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Parchim POW Camp

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Want to know more about Parchim POW Camp?

There are:0 articles tagged Parchim POW Camp available in our Library

  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

Parchim POW Camp

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Driver Frederick Charles. Pte.
  • Jeffrey H.. Rflmn.
  • Jones Daniel. Pte (d.28th Jun 1918)
  • Wood Sydney Lancelot. Pte.

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Feb 2018

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.


Pte. Sydney Lancelot Wood 2/4th Btn., H Coy. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

This information was sourced from the Red Cross website of POWs, CWG Commission and military documents that I own.

Sydney Wood served with the Colours from the 26th June 1908 to 3rd August 1914 (6 years 2 months). He was in South Africa from the 1st January 1909 to 1st December 1910 (1 year 11 months). In Hong Kongm 2nd December 1910 to 17th January 1913 (2 years 1 month) then in Singapore 22nd January 1913 to 14th January 1915 (2 years).

During War he served with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry from 4th August 1914 to 23rd March 1919 (4 years 8 months) when he became Army Reserve Class B. He reenlisted on the 24th of March 1919 and served until 5th February 1920 (10 months) He served in France from 15th January 1915 to 24th October 1915 (9 months) in Egypt from 25th October 1915 to 30th November 1915 (1 month) then in Salonica from 1st December 1915 to 18th August 1917 (1 year 9 months) He returned to France on the 15th of March 1918. He was taken POW on the 27th March 1918 and held until to 30th November 1918 (8 months)

His POW card reads: A55516 Wood S. Pte 9757. KOYLI Missing 27th March 1918 France. Rep. Mrs A Wood (mother) 34 Wodehouse St, Norwich, Norfolk, England According to a letter send to the family dated 28th June 1918, he is a prisoner in Germany. PH 40751 15 November 1918 Wood Sidney 9757 Pte 2/4th KOYLI H Coy born 14th March 1888, Norwich taken 27th March 1918 Sommecourt, unwounded. Transferred from Parchim POW camp to Freidrichsfeld POW camp.

Miranda Tindle


Pte. Frederick Charles Driver 7th Btn. Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment

Frederick Charles Driver on right with fellow POW's

The following transcription is of an oral interview recorded in 1972, in which Frederick Driver related to his Grandson Robert his experiences during the First World War, with the help of his wife Dorothy. Many thanks to his great-granddaughter Angela Scott for taking the time and trouble to listen to the tape and type out the following account into a readable document for future generations to read.

Track one: Joining Up

  • Dorothy: Tell him why you joined up.
  • Frederick: Why I joined up? I did, that's all.
  • Robert: Why did you volunteer?
  • Frederick: Just so we could go in the regiment of our choice, see.
  • Robert: Yeah.
  • Frederick: Then we get a choice of regiment, see.
  • Dorothy And your brother was in.
  • Frederick: If you waited later on, till 1916, you'd[ve] been forced to go. So you might just as well volunteer, you see. And I'd been used to horses and went on to the cavalry.
  • Robert: Surely you knew all about the people that were being killed in Flanders in '14 and '15.
  • Frederick: Yes. Well, we knew of course, of course you did. But you didn't know how many, did ya?
  • Robert: You didn't.
  • Frederick: No.
  • Robert: You thought it [was] just sort of a side-show,
  • Frederick: Pardon?
  • Dorothy: Well, you really, you really went in because Jack was in it, didn't you?
  • Robert: Yeah, yeah.
  • Dorothy: So he could get in the 5th Lancers.
  • Robert: Yeah, but you know, I've heard stories about women at the time, I mean, blokes who are walking around the streets without a uniform they were, er...
  • Frederick: Well, you're thinking about the white feather business.
  • Robert: That's it, yeah, the white feather.
  • Frederick: No, never see none of that.
  • Dorothy: Not in his time.
  • Robert: No?
  • Dorothy: No.
  • Robert: Yeah, but when conscription came in, that ended all that didn't it? I mean, you had to go anyway.
  • Dorothy: Yes, you had to go where they like to send ya. And them all in, in Ipswich and that, see, had to go in the Suffolk regiments.

    Track two: Dublin Uprising

  • When we got down to the town, the middle of Dublin down Sackville street opposite the post office, the General post office they opened fire on us, see, rotten shots all they hit was three men and three horses and as soon as they opened fire the old captain says about turn and went back to barracks and he said we're going out as soon as we can dismounted so we went out as infantry more or less just with bandoleers full of ammunition rifles we went and routed them out of the post office in the morning see before dinner, and in the mean time artillery were ordered up from the Curraugh and they brought the guns into the dock at Sackville street right opposite the lawcourts, they were in the lawcourts as well these Sinn Fieners in the post office and the lawcourts, lawcourts were at the bottom of the Sackville street and they opened fire and knocked the lawcourts down the artillery from the Curraugh and in the meantime we went and took up positions some in the old Jacob's biscuit factory and and all the places they were likely to be in you see, took them over and simply rounded them up., And within a fortnight we'd got them all rounded up look and there they still carrying on we quieted them down in a fortnight.
  • : - Yeah.
  • Yeah then after the war was over cause they started again that's when they formed the black and tans they're volunteers you know from England the black and tans were. And they had to clear em up again in the meantime they're clamouring for home rule and they got it see cause Ireland was partitioned wasn't it the south from the north.

    Track Three: The Western Front

  • Yeah, but when you, after you had joined up and that, I mean, what,
  • Robert: When did you first go over to France then?
  • Frederick: Umm. August 1916. August '16. We went over and we joined the Queens out there, you see, the Queens regiment. The 7th Queens. That was, the 55th Brigade. The 18th division we come up in.
  • Robert: What sort of ship did you go over in?
  • Frederick: Ooo, don't know, well, er, old freighter thing, you know.
  • Robert: Yeah?
  • Frederick: Yeah. From Folkstone we went, to Folkstone, to Boulogne.
  • Robert: And then you went up. Did you go straight to the front?
  • Frederick: And then we went...No, we had to go to...we stayed the night in Boulogne, up on the camp there. And the next day we had to go join the Queens. They were up, um, near Albert, place called Albert, out at rest at the time. Then we done some, done joined the battalion, you know. I was put on headquarters battalion, with Machine gun, headquarters machine gun. By going to headquarters They could put us anywhere, you know what I mean? To any company.
  • Robert: Yeah.
  • Frederick: See? A, B, C or D company. We could go anywhere. They could put us in the line, you see, or, which company was ever in the line you'd have to be with 'em, you see?
  • Robert: Can you, visualise now what it was like? I mean, can you visualise what it was like at that time?
  • Frederick: Well, plenty of shells dropping around. In as soon as you got in range, you know?
  • Robert: Yeah?
  • Dorothy: What about the time when you all pinched the bread from the bakers?
  • Frederick: Oh yes. Yeah, yeah. Well, we were going right up, right up into the, up in the front line, you see. We're going up right, going into the front line and we was way back at rest, and we was put in a billet, in an old bakery, you know? A bakery. One what was using, they were still in use; French bakery, see. And the old Baker he used to bake his bread, you know, during the night time, ready for sale the next day. And my brother, and another: an ol' Kelly, watched the old baker leave and then went and pinched his bread. We got the gun: we'd got gun limbers for Lewis gun, you know, and the guns had gone up on the horse limbers, you know? A horse wagon like. Our guns had gone up with them so our little gun carriages were empty. Two wheeler gun carriages, see, for a gun, carry the Lewis guns and ammunition see, plenty of ammunition. And they were empty. So what old, what my brother did, and the old Irishman, they stole the bread and went and put it in the trucks, empty trucks. They were all lined up beside a wall, you know, and they filled them up with bread. And the old Froggie come in daybreak and found his bread all gone. Played up merry Hell. French Police, he called the French Police up and our Police, you know; Military Police. Played up the Devil, he did. They looked everywhere. They searched our billet and everything. Packs - everything. Never found a loaf. And they were right in front of their noses, in the, in the gun trucks. Full of bread they were, yeah. Robert: What did you do with all that bread then? Frederick: We had a good feed. And the next day we got on the march up to the line, you know? And as soon as we got under shell fire the young captain he says, "Halt!", you know, "Fall out on the left of the road." And we opened up our gun trucks, you know, and out come the bread [laughs]. So, one of the boys picked up a loaf; "Would you like a piece, sir?", you know. We was all under shell fire then - only about two miles from the line. Yeah. And nothing was said about that. Never got into trouble over it at all, 'cause he never reported us, you see?
  • Dorothy: He asked, he asked where you got it from, didn't he?
  • Frederick: He knew. He knew, didn't he. All the officers knew, all the blokes knew, didn't they. But as soon as they was opened up it was a laugh. Everybody was eating the French toopang, you know, long loaves. Dorothy: See, didn't you get some cheese from somewhere for them?
  • Frederick: Pardon?
  • Dorothy: Didn't you get some cheese?
  • Frederick: Cheese?
  • Dorothy: Yeah.
  • Frederick: Oh, we had plenty o' cheese. Half the blokes wouldn't eat the cheese, you know. It used to lay about in the billets.
  • Robert: Where did you first go into action, then?
  • Frederick: Erm. When?
  • Robert: Where.
  • Frederick: Up at Thiepval. Thiepval on the ridge, at Thiepval. Thiepval, Mericourt, Grandcourt.
  • Robert: You was in all them places were you?
  • Frederick: Lotacourt. In front too,
  • Frederick: Yes, in front of that, we were cause.
  • Robert: Yes.
  • Frederick: 'Cause, April, when they went over, the Vimy Ridge, see, we was in front of that. Yeah.
  • Robert: What did you do in the line?
  • Frederick: Well, we just had to hold the line, you see - go in t' the front line. Plenty o' shellin' an' all that business, you know? On our way up he was dropping shells, gas shells of one sort or another. You know, all sorts.
  • Frederick: Several times we laid out in the shell hole, you know, with the old gun, between the two lines. Didn't mind it, and used to like it because the shells were going right over us, like that, see?
  • Robert: Yeah?
  • Frederick: All the heavy stuff, and light stuff an' all, goin' right over. If you was in No Man's Land you was the best off. Through that winter, anyhow.
  • Frederick: If you laid quiet a German patrol would pass you, perhaps. Bullets would be whizzing over the top of your heads. Zip, zip, zip, zip, you know. Just lay doggo for the night. Bloomin' cold though, frozen.
  • Dorothy: Jack got wounded?
  • Frederick: Oh yes he did, and a night or two before that.
  • Dorothy: Yes.
  • Frederick: When we were laying in support a shell came over: A whizz-bang. And we were in a fairly big trench, and... Both together in the front line, look, and a whizz-bang came over. What they call a whizz-bang - that was their light artillery. Good guns they were, similar to our twenty five pounder. And a shell - I could hear it coming. It hit the top of the parapet and burst. It blew my rifle right out of my hand. My brother got a bullet, behind his ear here in the neck.
  • Robert: Yeah?
  • Frederick: Yeah. Got back to Blighty with that. I took him back to the end of the trench. The old Sergeant Major, they were in the dugout there, I said, "Well, I'll take him back." He say, "You won't. You won't.", he say. "You'll stop in the front line" [laughs] So, he got back to Blighty, look. Another few days after that, then, I was captured.
  • Robert: You were captured in 1916 then?
  • Frederick: No, '17.
  • vRobert: When?
  • Frederick: 1917. February 1917. February '17.
  • Robert: Yeah?
  • Frederick: And that was a place called, er, Irles. I.R.L.E.S, Irles and that was too...we was... See, which I tell you what was happening: The Germans were falling back at that time, which they used to do. They'd pulled back on to better ground and that, you see - leave you in the muck and mire and shell, you see [laughs]. And (pause) Oh, a dawn patrol. When they were falling back, see; "Any volunteers for a dawn patrol?", so we all volunteered, with the old gun, you know, and just a rifleman or two, see, to go out before dawn, an hour before dawn. We was to go up the communication trench into Gerries front line; a village. And part right along the front of the village, a place called Irles, I.R.L.E.S., and went past the front of it and up his communication trench for about a mile, see. Never saw, never saw anything of them. They kept doggo, you know, they laid quiet, they let us come. And and all of a sudden they jumped. Some of them jumped out the trench, and we let the old, I let the old Lewis gun let 'em have it, you know, as they ran way. Then the old gun blocked, you know, which they would do, a Lewis. They used to jam. Two bullets used to. A couple of cartridges used to try to get in the [barrel at once], and that'd block, you see. Tried to get up the barrel. So when the old, stopped, and we were in their communications trench he simply come round us, you know, they come up from other trenches, 'cause they knew the trenches better than we did, you see. We was in their communications trench, therefore they got, they got, surrounded us, and just cut us down in the trenches as we were...see? They could get right, they could get forward or to the side of us or behind us - which they did do. Got right behind us, because we was through their lines, see. through their front line about two miles.
  • Frederick: ...A funny thing, where you used to talk about what would, what would happen to us. When we was in support, or quiet, or back at rest, used to think about what would happen to us. Somebody would say, "I shall get killed, I know I shall.", see, and they used to too... I said, I thought I wasn't. Something told me. Well, I didn't know what was going to happen, you know. What I mean, I wasn't going to get killed but I couldn't fathom out what was going to happen to me. But I was nearly a deader mate, I was nearly gone.
  • Dorothy: They saved his life.
  • Frederick: Yeah. Germans saved me life.
  • Robert: Yeah?
  • Frederick: You know, by binding up, you know. The blood was coming out in a stream like that out of my stomach here. They simply got my doings, you know, bound me up tight and that. And still the blood was coming through. So he took the...
  • Dorothy: Off another...
  • Frederick: Yeah. Another fella who was shot beside me, he weren't...he's right next to me. Right there, in the temple. And they took the bandages of his, you know, bound me up double lot, you know, really bound me up tight.
  • Dorothy: Didn't they put a stone in to stop it?
  • Frederick: No, not a stone. No, no. They bound it down solid, you know. That stopped the bleeding. And they... I wondered what the Devil they were going to do with me, you know. They took me out [of] the trench, lugged me out the trench, and they put me [on a] couple of oil sheets, laid a couple of oil sheets down and laid me in it, and they brought the sheets together, you know, at the top, and laced them through, and then put a pole through. That's how they carried me back, Germans. Good idea that, was no waiting for the stretcher bearers. They were smart in the trenches... They'd all had medical [training] and all that, they know exactly what to do. We lost a lot of lives through that you know, because our chaps didn't know what to do, you know. They'd all been trained in medical [first aid] you see, and I, I, pretty thirsty, I kept asking for water. They, they, you know what they done? Got a bit of bandage and dipped it in their coffee, you know. They'd coffee in their, they used to carry coffee instead of water in the water bottle. They dipped the bandage in the coffee and let me suck it. They wouldn't give me a drink you know, it would've been fatal, see. Although I'd lost a lot of blood, must o' done, 'cause I was sinking, you know. Felt I was.
  • Robert: You was wounded with a bullet?
  • Frederick: Pardon?
  • Robert: You was wounded with a bullet?
  • Frederick: Yeah, yeah. Bullet, yeah.
  • Robert: When you was surrounded, didn't you surrender or anything then?
  • Dorothy: Well, you didn't know, did you?
  • Frederick: No need mate, no need. No, no need to put your hands up or anything. Just taken over. You're, ain't it, you're finished, you know that, and the Gerry knows it too.
  • Frederick: Well, if you get into their lines anything could happen. Same thing would happen with a German patrol. They was pinched as well, just the same and that. That was only done so that each side should know where the others are, that's what they wanted to know
  • Dorothy: That was nothing for you to be up to your waist in water and mud was it?
  • Frederick: Cor, if you slipped off the duck board you was in it, you know. ..My feet were swollen so much they cut the boots off, and the trousers. They were rotten in blood, you know. They just tore that off, leggin's too, yeah.
  • Frederick: ou know that took us some a day and two nights to dig a bloke out.
  • Robert: Yeah?
  • Frederick: Yeah. To dig him out! The more you kept digging the deeper he kept sinking, you know. The water and the mud, we kept throwing it out. Dig behind him, we used to dig down behind him and put a blanket under the backside when you got him over. So you pull him back and lift him out with this blanket, see, 'cause the old mud and ooze and stuff was used to hold you like glue. Just like glue.

    Track Four: Prisoner of war

  • Frederick: They took me into a dressing station you know, the Gerries did and that, and then into a horse ambulance, you know, course they were nearly all horses in them days see. And then we went up an old disused railway, you know, that had been cleared away and that. Was in a sunken, sunken road for about three or four miles up towards Cambrai. They took the rails up and used that as a road, see. And that un and that was deep, about as deep as this house perhaps, you know.
  • Robert: Mmm.
  • Frederick: Between two banks they used to use that for ambulances to go up and down, see, from the front line up to Cambrai. And even then they went, they took me from Cambrai up to Mons by train, you know.
  • Robert: Mmm.
  • Frederick: And their hospital there, what they call reserve hospital. Prisoners and Germans all went into the same hospital, see, in the clearing station like. Big clearing station; Mons. I remember I was operated on in that same evening. I laid there for a day or two before they moved me right up north to Munster, in an old Monastry that was supposed to be a hospital. We had our beds, was three boards with a straw mattrass on it. Bag o' straw, that was hospital, look [laughs].
  • Robert: What did you do there?
  • Frederick: I was in there several weeks. They kept the wound open for weeks. They used a bandage, you know, a sterilised bandage, used to tuck in, like that cause that was septic.
  • Dorothy: Did that turn septic?
  • Frederick: I reckon it did because I..., weeks and weeks they were poking this, these bandages in every day, see.
  • Dorothy: Yes.
  • Robert: Where did you go to prison camp, then? Where was you a prisoner of war?
  • Frederick: Pardon?
  • Robert: Where was you a P.O.W. then?
  • Frederick: All over, in different camps, you know. Er, from...Parsham was the name of one. Frankfurt, Franfforter, Maine. The, all different places, you know. Doblemann was another camp. And I used to volunteer to go out on the... It wouldn't do to stop in camp, you know, to, no. Volunteer to go out on working parties, see, on the farms or anywhere else.
  • Dorothy: What about the time you went where there was some ducks?
  • Frederick: Oh yeah, yeah. On a big farm we had, they had four ducks there. We managed to get them.
  • Dorothy: You was with... You was with Russians, weren't ya?
  • Frederick: We used to live in a big room, in a lock up, you know. Big room with a big old stove in, with twenty or thirty prisoners. [Among] twenty [of us there] might have been only four Englishmen and a few Frenchies, you know, and Russians, chiefly Russians. And Poles, yeah. So, two Englishmen, they took the, they took the bars apart, you know, from the window, and went out and got, pinched these ducks off the pond. They were locked up in a duck house on the pond, big pond, you know. And they went round the field so they shouldn't follow the feathers. and that, you know. Got 'em in a sack and brought 'em home. This old sentry had gone out, Saturday night it was. He'd gone down the town to have a drink, see, only one sentry. And we got a bucket and cooked these ducks, you know. Drawn, plucked 'em and put them in a bucket and boiled 'em up.
  • Dorothy: Ah. but how did you get rid of the innards?
  • Frederick: Ay?
  • Dorothy: You burnt all the innards.
  • Frederick: Buried the feathers and stomach and that, you know. Buried them.
  • Robert: How did you get on with the Germans in general then, at that time?
  • Frederick: Pretty well, you know. Yeah.
  • Dorothy: Bar once when you couldn't eat the potato soup.
  • Frederick: Oh yeah, yeah. That was on one job, couldn't drink the soup. It'd got maggots floating about on it. Potato soup, and a little bit o' meat here and there, but maggots. Seventeen Englishmen on that job, and we none of us, us Englishmen, wouldn't touch it, you know, wouldn't look at it. And so the old Sergeant Major what was in charge, German Sergeant Major, you know, he say, "You won't drink it?" "No, we're not going to have that!". He lined up seventeen sentries [and] he lined up us seventeen, here. He said, "If you don't, if you don't have the soup I'll shoot yer." See? One man: [One] sentry, we knew he doesn't do that, not on a big job like that, you know. We was, "No!" He stood, lined us up, he lined us the post, his sentries up, you know, and seventeen against seventeen. We stood there about half an hour. He got fed up. Thought what he would do I suppose, "You'll all get punishment. You'll all be confined to ground for twenty four hours." No blanket or nothing see. They had some underground, er, sort of barrack, you know what I mean? Purpose [built] for the job. So they put us down there for twenty-four hours. Just a drink of water. Coo.
  • Dorothy: And you had to go on sleepers, didn't yer?
  • Frederick: Ay?
  • Dorothy: Railway sleepers?
  • Frederick: Oh yes. Sent us up on the, sent us up on a job on railway sleepers, you know, iron sleepers they were.
  • Frederick: Pick them up beside the railway, about a foot of snow. As you picked them up so the blinkin' skin come off yer hand, frozen, you know what I mean? Sort of pulled the skin off your hands. Another rotten job, that was. But on the farm it was decent. The German people themselves hadn't got nothing to eat. That was all sent to the front line, see. They were actually starving beginning 1917, they were. The cows weren't getting any food, they couldn't give much milk. British people didn't know that, no. Nor did the troops at the front. If they.. .All the stuff used to go to them, see. The civilians weren't getting much. Children were as thin as rakes, all with rickets, you know. Then they wouldn't give in, see, not even right up to 1918 they wouldn't.

    Robert Scott

  • 226763

    Rflmn. H. Jeffrey King's Royal Rifle Corps

    Rifleman Jeffrey was a prisoner in Parchim POW Camp.


    Pte Daniel Jones 9th Battalion, C Coy. Royal Welsh Fusiliers (d.28th Jun 1918)

    Daniel Jones died through starvation in a Prisoner of War Camp in Parchim, Germany. He was my uncle.

    Gwenan O'Connor

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