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Stalag 4F Hartmannsdorf Chemnitz in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Stalag 4F Hartmannsdorf Chemnitz

    If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

    Those known to have been held in or employed at

    Stalag 4F Hartmannsdorf Chemnitz

    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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    Cpl J W Horseman Durham Light Infantry

    My father was Cpl J W Horseman 4454335 (after WW2 I was adopted hence change of name). He was captured in North Africa in June 1942 whilst serving with the DLI. He was in Campo 75 and Campo 70 in Italy before being sent to Stalag IVB and then Stalag IVF. I have no information on his period in capitivity other than he came back to the UK via 91 Reception Centre.

    If there is any one out there who knew him or can fill in any details I would appreciate it.

    J Sewell

    AC2 Ralph Harrison

    I am wondering if there is anyone who remembers my dad, Ralph Harrison, who was stationed as an AC2 in Egypt. He was seconded to the Army and was at a lighthouse in the Red Sea(?), possibly Libya. He was captured on 30th June 1942 by the Italians and taken to a prison camp somewhere near Milan, then was taken to Stalag 4F and then onto Stalag 4B near Dresden where he stayed until liberated at the end of the war.

    Sadly, Dad died some years ago and he never spoke of his time in the war as it affected him very badly, but I would love to hear from anyone who may have known him.

    Rhian Hall

    Pvt. Edmund A. Lojko Purple Heart 101st Airborne Division

    My Grandfather, Edmund Lojko recently passed away and I am trying to find information on his WWII history. He would seldom talk about it. I know he was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division, Screamin Eagles. He was taken prisoner 3 times, escaped twice, and released at the end of the war from Stalag 4f. I also know that he received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. But I want to know more.

    I am looking for anyone who may have known him during the war. I would really like hear any stories and see any pictures, etc.

    Karen Lojko

    Gunner Leonard Edward Sales Royal Artillery

    My father was held in Stalag 4F after escaping from the Italian ski troops. He would not say anything about his captivity other than to say he worked on the railway. As I have pictures of him with Indian soldiers around Basra I think he was with the 4th Indian fighting in the desert. I believe his period of captivity ranged from 1942 until 1945. His POW number was 250097. Since his death last year I have been trying to find out more about his service. If you or anybody can help I would be grateful.

    Terry Sales

    Cpl. Gerald Lawrence Baxter Platoon runner. Signals Corps

    My late father Gerald Baxter would not talk of his experiences other than that he was in North Africa (Tobruk) and then as a POW. The information I have is that he was a Signalman and Platoon runner in South African 2nd Infantry and saw action in the North African Campaign, being captured at Tobruk. He was a POW in Italy (believe it was in the Po river valley area) but then escaped and was recaptured. He was traken to Germany to Stalag 4F Hartmannsdorf (POW No: 263029) He was demobilized and returned to South Africa at the end of the war.

    I would be extremely grateful for any addtional information.

    Kevin Baxter

    Pte. John Hay Suttie

    I'm really hoping somebody out there can help me with some information about my late father, John Hay Suttie. I'm afraid I know very little as dad didn't like to talk much about his days as a POW during WW2 and understandably so. I do know he was a POW in Italy and then evidently he was at Stalag 4f at Hartsmannsdorf and was repatriated around 1947 or 1948.

    I would be very grateful to hear from anybody who can tell me anything else about my dad who sadly passed away in 1985. Thank you in anticipation.

    Anne Nightingale

    Pte. Roderick Dymott Royal Hampshire Regiment

    Rod Dymott was a Private in the Hampshire Regiment and he was a POW in Camp Stalag IV-F. His POW number was 263242. I would be very interested to make contact with any one who has photographs or memories of this camp.

    Susan Dymott

    Pte. Bill Jack Hart

    My father Bill Hart was a prisoner of war in Stalag 4F in Hartmannsdorf-Chemnitz Saxony 51-12. I am looking for information from someone who knew him during this period. I also am interested in information regarding the prisoner camp.

    Betsy Wise

    Pte. Nicholas Distasi 101st Airborne (Able Company)

    This is a story about my grandfather's WW2 experience as a sniper in the 101st Airborne. My grandfather passed away 4 years before I was born, not much was known about his service since he kept most of it to himself. What I am going to tell you is what he told his son and daughter(my mother)and what I could gather from old soldier buddies of his.

    Nick, just like many other 17 year old boys of the day, convinced his father to let him join the military after Pearl Harbor. Nick and his best friend joined up in 1942 with Nick choosing Airborne because they paid more and his buddy choosing ground infantry. Nick didn't realize at the time he was joining an elite unit and at its most infantile stage. Nick was eventually assigned to Able Company of the 101st and was sent to Camp Toccoa for training. I was told that he was chosen for sniper school and spent some time away from the other troopers to train. Before the best friends left for war Nick's best friends mother tore a dollar bill in half and gave it to the best friends and told them that they would meet up again. Nick didn't think too much about it and headed off to war.

    Not much is known about his jump on D-Day we do know that he gathered up with other scattered troopers that night in France. Nick said that when they jumped they were really tired and that when he landed he meet up with Lt. Muir and some other troopers. Nick explained how the Lt. was lost at night and told them to take a nap and then they would move out. Nick said he closed his eyes and the next thing he knew there were screaming Nazi's pointing their guns in his face. Being surprised and having a sense of humor he woke and screamed don't shoot I got a lot German friends back home I wanted to go fight the Japs. Nick had realized that nobody woke him and Private Archie Ponds up and that it was daylight and the spot his Lt. choose to nap at was actually right next to the road. He said the Nazi's noticed him and Archie sleeping from the road while driving.I think he was really upset that the morning of the D-Day invasion he was already captured.

    The Nazis carted him off to god knows where, then he ended up in Stalag 4f where he ran into his best friend who was captured somewhere else, they supposedly connected the dollar halves as my Uncle and Mother claim. Nick was eventually freed by the Russians in 1945.

    My grandfather never went to any Army reunions or talked about the war, it probably hurt him inside that he was forgotten and was captured on day one of the invasion. Maybe the dollar bill saved his life, fate had seemed to follow him to the end. Nicholas A. Distasi passed away June 6, 1974 from a heart attack at the French Hospital in NYC, 30 years to the day of D-Day in France. Don't know much more about his involvement in the War, would love to find out what happened to him during capture.

    Richard Michael Volpe

    Gnr. William James Priestman

    Bill Priestman was my Grandad, who never ever spoke of his time in the war or as a POW. He was a Gunner 914577 in the Royal Artillery. He was posted as missing on the 20th June 1942 in The Middle East. He was captured and was in Italian hands at Campo PG75 PM3450 Italy. Then marched onto Stalag IVF and Stalag IV B - POW number 259537. He then returned back to the UK on the 15th May 1945. Please let me know any further information.

    Louise Priestman

    Broughton Baker

    My uncle, Broughton Baker was a prison of war during WW11, and was at Stalag 4F at a work camp, I think, from 2/44 until it closed on 6/22/1945. I am trying to locate any pictures that may have been taken of this camp, or anyone that may have known or knew of my uncle. I was under the impression he either escaped or tried to, but he did survive this camp and lived in Harnett County N.C. until his death in 1993.

    Sandy Ward

    Tpr. George Victor Archer 1st Royal Tank Regiment Royal Armoured Corps

    My grandfather George Archer served in WW2 and was captured in North Africa in 1942. Hewas a prisoner of war in Italy PG70, and later in Stalag 4F in Germany. He sadly passed away in 2005, but I was lucky enough for him to tell me stories about his time during the war.

    I have a few documents, photos and his medals that I have now displayed in my house, including the original sketch Pow 'Paterson' drew in the camp from memories of them being captured and George digging what he thought was going to be his grave!

    George lived in South Australia. Before his death, he wrote this to one day hope get on the internet:

    "Seeking Second World War English POWs from Stalag 4F then to Work Camp ARB KDO No. 23 at Chemnitz in Germany.

    This is a photo of myself - Trooper George Archer, 77269, 1st Royal Tank Regiment - Captured prior to El Alemain Campaign 1942 I would like to contact anyone who was in this camp with me. I have also included a photo of the lads who were with me in ARB KDO 23. I'd be very pleased to hear from any of the lads in the photo. Some of the names I remember are Patterson, Angel, Bishop & Freeman

    A brief history of my experiences prior to and including my capture. I would like to contact anyone who was captured in the Middle East in 1942 and was taken to a camp in Italy named PG70, or was later transferred to Stalag 4F in Germany, when the Italian Army capitulated in 1943. The group photograph was taken at a work Komando camp in Saxony called Schwarzenberg. We were made to load and unload railway trucks under the supervision of a couple of armed civilian employees. There are 18 of us shown in the photo - perhaps you might be one of them or you might be one of the group taken to PG70 in Italy. We were a group known as the 'Tin Bashers', because we were all sheet metal workers and we made lots of tin utensils and rubbish bins out of the Red Cross parcels we sometimes got. As well as keeping us out of mischief, we got extra rations of bread. So if you recognize any of these blokes, please get in contact. I think you will enjoy a bit of nostalgia.

    Terry Archer

    Sgt Mjr. Robert Smith Royal Signals

    My grandfather Robert Smith, Royal Signals, served in Eygpt, Mainland Greece and Crete, where he was captured following the German Army invasion of the Island in 1942. He was held at Stalag 4F until the end of the war. His POW Number was 10692.

    At the end of WW2 he was returned to the UK and discharged. He weighed some 6 stone in weight. He joined the Army in the mid 1930s during the great depression, a way of being fed. Loved by all his family, he died in 1989, partially due to the long-term effects of starvation and treatment as a POW. RIP grandad. Loved always.

    Pte. Robert Walter Hair Durham Light Infantry

    My late father who happily survived the war joined the Durham Light Infantry at the onset. He was an anti tank gunner. Unfortunately he, like many, didn't speak much of the War.

    He was captured in North Africa and was interned in a POW camp in Italy. He escaped but was later captured again and ended up in Stalag 4f for the war he wouldn't have learned how to play chess or more importantly be a good poker player. If anyone has any information relating to the above I would be extremely grateful. His son.

    Roy Hair

    Pte Richard Ross 2nd Battalion Black Watch

    My father, Pte Richard Ross, was captured on Crete. From there they were taken to Italy then marched to Germany. He was held in Stalag 1V F Camp C101 which was liberated by the Americans in 1945. He never spoke of his time in the camp so it would be interesting to hear any details.

    Rebecca Hislop

    Denis George Thomas Batey Royal Armoured Corps

    My grandfather Denis Batey who is still alive after serving in the Second World War, and being held in Stalag 4F at Hartmanzdorf, but he doesn't like to talk about it. I was wondering if anyone knew him. Any information would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    Michael Batey

    Drvr. Christopher Stanley Arthur Tennant Royal Signals

    My late father, Christopher Stanley Arthur Tennant, was a driver in the Royal Corp of Signals and served in the western desert until his capture by the Italians. He spent some time in a POW camp somewhere near Naples before being placed in a cattle truck and spending 3 days getting to Germany.

    Originally, I have him in Stalag 4B, which puzzled me slightly as this camp was liberated by the Russians, and other parts of his story did not fit with this camp - I will come on to this later. However digging a little deeper it would appear that he was moved to 4F. He said the conditions were bad and that the whole hut had body lice so badly that they were regularly dusted with DDT until they found the man who always managed to miss the dusting and burnt all his clothes, after which things improved.

    He appeared to live for his Red Cross parcels which were shared with a friend (Dusty Miller, a lad from the West Country) who appeared to tell him many West Country dialect words, one of which was "Dumbledore" for a bumblebee (no JK Rowling did not invent the word), and which he always used as a term of endearment for his three grand-daughters. The Red Cross parcels were always intercepted by the German guards who always took the socks and soap much to his chargin.

    He apparently worked clearing railway lines, often frozen to the core with little clothing but had no idea why the lines were so busy day and night and for what reason. Just before he died he told me the following, he never spoke of this to anyone else within the family, just me and until today I have never been able to verify the facts.

    At the end of the war the guards left the POWs in the camp. They could hear the Russians advancing one way and the US forces the other and they prayed that the US would reach them first. They did, luckily and starving the men set out to find food. They followed the railways lines and came across a concentration camp. I believe that my Dad may have been one of the first in. He said that what he saw had haunted him his entire life, and that following that they went into the local town and looted the Post Office. It is only today that I have been able to verify that the camp was liberated by US forces and that there was a concentration camp nearby.

    I have his diary from 1941 that he managed to keep going all through the war and one entry reads "excused work today, yellow jaundice weight 6 stone". He was luckier than the victims nearby but I am sure it coloured his whole life what he saw that day. He was a sweet gentle man who hated injustice and although he died 15 years ago he is very much missed by his entire family.

    Kay Enk

    L/Cpl. John Victor Huggins Essex Regiment

    John V Huggins

    John V Huggins with others st Hartmannsdorf

    John Victor Huggins was taken prisoner, his POW number being 260264 and was held at Stalag IV-f Hartmannsdorf, Saxony. There are photographs of him with others at the camp.

    John Heyland

    L/Cpl. Geoffrey Hyde 4th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment

    The tank crew he served with for a time taken I believe in 1941 near Tobruk

    A photo of a group in Stalag 4F Camp PG70 my Dad Geoff Hyde is on the extreme right back row

    The map he used during his escape from the Germans.

    My Dad, Geoff Hyde served in the 4th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment from February 1940. He has documented his experiences in a War Diary which he compiled shortly before his death in January 2009.

    My Dad was captured during the battle for Tobruk in June 1942. He was wounded as a result of an argument with a German guard during a move from a POW camp in Benghazi to a camp in Tripoli and ended up in a military hospital in Caserta. He always said he had good memories of the way the Italian military treated the wounded and POWs. When his condition improved he was sent to a POW camp PG60 near Capua and then to one known as PG70 near to Fermo in a small town called Valtenna. The camp was across the road from a small chemical plant which is still there. When Mussolini surrendered they were all transferred to camps in Germany and he went to Chemnitz and eventually escaped from a cross country march as the Allied forces advanced on the Germans in April 1945 and met up with a group of American forces who he had a hard time persuading to accept he was British.

    During his time in Camp PG70 he was involved in the production of a Camp 'magazine' called Lager Life. I have almost the full set of copies of this. Fortunately, he took a Kodak Brownie camera with him when he was posted overseas and somehow this made its way back to his parents home when he was hospitalised in Cairo during the breakout from Tobruk in 1941.

    Steve Hyde

    Albert Ashbridge 1st Btn., B Coy Border Rgt.

    My uncle, Albert Ashbridge, was in the 1st Btn Border Regiment, 13 platoon, B Coy. He was captured during the airborne landings at Arnhem, sometime during September 1944. He was imprisoned at Stalags 4b and 4f.


    Andre Vanelstlande

    My grandfather was deported in the Second World War to Hartsmandorf, Stalag IVf. In 1945 he came home to Boeschepe and his 7 year old son didn't even recognise him: his son called his mother saying there was an unknown man coming on the farm.

    Drvr. George Wilby Royal Army Service Corps

    I am trying to find anyone who may have known George Wilby, a driver in the RASC. He was in Stalags 4b and 4f. We have a dairy he kept for the full time he was a POW. There are no other names, unfortunately. While at 4f he worked in Rebech coal quarry.

    Kevin Bond

    Dvr. Harold Jones Royal Army Service Corps

    My dad, Harold Jones kept his experiences during the war mostly to himself, but we know he was rescued at Dunkirk and brought home to Berkshire. I believe he had a break of about six months and then went to Scotland and was trained prior to being sent to North Africa. He was captured at Tobruk and imprisoned in Italy then Germany where I believe he stayed until being released at the end of the conflict. It certainly would be nice to learn more about his movements during both campaigns.

    Dad was 20 when conscripted. He died in 1985. Our mum is still alive at 93 and was a barrage balloon operator on Wandsworth Common for the duration the balloons were operational. She has met her surviving WAAF girls every year following VE day and has missed only one meeting. This year, when the five surviving girls meet up, will be their 70th year.

    Mark Jones

    Harry Frederick Muse Royal Artillery

    My father, Harry Muse, was a prisoner at Stalag IVB. He was captured at Anzio Beach Head after fighting in North Africa and then shipped out to Italy to help with the Allied advance. I don't know how long he was a prisoner in Stalag IVB but, along with another prisoner from Birmingham - Charlie Thornton - they escaped, only to be recaptured on 1st April by the Gestapo. Both were eventually transferred to a smaller camp Stalag IVF at Annaburg Bucholtz. Towards the end of the War my father escaped again to meet up with the advancing Americans.

    For six months after the War my father was in Venice being repatriated and doing what was known as mopping up operations. Unfortunately, my father never talked of fighting, indeed he talked of little about the War from the time he was enlisted in January 1942 until the end of the War in May 1945.

    Trevor Muse

    L/Bombr. Harry Frederick Muse Royal Artillery

    Mt father, Harry Frederick Muse, escaped twice once from Stalag 4B and once from Stalag 4F where upon escaping he met up with the advancing American forces. He went back to help liberate Stalag 4F. Russian soldiers had already hung a number of German guards.

    The first time he escaped he was recaptured on the 1st of April by Gestapo and was lucky to survive, it was guards from the camp that came to his rescue. He escaped with others but I only know the name of one and that was Charlie Thornton another Brummie, as my father was a Brummie too.

    He was repatriated and sent to Venice for six months in mopping up operations.

    He was originally captured at Anzio Beach Head after having fought in North African for 2 years. He never talked about fighting, but told little stories of being a Prisoner of War and was at Stalag 4B when a German Messerschmidt Buzzed over the camp, but it couldn't pull out of the dive and crashed the plane, he said the whole camp cheered and laughed at that.

    Trevor Muse

    Pte. George William Hall 2nd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment

    George Hall was posted to Malta in 1939 where he was defending Luqa Airfield till November 1942. The 2nd Battalion Royal west Kent Regiment was then posted to North Africa. Records are not clear as to when he was captured but family members have told of capture in Malta. George was then marched and moved by train to Stalag IVf Hartmansdorf Chemnitz. Records first list George as missing, however, was reported on 16th of November 1943 as Prisoner in German hands. George was later set free and left the forces in 1946. Not much is know of his time in the battalion but if anyone knows of George please add your stories and comments.

    Thomas Bryan

    L/Cpl. Robert Howard "Smudge" Smith 2nd Btn. Cheshire Regiment

    My dad, Robert Smith, enlisted in the British Army on 29th December 1929 at Seaforth for seven years with the Colours and five years with the Reserve. He was born the 31st December 1911 in Ainsdale, Lancashire. He was two days short of his 19th birthday when he enlisted. Dad did his training at Chester, then was posted out with his Regiment to India where he spent seven years, returning home to the UK. As he then had completed his Colour Service, he went into civvy street and worked for Cheshire Lines Railways.

    Not long after, he was recalled for war service, going to France with his battalion the 2nd Cheshires. He was a machine gunner. Eventually, like many others, he was harried to Dunkirk. His first try at escaping from Dunkirk was thwarted by the ship he was on being bombed, but eventually he made the return back to Blighty in a small craft.

    Dad then served in North Africa, before being caught in the bag at the fall of Tobruk. He was shipped to Italy as a PoW to a place called Bars. When the Italians surrendered, he and others made a break for it, but later were given away by a young fascist lad. The Germans then imprisoned Dad and he was sent to POW Camp Stalag IVF located at Hartmannsdorf Chemnitz. Whilst Dad was there he was put on work details in the fields, and he also did some boot repair work.

    He and another lad had some Red Cross rations issued and decided to make a cake with some of the items. The German cook let them bake it in some of the hot ashes in the cook house but they couldn't wait so decided to eat the mixture as it was. Shortly afterwards they were both very sick, their stomach had shrunk so much they could not hold it down. My dad spoke of an old German sergeant who had lost four sons on the Russian Eastern Front, and who had only one son left who was serving in France. My dad got gangrene in his right hand. A German doctor saved it by scraping it out with scissors whilst dad was held down by two medical orderlies. The doctor poured pure iodine into the wound - it saved his hand, but he said he cursed that doctor while he worked on that wound.

    My dad made it back to Blighty after the Americans freed them. He was discharged from the Army as being B1 Ref fitness. My father weighed less than 5 stone when he got back home, he was only 5ft 3 inches in height. My mum had to buy him youth's clothes, he was so light. Dad passed away in September 1990. The doctor said Dad did not want to go and fought all the way until his heart stopped.

    Robert C Smith

    George Sidney Harper Advanced Landing Group




    Guards Commandant

    Intitially involved in training in the Hastings area, George Harper served in North Africa where the ALG team he was with rebuilt airfields captured from the opposition. He was a cook.

    He then moved to the island of Cos where he was scalded by a tea urn knocked over by a bomb blast while the Germans were assaulting the island. He was scheduled to be flown out but another soldier handled a butterfly bomb and was more seriously hurt. Left in hospital when the island was over run, the German victors entered the hospital removing any Italians and shooting them. George was heavily tanned after his trip across North Africa and was being grabbed to be removed and shot as an Italian. Fortunately one of the German officers spoke English and recognised him as a Tommy.

    He was sent across the sea to Italy and then spent 20+ (28?) days in a cattle truck moving first to Stalag Luft IVB and then Chemnitz, IVF where he saw out the war. Part of the duties in Chemnitz was clearing rubble and bodies after bombing raids including reburying dead from a cemetery that was hit by a blast.

    George (or me, his son) still has a dozen photos from IVF, many of prisoners and including a picture of and letter from the commandant.

    Chris Harper

    Pte. Lewis George Pitts 1st Btn. Welch Regiment

    My grandfather, Lewis Pitts, was captured in Crete on 2nd June 1941 and held at POW Camp 65, Gravina Altimura. He was transferred to Stalag 4f at an unknown date. I am only just beginning my research to any help would be very much appreciated.

    Robert Pitts

    L/Cpl. William Milner Green Howards

    My uncle, Billy Milner, was a Lance Corporal in the Green Howards. He was captured at Tobruk and suffered greatly in Italian POW camps. Sick, malnourished and with no medical attention, he was left for dead but survived due to the intervention of the German Army!

    On Italy's capitulation his prison camp in Italy was taken over by the Germans who gave him proper medical care. He was then transported to a POW camp in Germany - Hartmannsdorf, Stalag IV F88 in Saxony - where he had to do forced labour clearing up after allied bombing, possibly in Dresden. He never talked about his war experiences but there is no doubt they affected him for the rest of his life.

    John Stubbs

    Louis Marius Rouviere

    My father Louis Rouviere was born on 21st July 1918 in Rochefort in the Gard. I have an ID tag which indicates that he was in Stalag XB, No. 7474 and a photo on the back of which is mentioned Stalag IVF with a number 10950. I got some information from the mayor's office in Rochefort in the Gard, which states that my father arrived on 19th May 1945 via Metz from Stalag IVF.

    I did not know my father who died on 18th May 1948, I was born a few months later. I would like to know what happened to him, I have no information. I would really like to know more. If anyone can help I would be grateful.

    Louis Rouviere

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