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Stalag4c in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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    27th Aug 1940 61 Squadron Hampden lost

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    Those known to have been held in or employed at


    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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    Leslie Frederick Turner

    My Dad, Leslie Frederick Turner of the Royal Marines, was captured in Crete and imprisoned in Stalag 4C.

    Linda Cook

    Joseph William Draper 51st Ack Ack Regiment Royal Artillery

    My Grandfather Joe Draper was trained in Yeovil, Somerset and was shipped out to Africa. My Dad said he was in the 51st Ack Ack Regiment. He was captured on Crete and taken to Stalag 4C. He had a hard time there. The Germans used to dress them in smart uniforms and take a picture of them. They wrote short letters home on the back of the pictures. You could see it was staged, because they had cigarettes in their mouths which weren`t lit. I have a picture of him with his friend Victor Nutman. If anyone knows of his whereabouts,please contact me.

    Stephen Draper

    Rifleman Henry James Turner Ulster Rifles

    My father, Henry James Turner, was taken prisoner in Sicily. I believe his Major was called Sir James Henry. I have never been able to find out more. Sir Henry actually managed to get away but I believe his wife wrote to my mother to tell her that my father had been taken prisoner.

    Dad was taken prisoner sometime in 1943, and taken through Italy by cattle train, said they could only look through slats, to Czkecoslovakia Stalag 4c where he stayed until the war ended.

    Until the authorities knew officially, he was missing presumed killed, and my mother tore up the widow's pension book she had been sent and refused to believe he had been killed.

    During his stay there he saw officers shot for one reason or another. They were taken regularly out of the camp to build roads and then back again.

    He became ill at one time with phneumonia, not sure and was thrown on the back of a dung cart and taken to the local Red Cross Hospital which was believed to be run by the French Red Cross. He was nursed back to health.

    When he returned to the camp his fellow prisoners in his hut had saved his Red Cross food parcels for him which he needed badly as was very thin and weak from the infection.

    At the end of the war, he said they woke up one morning and found there were no guards, no one around and it was sometime later I believe that Russian soldiers came into the camp and took them out.And some time later, not sure of the time scale, handed them over to the Americans.

    They were all quite weak, I believe, with having had an atrocious diet and had to be medically checked over. I believe my father was told he wouldn't live beyond his mid fifties and would never be able to work inside again, but he lived until he was 88, but always had a bit of a cough.

    I don't know how long it was before he was sent home, but said he travelled back to England in the bombhold of a bomber. Mum said for a while he wasn't the same when he returned, always looking over his shoulder.

    He tried a few outdoor jobs but finally worked for the GPO as a postie, always out in the fresh air, free, he could never stand to be cooped up. I still have letters written to my mother from Stalag 4c

    Patricia Frostick

    Spr. John Galloway Royal Engineers

    My father served as a Sapper in the North African Campaign before being shipped over to Greece in 1941, where he was captured, I think in the Bay of Corinth, by the Germans on 29 April 1941. I know that he was imprisoned firstly in Stalag 4B (Műhlberg) and at a later date transferred to Stalag 4C (Wistritz), but have no idea, record or means of finding out when.

    My father died, aged 83, in 1998. He spent his working life as a bricklayer, but it was his recollection of his wartime experiences and his command of German which led to my studying the language and engaging in Twinning activities between my county in Scotland (East Lothian) and its twin county in Germany (Spree-Neisse), which is situated only 2 hours by train from Műhlberg.

    I have visited Műhlberg on 2 occasions, most recently only 2 weeks ago with a group of students. Frau Stamm gave us an illuminating guided tour on both occasions.

    Alex Galloway

    Private Thomas Richard Owen Royal Welch Fusiliers

    Stalag 4c POW No 248587

    Sue Owen

    Cpl. Stanley Alfred Munns

    Cpl Stan Munns served in the Royal Marines in North Africa and was then part of the Battle on Crete in 1942, when he was part of the withdrawal from the island after crack German paratroopers invaded. He was part of the final rear guard action on the island and was put in charge of a group of Australians from the 2/2 Field Artillery. He was captured and spent the remainder of the war in Stalag 4C. He compiled a diary during the latter stages of the war which included some photographs of other prisoners.

    On repatriation in May 1945 he married one month later and then returned to his vocation as a book binder finally working for the HMSO as an Asst Director until retirement in Norfolk UK.

    John Munns

    Trooper Thomas Randall Royal Tank Reginment

    Just received my father's prisoner of war record from the Red Cross.He never spoke about his imprisonment much,so this is our first record of his war years... Thomas Randall was in the Royal Tank Regiment, taken in Tobruk in August 1942, to Italy then moved to a few camps in Italy, until he was moved to Stalag IV/B in April 1943. He was then moved to Stalag IV/C in October 1943 until 1945. Loved reading all the stories of the brave men from this camp, anyone who knew of my dad or any other details,I would love to hear from them.

    Carole Newman

    Pte. Peter Ronald "Mick" Hickman 2/7 Royal Middlesex

    My dear old dad, Peter Hickman, was in the 2/7 Battalion Royal Middlesex Regiment and was a prisoner of war in Germany interned in Stalag 1VC on 13th June 1944. My Grandmother, Thurza, in 1944 would read tarrot cards for her friends and neighbours and decided that she would read her own card as she was so worried about her son as she had not heard from him.

    (Despite knowing that you should never read your own cards!) Poor Grandmar saw death all around her son, this worried her terribly and I guess this may have been the dreadful prisoner of war camp that she later discovered he was in. Dad has never spoken much about these dark days but said he was treated well considering the circumstances. I believe his best pal was a gentleman called Harry Sugar and I know dad often thought about Harry and his lost comrades and they are still in his heart and memory today. Dad is still alive and kicking! Bless him - we are very lucky for our dad to have survived as we appreciate how fragile life can be.

    Vicky Halliday

    Grenadier Koos "Jack" Versteeg IIe Bataljon 3e compagnie

    My grandfather, Koos Versteeg joined the Royal Durch Army in 1936. He fought in the Battle in Ypenburg, The Hague and he was a POW from 1943 untill 1945. He arrived on the 29th of May 1943 in camp Amersfoort. He was taken to Altengrabow (Stalag 11A) on the 3rd of June 1943 After a month he was taken to Muhlberg and stayed in Stalag 4b and 4c.

    After a while he was taken to Knippelsdorf to work on a local farm. The farmer was called Lehmann and I would like to find out more about him. During his time in Knippelsdorf he was taken to a French Lazaret in Jessen several times together with Jack Tromp. I was fortunate to talk to my grandfather about the war and he told me a lot when I was little. He kept a journal and registered all names of the people he met. So perhaps if my grandfather is in the timeline of anybody, please contact me.

    Wendy Versteeg

    Rfn Charles James Corver Kings Royal Rifle Corps

    Rfn Charles Corver was at Calais 1940, and escaped. Then sent to Western Desert and was taken prisoner near Benghazi in 1941. First a prisoner of the Italians (POW camps P.G. 65 and P.G. 70), then into German captivity, at Stalag 4C then to Stalag 20A from which he was liberated by the Russians in early 1945 and was back in the UK in March 1945.

    Whilst at Stalag 4C he was involved in an disagreement with a German Guard (Gefreitan Noack, 3 Ldsch Btl., 379). He was accused of hitting the guard with a punch. At his hearing there were three British soldiers (4457054 Pte. G. Franey DLI, 5954578 Pte. W. Lindsay, The Buffs and another Pinford ?? who gave evidence on Corver's behalf. Corver was sentenced to eight months, but only served six weeks when he was released.

