BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

FIVE YEARS IN STALAG VIIIB, LAMSDORF

by ARMYSMARTIE

Contributed by 
ARMYSMARTIE
People in story: 
ROBERT HORACE SMART
Location of story: 
CALAIS, POLAND
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A3998983
Contributed on: 
03 May 2005

MY FATHER WAS L/CORPORAL ROBERT SMART, 2ND BATTALION KINGS ROYAL RIFLE CORPS, ARMY SERVICE NO 56843897.

ON THE 22ND MAY 1940, HE WROTE TO MY MOTHER FROM SOUTHAMPTON, SAYING THAT HIS UNIT WAS EMBARKING FOR BELGIUM/NORTHERN FRANCE AT 6.00PM THAT DAY. THIS WAS THE LAST MY MOTHER HEARD FROM HIM FOR SOME WEEKS, AS HE WAS LATER REPORT 'MISSING IN ACTION' DURING THE DEFENCE OF CALAIS.

HOWEVER, ON THE 26TH JUNE 1940, MY MOTHER RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM THE GERMAN AUTHORITIES THAT MY FATHER HAD BEEN WOUNDED DURING THE FIGHTING IN CALAIS AND HAD BEEN TAKEN PRISONER (POW NO. 13700). HE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY TAKEN TO STALAG VIIIB LAMSDORF, WHERE HE REMAINED UNTIL THE END OF THE WAR. DURING THIS TIME HE WORKED ON A WORKING PARTY E42, BUT I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THIS ENTAILED AND WHAT TYPE OF WORK IT WAS. WHEN HE WAS REPATRIATED AT THE END OF THE WAR HE LIVED WITH MY MOTHER IN LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE, WHERE I WAS BORN IN 1946. HE NEVER SPOKE OF HIS EXPERIENCE AS A POW, BUT I LEARNT FROM RELATIVES THAT CONDITIONS IN THE CAMP WERE VERY HARSH AND THE TRAUMA STAYED WITH HIM UNTIL HE DIED IN 1996, AGED 88 YEARS.

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO MAY HAVE KNOWN MY FATHER DURING THE TIME OF HIS ARMY SERVICE, ESPECIALLY DURING THE PERIOD SPENT AS A POW. ANY INFORMATION WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED BE IT FROM ANY FAMILY MEMBERS WHOSE RELATIVES MAY HAVE BEEN IN STALAG VIIIB AT THAT TIME.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Forum Archive

This forum is now closed

These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - stalag viiib lamsdorf

Posted on: 23 May 2005 by braniannie

My father John W. Bransgrove -Rifle Brigade -was at this camp at least during 1944. I have a couple of diaries/scrapbooks he kept whilst a prisoner (he was in Italy 1941-3 and after a brief period of escape Germany 1943 to end of War). Includes details of a forced march at end of war. Think Lamsdorf must have been a bad place as by comparison he writes that Thorn wasn't so bad!Am hoping to trawl through some of his writing to get a clearer picture

 

Message 2 - stalag viiib lamsdorf

Posted on: 30 June 2005 by jackanin

my uncle, jack cottle, ox and bucks regt (formerly somt light infantry) was captured at Hazelbruck nr Dunkirk and eventually was sent to Stalag VIIIB in Poland. He was based in the E209 working camp where he first worked on the railways, then forestry, next in the sugar beet factory and finally in the coalmines for three and a half years.
In Feb1945 he was evacuated from the camp and forced to walk towards the French border in what has become known as the Lamsdorf Death March.
He would like to hear from any of his comrades and I will pass on any information.
He has written an account which can be seen on www.britisharmedforces.org.

Message 1 - Stalag VIIIb

Posted on: 30 September 2005 by clevelandcsv

Dear Armysmartie,

I read your story with interest. You may care to read one I wrote about the same camp. Its title is: IN SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

With thanks

ALAN HARDY
Stockton on Tees
30th September 2005

Message 1 - Stalag VIIIB

Posted on: 28 January 2006 by clevelandcsv

Dear Mr Smart,

In his book, "Boldness Be My Friend"
captured RAF sergeant Richard Pape gives his account of life in the camp. If you haven't read it you might find it interesting.

KINDEST REGARDS

ALAN HARDY
Stockton on Tees
28.1.06

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Prisoners of War Category
Poland Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy