Leicester Mercury

Ghosts of the county’s for­got­ten PoW camps

WHAT EX-RAF MAN HAS FOUND IN LE­ICES­TER­SHIRE DUR­ING RE­SEARCH INTO BRI­TAIN’S WARTIME NET­WORK

- By CHRIS JONES chris.jones@reach­plc.com @chrisjones­s­port sys­ton­im­ages.co.uk/f537064555.

WHETHER suf­fer­ing un­told cru­el­ties in the Far East or plan­ning dar­ing es­capes from Colditz and Sta­lag Luft III, the im­age of the Bri­tish PoW looms large in the na­tional nar­ra­tive of the Sec­ond World War.

But far less at­ten­tion is given to Bri­tain’s own net­work of prisoner of war camps. Le­ices­ter­shire was home to at least 10.

Ex-RAF man Martin Richards, a post­grad­u­ate student at Fal­mouth Univer­sity, Corn­wall, has taken on the task of pho­tograph­ing the site of ev­ery PoW camp in the UK. So far, he has doc­u­mented about 500.

His pre­vi­ous re­search project fo­cused on Project Emily – the de­ploy­ment of Amer­i­can-built Thor in­ter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­siles across the UK in the 1960s – but Martin de­scribes his cur­rent un­der­tak­ing as “much big­ger”.

In his blog, he said: “I am un­der­tak­ing a ma­jor project as part of my MA course.

“I have called my project Banged Up Aboard as it is an at­tempt to pho­to­graph the re­mains and cur­rent sta­tus of for­mer Sec­ond World War prisoner of war camps.

“There were 500 or so camps within the UK, the lo­ca­tions of which in most cases is known. How­ever, some places and the lo­ca­tions have been lost to time.”

In Le­ices­ter­shire, Martin has doc­u­mented PoW camp sites in: Scraptoft; Quorn House, Quorn; Garen­don Hall, near Shep­shed; Farn­don Road, Mar­ket Har­bor­ough; Billes­don; Stoughton; Hath­ern; Old Dalby; Barkby and Ed­mon­thorpe Hall, near the bor­der with Rut­land.

How­ever, if you were to travel to see the re­mains of these camps for your­self, you might come away dis­ap­pointed.

That is be­cause many of the sites have now been built upon, with hous­ing es­tates stand­ing where the his­toric sites once were. De­spite this, signs of their wartime use are still faintly vis­i­ble in some cases.

In Beeby Road, Scraptoft, Martin said the out­line of the orig­i­nal PoW camp build­ings can still be seen, de­spite most of them hav­ing been de­mol­ished.

Ac­cord­ing to Martin, Quorn House is also of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est. He said: “The best site would be Quorn House, which is now owned by the same peo­ple who own the Quorn/Mountsor­rel quarry.”

You can view all of Martin’s pic­tures from Banged Up Abroad by search­ing:

 ??  ?? ECHOES OF WARTIME: These pic­tures were taken at the site of a for­mer PoW camp in Beeby Road, Scraptoft
ECHOES OF WARTIME: These pic­tures were taken at the site of a for­mer PoW camp in Beeby Road, Scraptoft
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ?? PIC­TURES: MARTIN RICHARDS ??
PIC­TURES: MARTIN RICHARDS
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? EN­EMY TER­RI­TORY: An Al­lied land­ing craft car­ry­ing Ger­man pris­on­ers of war ar­rives at a Bri­tish port from France
EN­EMY TER­RI­TORY: An Al­lied land­ing craft car­ry­ing Ger­man pris­on­ers of war ar­rives at a Bri­tish port from France
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK