to this and what happend to the POW's afterwards, this is something I would like to present to our history discussion circle here in Munich......ta in advance.

Munchner

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There is a website that lists every prisoner of war camp in the U.K. I'm on my tablet and haven't figured the copy and paste yet, but here it is.

http://Www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/nov/08/prisoner-of-war-camps-uk

Hope it works, but a quick scroll through it, I didn't see Watnall listed.

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Welcome Munchner.

I wouldn't have thought there would have been a POW camp so close to the RAF Operations Bunker. I used to live in Watnall but never heard anything about a POW camp there. The nearest reference I can find is about the escapee who they caught at Hucknall, but he had escaped from the POW camp at Swanick. However I may be wrong.....I usually am!

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I didn't see Watnall in katyjay's list either; although there are a lot of camps mentioned in North Notts, especially Worksop and Ollerton area. Might it have been one of those?

One other thing which caught my attention in that list is entry no. 27, saying there was a POW camp at 3 Magdala Road, Mapperley Park. Really? http://goo.gl/maps/4bVIc

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Welcome Munchner.

I wouldn't have thought there would have been a POW camp so close to the RAF Operations Bunker. I used to live in Watnall but never heard anything about a POW camp there. The nearest reference I can find is about the escapee who they caught at Hucknall, but he had escaped from the POW camp at Swanick. However I may be wrong.....I usually am!

No you are correct about that one. He escaped from Swanwick POW Camp and was caught at Hucknall trying to steal a Hurricane. There was film made about him. Was his name von Werra or something like that? Wasn't the POW camp somewhere nearer Watnall Brickyard? Seems to ring a bell somewhere

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Looks like you're right about that Katyjay. Just googled it and a referral came up about a lady celebrating her 100th birthday, the point being that she married her husband in 1940, who ran Blanchards Bakery. They moved to Derbyshire in the 50's.

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I have had quick scan through the news archives and can't see any reference to a camp at Watnall . As well as the names mentioned above , are camps at Colwick Woods , Greenwood Road . Also what may have been hostels at Bulwell, Arnold, Tollerton and Adbolton .

The hostels took in POWs from when the camp at Wollaton Park was disbanded after April 1947 .

After the war ended it would appear that German POWs were the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Works so presume most worked on the land .

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Thank you everyone for your support and the links above......Having worked on the bakery site for 2 years during my Uni days, I can definetely vouch for the fact that there was a complex of huts at the rear end of the bakery site, the rumour was that this housed POW's during the war....but clearly I am stood to be corrected, the information however you have provided will be great for our history discussion circle....ta once again.

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Could the huts have been the Miners Hostel Camp , Watnall Rd, Hucknall ? There are a couple of references in court cases to British soldiers living there in 1950 being fined for assault . Also numerous cases reported of miners that lived there being committed for various petty crimes 1946-1950.

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There are conflicting stories where German POWs travelling after the end of the war, were thrown off buses but maybe for your talk to give a good impression of Nottingham folk you could use this from Nottm Evening Post May 1947 :

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7559/15841041681_b0c111778a_b.jpg

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  • 8 months later...

Italians were also housed in a camp where the Southglade Leisure Complex currently stands. Bestwood.

It's mentioned on another topic somewhere.

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  • 9 months later...

There was indeed a POW camp at Watnall - not sure why it isn't listed on the map in The Guardian article. And yes it probably is strange that it was near a plotting station. German soldiers were imprisoned there and they were given a certain amount of freedom to leave the camp. Some stayed in the area after the war ended and one married a lady at the top of my street. They settled in Nuthall. All this is courtesy of my mother who lived on Holly Road, Watnall. I'll try and get the exact location and re-post.

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  • 1 year later...

Definitely a POW camp in Watnall.

On holiday in Majorca in the 1960s my cousin and I met two German couples. We got chatting and it turned out that one of the men had been a POW at Watnall during WW2. He told us that he had been very well treated, and had become very fond of England and its people. Good thing, because this particular conversation took place when we were stuck in a small lift between floors for nearly an hour!

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Nearest POW camp to Watnall I believe was in Bulwell Hall  which would have been about 1-2 miles from Bakery at Watnall. 

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On 11/20/2014 at 10:20 PM, katyjay said:

I'd have thought Blanchards was older than WW2, and would have have needed to stay in production throughout said war.

George Blanchard had the bakery built in the 30's and after the war sold it to Spillers. I worked there throughout the 60's and never heard anything about any POW camp.

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Ay-up Bigal.............if you were at blanchards in the 60s,you will remember em supplying all the Marsdens shops then,.........i recall the man who delivered to the Andover rd shop......name of Cyril..........lovely bloke married a girl of Bestwood est think her name was sue Mitchel ?

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  • 2 years later...

I worked the summers of 1962 and 3, I think, on the night-shift at Blanchards  (10 -6). Mostly working on conveyor belt but occasionally on the ovens - that was hot and stressful because you had to keep up or the bread went all over. I remember the foreman had lost a hand in one of the machines - Brian? I think the pay was just under 3s per hour - does that sound right? Happy days!

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 I think there was a pow camp at Watnall close to where the old Watnall Hall was just off Trough Lane do not know if it was Italian or German prisoners there. My dads aunty had a farm up New Farm Lane at Nuthall and they had German pow working on the land George Blanchard started off with a small bakery on James st.Kimberley before moving to Watnall

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