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Munster II POW Camp in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Munster II POW Camp

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  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Those known to have been held in

Munster II POW Camp

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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CSM. Arthur William Ellen 5th (City of London) Battalion London Regiment

Arthur Ellen was the third and youngest and only surviving child of John Ellen and his wife Alice (nee Stone). Born on 22 July 1885 at 87, Corranes Road, Brixton, South London.Arthur was baptised on 4 October the same year at Christ Church, Brixton. The Census of 1891 shows him living with his parents at 85 Cornwall Road, Lambeth and the Census in 1901 records him still living with his parents at 20 Winterwell Road, Lambeth. Census 1911 shows him as a visitor at 90, Dunton Boat House, Weybridge, Surrey where he gives his occupation as a tailor, so he has followed in his father's footsteps.

On 20th of May 1915 he is described as being a Company Sergeant Major in the London Rifle Brigade, and is being nominated for Freedom of the City of London. He was also a member of the Freemasons' London Rifle Brigade Lodge, which he joined on 17th of October 1913, and so clearly his military (probably voluntary) service began before World War One. Married Ethel Eleanor Mundy on 25th of April 1914 at St James's Church, Weybridge. Both give their address as 1 Oxford Villas, New Road, Weybridge (Ethel's family address) and Arthur gives his occupation as being a tailor. There were two children of the union, William (b.1916) and Mary Ellen (b.1920).

He continued to serve in the Army during World War On and was wounded in fighting near Arras in April 1918. He was originally listed as missing in action on 28th of March 1918 but was subsequently found among a group of prisoners. He was later transferred on 12th of June 1918 from a camp at Pamur to a camp known as Munster II.

Electoral Registers show that they continued to live at New Road until 1922 when they moved to 47, Church Street, Weybridge. They remained there until at least 1929, the latest records I can currently locate. He died at 26 Ashby Road Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire on 31st of August 1941 leaving an estate of £2327.15s.5d. although his home address was 79 Warren Drive, Tolworth, Surrey. It also to be noted that at the time of his death he was a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Ordinance Corps, Service number 100800. He was buried at Weybridge Cemetery, Surrey.

Brian Barber


Pte. Robert Chadwick 4th Btn., C Coy. East Lancashire Regiment

My grandfather, Robert Chadwick, was a POW for 10 months in the Munster II POW camp. He survived the war and emigrated to Canada in 1920.


Pte. Angus Duncan "Dunc" McCallum 16th Battalion

Great Uncle Dunc (as he was known) was born on 10 September 1880. Before the Great War, Dunc McCallum worked as a soap maker, clerk and labourer. He tried to enlist on 27 July 1915 but was rejected because of weakness of the heart and cardiac murmur.

He re-applied in March 1916 and was enlisted on 21 August that year at the age of 35. After basic training at Blackboy Hill, he was assigned to the 20th Reinforcements of 16 Btn and the unit finally departed Fremantle on the HMAT Suffolk on 13th of October 1916. After a short training period in the UK the unit crossed to France on the Princess Clementina on 28th of December 1916 where they undertook more rigorous training.

Finally Dunc was taken on strength in the field on 11th of February 1917 at Bazentin. The 16th Battalion were in the thick of things at the Battle of Bullecourt (the black day of the AIF) on 11th of April 1917. There were significant casualties killed and wounded with 300 captured. Total 16 Btn losses on that day alone were 17 officers (from a total of 20) and, 623 other ranks (from a total of 797). Dunc was one of those casualties, having been wounded by shrapnel in his left knee. He was interned firstly in Dulmen POW camp until August and then transferred to Hembahn, Munster II Camp where POWs were assigned to work on farms and forests and often enjoyed a superior diet to the civilian population.

After the Armistice, Dunc was allowed generous leave in the UK until he was repatriated to Australia on 5th March 1919 and arrived in Albany on the SS Nevasa on 13 April. He spent 6 days in the sick bay suffering from myalgia on the journey home and was discharged as medically unfit on 3rd June 1919. He married Whilemina Denyer later that year, joined the WAGR (keeping it in the family) and was on the staff at Swanbourne Station as a railway porter for 16 years. He was described as a man of remarkable personal charm with a kindliness of character which won him close friendships. Dunc passed away peacefully after a long illness in 1950. He was buried at Fremantle Cemetery in a non-military grave. The Office of the Australian War Graves Commission recently have commissioned an official plaque in the Garden of Remberance plus a small plaque to be placed on Dunc's existing grave.

Postcard sent from Dunc to his Brother Alex McCallum MLA

back of postcard

AWM plaque

Wendy Mahoney


Gnr/Bombdr James Henry Dorrell 32nd Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery

James Dorrell was born in 1884 in Homerton, London. He joined the Garrison Artillery in 1904 and served in Belfast until late 1911. James then transferred to B Reserves on his marriage and moved to Stanley, County Durham, where he worked at the West Stanley coal mine until recalled in 1914. His former unit 15th Company was remustered and became numbers 31 and 32 Siege Batteries. Jim was in No 32 and went to France on 1st October 1915. He served at Kemmel, Ypres and on the Somme. James was taken prisoner on 30th November 1917 during the German counter-attack at Vellers-Guislain during the Battle of Cambrai. He arrived at Munster II POW Camp on 22nd January 1918. James returned to Stanley after the war and later moved to Southend on Sea in Essex. He died in 1975.

Paul Dorrell


Cpl. McKerdle Royal Marine Light Infantry

Cpl McKerdle was captured at the Battle of Antwerp. He was sent to Munster II POW Camp.


Pte. Frank MacDonald 1st Btn. Canadian Mounted Rifles

Frank MacDonald was a prisoner in Munster II POW Camp, after being captured at Sanctuary Wood on 2nd June 1916. He escaped to Holland from the Auguste Victoria coal mine, where he had been sent on a work party.


Cpl. John Brady King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Cpl. Brady was captured at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914, probably during the retreat from Mons. He became a POW at three camps: Sennelager and Minden, both in Westphalia, and at Munster II in Rhein.

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