pow camp

POW Camp 115, Whitecross, St. Columb Major

POW Camp 115 was a prisoner of war camp during World War II in the locality of Whitecross near St. Columb in Cornwall. It was built next to the railway track and covered an area of approximately 12 acres. The site was laid out in ranks of white concrete huts and was dominated by a tall Water tower. Around a thousand prisoners were held there. Originally these were Italians, but later most of them were moved out and it held German PoWs.

The Italians built their own elaborately decorated church with a beautiful altar, but the latter was later destroyed by the German PoWs. Besides the church, the inmates were allowed to level ground and construct a football pitch. The prisoners were organised into five teams and ran their own league. According to an Italian PoW, they were well treated and given the same food as the local people.

Today the site has been turned into a holiday park. A few of the huts remain, though the exteriors have been plastered and pebble dashed. The water tower still stands and is used as a workshop. Unfortunately, the church was demolished some time ago to make way for a new building. The football field, indistinguishable from the rest of the camp, provides a level pitch for caravans.

See also

Further reading

  • Cornwall at War 1939-1945 by Peter Hancock Published in 2002 by Halsgrove. Hardback. Illustrated. ISBN 1-84114-161-5.
  • Cornish Guardian July 17 2003, page 40-41
  • A Cornish Rhapsody: From a Penny Halfpenny an Hour to a Fortune. By Rudi Mock. Mount's Bay Press, Cornwall. ISBN 0-9539991-0-6 This is the true story of a German POW brought to England against his will, but decided to stay when given the opportunity

External links

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