    Martin Smith

    Gnr Hugh Brown Skilling Royal Artillery

    My father Hugh Skilling was a gunner in the Royal Artillery, he was captured in Tobruk in 1942/43. He was taken to Stalag 4c and he was there for 3 years. He worked down the coal mines in Wistritc, Teplitz, Czechoslovakia. He had a bad time there. He had the scars to prove it. He would never talk about his time there.

    Hugh Skilling

    Sig. Andrew Ambrose 2nd Div. South African Corps of Signals

    In 1942, Signaller Andrew Ambrose was taken prisoner at Tobruk by the Italians. He was wounded at Tobruk, and so was shipped to a hospital at Caserta in Italy. After he recovered, he was sent to a POW camp near Florence, and soon thereafter to a camp in Sardinia (his POW number was 223281). He was then moved to Stalag 4C, Wistritz, where he worked underground in the coal mines.

    At the end of the war, the Russian forces came upon them in the now unguarded camp. The Russians left them unattended for a short while during which time the Americans shipped the prisoners out to safety. Apparently, the Russians wanted to swap British POWs for Russians. The French forces then moved them to Britain to be "fattened up" before being demobilised.

    Bruce Ambrose

    Pte. George Kitchener Lewis Goldfinch Queens own Royal West Kent Regiment

    My grandfather George Goldfinch served with the Queens own Royal West Kents. I have very patchy stories from him about how they were dropped off by boat somewhere in North Africa but were dropped in the wrong location and were soon engaged with the Germans and captured. He always said that they were laughing at his helmet when he was taken prisoner as it had a bullet hole right through it. He was taken to P.O.W Camp 70 in Monturano Italy and then later moved to Stalag 4c in Wistritz, Czechoslovakia. He thought it was funny that his first trip in a plane was in a Junkers88

    When he did speak about his experiences he told us how. they had been put to work in mines and a lot of men had just broken down with the physical and mental stress of it all. Among the other things that he would talk about was a dislike for Americans as they only ever managed to bomb the latrines of a camp, and how some soldiers would try to make coffee from acorns. He was very ill when he returned to the UK, but recovered to work in a print factory.

    Anthony Mant

    Charles Henry Ashby Royal Army Service Corps

    My Uncle Charlie was taken prisoner #252314 when he landed in France and taken to Camp 4c Stalag Wistritz bei Teplitz. He escaped and managed to return home, I would love to know more if anyone can help me.

    Diana Glasspool

    Sammy Louis Marks

    I don't know what my father, Sammy Marks' rank was or when he signed up. What I do know is that he was fighting for the allies. He came from Johannesburg, South Africa. He was captured and became a POW in Stalag IVC in Brux, Germany. He became the camp leader of Stalag IVC and at the conclusion of the war he was presented with an illuminated address by his fellow-prisoners in recognition of his services. The address says: "In appreciation of his untiring efforts to ease their lot as prisoners-of-war-efforts which met with such success that the lager became almost unique in that the Germans never interfered with the internal organization, while mine managers and firm heads; were always respectful and attentive when Herr Marks visited a "job", on which POW's were working. Thank you Sammy."

    An uncle sent me a photocopy of a page from a book called "Prisoners of War". It reads: Another prisoner who helped lighten the lot of his friends was Sammy Marks of Johannesburg, who had an extraordinary history. As Camp Leader he consistently burnt all the Nazi propaganda sent to the camp for distribution. Perhaps his crowning achievement was that he was able to rescue a Czech Jewess from deportation to the Eastern Front and to marry her and bring her back to South Africa. That was my mother, Yola. I adored my dad and unfortunately he died when I was 16 years old. I never heard him talk about the war, except to say that when he saw my mother for the first time, she was the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen. My mother pooh poohed this. "I had no hair and was skin and bone," she'd say. But I knew she was pleased.

    Carol Marks-Stopforth

    John Hall Royal Artillery

    My father, John Charles Hall, served in the Royal Artillery, from 1923 to 1945. He was a prisoner of war, in Camp 85 pm 3450 Tuturano,Italy and also 4c. Stalag IVc, Wistritz bei Teplitz from 29th June 1942, to 24 May 1945. I would love to hear from any one who remembers him.

    June Marriott

    Pte. Fred Hunt

    My father, Fred Hunt was from Widnes in Lancashire and was in the Royal Marines as a Private (rank). He was an anti-aircraft gunner. He was taken prisoner by the Germans on Crete in 1941 and held until liberation 1945. He was marched by the German from Greece through Sudetenland and held in Stalag 4B and I believe Stalag 4C in Czechoslovakia and Germany but I have little information on this and seek more.

    He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Hyper anxiety disorder) post war when he met my mother, Sister Grace Edwards, Withington Manchester, Hospital trained Registered Nurse, (Princess Alexandria Royal Nursing Corp.) and married in 1948.

    Anyone reading this - please send any information about POW sites Stalag 4B and Stalag4C (locations & conditions etc).

    Philip Hunt

    Marine William Albert Vernon

    My Grandfather, William Vernon of the Royal Marines, was captured in Crete and imprisoned in Stalag 4C. He died in 1918

    Brett Vernon

    Sgt. Michael "Paddy" Russell

    My dad, Sgt Michael Russell was interned in Stalag IXC from July 1940 until October 1943.

    Mo Quinn

    Thomas "Ran" Ransley-Lightfoot 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards

    My great uncle, Thomas Ransley-Lightfoot (Ran), was interned in Stalag IXC. He was with the 2nd Btn Grenadier Guards and was captured in France in 1940. There is a photo of him on this site. I think it must have been taken early on as he lost the tops of two fingers in the salt mines when he grabbed the chains of a railway cart that had broken loose. I believe he used to take part in the plays performed in the camp. Does anyone have more information about him - he never talked about his camp experiences.

    Neil Harris

    Fred Holder

    Fred Holder was a POW at Stalag 4c.

    Jean Lacaze

    My grandfather, Jean Lacaze, was a POW in Stalag 4c.


    Pte. John Anderson MID. 2nd Btn. Cameron Highlanders

    Pte John Anderson

    I knew very little about what my father John Anderson did in the War. He died in 1993 and he would not talk about his experiences. All I have managed to find out is that he was Mentioned in Dispatches in October 1945. I know he was also a POW in Campo PG60 and Stalag IV-C. It was at some stage reported to his parents that he was missing in action. He was awarded the Africa Star and I believe he fought in Tobruk before being taken POW. He brought back a strange plate with his name and service number. This could never be explained as it was such a strange item to be given. However, Stalag IV-C was a former porcelain factory so does look like he could well have made this himself. I am sure you can see why he never took this up as a future career.

    Steve Anderson

    Sidney Gordon Bateman Layforce Commandos

    My late father-in-law, Sidney Gordon Bateman, was captured, as a member of the Layforce Commandos, at the fall of Crete. He owned a book stamped with 'Gepruft 20 Stalag IVC' - which I understand was at Wistritz, in Czechoslovakia - but my husband believes that his father was a prisoner-of-war in Germany itself. I would be grateful if anyone who knew Sidney Bateman and has any relevant information about his life during the war would let us know, as we would be very interested.

    Ann Bateman

    J. R. Dean 2nd Btn. Royal Leicestershire Regiment

    Does anyone remember 4860448 Private J.R. Dean, 2nd Battalion Royal Leicestershire Rgt. He was captured on Crete in May 1941 and was interned in Stalags IVB and IVC.

    L. Madill

    Gnr. William Victor Manford 76th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery

    Cyprus Oct 1941

    Western  Desert May 1942

    Italian POW Camp 73

    Port Said Aug 1941

    My father Bill Manford was a farmer, born in 1919 and when he was 19 joined the Shropshire Yeomanry. In 1940 he was transferred to the Royal Artillery firstly the 75th then the 76th Regiment. He trained in Luton, and was posted to the Middle East in 1941. He was sent to Port Said, Egypt, and then on to Cyprus, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, what is now Lebanon, visiting Baalbeck while he was there. Finally on to the Western Desert in Egypt where he was captured at El Alemain in July 1942.

    He then was handed to the Italians and then went to Serena Bari Transit camp before being sent to POW Camp P.G. 73 at Fossoli di Carpi in 1942. In Sept 1943 he either escaped or was released and spent sometime working on an Italian farm where he was treated very well by the farm bailiff. He was then picked up by the Germans and transferred to Stalag IVC in the Czech republic, which was then part of Germany. The camp was liberated by the Russians in May 1945. After 2 years 11 months in captivity. He served a total of 6 years 44 days and returned to farming. While he was away in the Army, his only sibling Mary was married and had 2 children.

    Michael Manford

    Gnr. Kenneth Francis McGurk Royal Artillery

    My grandad, Kenneth Francis McGurk, was a POW in WW2, his POW number was 22208301. He was captured on 21st June 1942 at Tobruk and was taken to Italy, first to Camp 75 then to Camp 54. He escaped while in Italy after cutting the fence wire and remained free for three months, but was recaptured by three Italians and two German soldiers.

    He was then sent to Germany and was a POW from 7th March 1944 until 15th May 1944. He was first in Stalag 1VB then he was sent to Stalag 1VC where he worked at the Petrol Works, Brux from May 1944 to May 1945 and at an Air Raid Shelter, Halle from March 1944 to April 1944. He left the camp on a motorbike on 15th May 1944 with another man until they found some American soldiers.

    The names of other men he mentioned, although I am unsure if they were in his regiment at Tobruk, in Italy or in Germany with him, are Frank Revel, Ken Poulden and Kenneth Rochford.

    Eleanor J Paul

    Trpr. Thomas Robert Harding B Squadron Royal Tank Regiment

    My grandfather, Tommy Harding, was a trooper (tank driver), member of the RTR. He served first with the Experimental Wing of the RTR and was stationed at Bovington before moving off to North Africa. He was captured at El Alamein on 4th September 1942 and passed into Italian hands. Details of this can be found in the 50th Royal Tank Regiment, The Complete History by Stephen D Hamilton.

    He was then moved back through Europe to POW Camp Stalag IV/C where he remained until liberation. He eventually returned to the UK and was taken to a military hospital where he was treated for TB, had a lung removed and recuperated before being discharged and returning home to his family on 10th December 1946.

    Carol Walsh

    Tpr. Albert William Roe Royal Armoured Corps

    My father Albert Roe was taken prisoner in Libya, Fort Mechelli on 8 April 1941 and was incarcerated in Sulmona, Italy from May 1941 until September 1943 when he was rounded up by the Germans and sent in a cattle truck to Germany. He was in Stalag IVc until the liberation of the camp by the Ukrainians. He was handed over to the Americans and his document of liberation by them is dated 20 May 1945. I have all the letters he sent from Sulmona and Stalag IVc, which he occasionally called IVB, which may have been the parent camp. All the letters are addressed to IVc and there is a disciplinary document marked IVc. He worked in coal mines in Bohemia. Presumably these were open cast, though he did not say that they were. All the mines around Wistritz seem to be open cast.

    He returned to England in the summer of 1945. On his return home his mother, who was not expecting him, did not recognise the person she had last seen in 1940. He had lost a great deal of hair and his teeth, soon to be extracted, were in terrible shape. He seldom talked about his experiences. There seemed to be a large number of nationalities and the Russians did not relish being freed by the Ukranian division. My father told me that the Russians shelled the camp before entering, killing several inmates, including one man, who the day before had been expressing his excitement at his forthcoming freedom. The Germans did not treat the Italians or the Slavs very well at all apparently. Conditions were bad for him too. It seems akin to slave labour there.

    Stephen Roe

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