Work Camp 11017 GW
Type of work: Saw Mill
Man of Confidence: Gnr George Harris (3024)
Number of Men: 43 (16 New Zealanders)
|Daniel K.||McAuley||Seaf. H.||6180||Balmoral, Scotland|
|J.V.||Beacon||S/Sgt||RA||612 or 1413||MOC? Transf'd to Stalag 383|
|Arthur||Duggan||Dvr||RASC||1090||Capt'd Corinth '41; Died 12.5.42|
|Les||Farn||Spr||RE||1080||Also Flachau Work Camp|
|George (E.N.N.)||Harris||Gnr||RA||3024||MOC 1942-43|
|Robert Alexander||Heares||Pte||24 Bn.||440||New Zealand|
The following pictures were kindly donated by Robert Shaw, son of George Shaw, Jane Plumb, daughter of Les Farn, and Shane Howland, son-in-law of Robert Yeoman. A few of these photos may be from the Flachau Work Camp rather than 11017/GW.
The barbed wire encirclement of about 40 metres by 10 metres encloses a hutment of the usual type, a large shed, a small building which is the guard room, and a small place which serves as a laundry and has a bathroom and the latrines.
The hutment has two rooms, one having 20 bunks and the other 23 bunks, all triple tiered, as well as a refectory. The men have stopped using palliasses with wood shavings because of the vermin in them, and they now sleep directly on the boards. Because of the lack of cupboards, disorder reigns. It appears that the employer should be able to put at the disposal of the prisoners the wood necessary for their construction.
Lighting and ventilation are adequate. One single electric light bulb per room is not enough to suffice for the long winter evenings.
Bathing and washing facilities
There is no running water within the Camp enclosure. It would, however, be easy to install, as there is a conduit about 50 metres away. Showers do not exist. The kitchen prepares enough hot water once a week.
Food and Cooking
The prisoners get their food at the communal kitchen of the Company which employs them. The rations are the same as those of the civilian workmen, but the rations, for example, contain less fat. The civilians often have mashed potatoes whereas the prisoners have never had anything except potatoes in their jackets. Complaints addressed to the Commandant of the Guard company on several occasions have had the immediate effect of an appreciable improvement in the menu, but after a few weeks the old conditions recurred.
Medical attention and sickness
Men on the point of falling sick can go to consult the military doctor 3 times a week. This doctor is very severe and does not willingly accord exemptions, as can be seen from the following case:
The soldier, Arthur DUGGAN, aged 40 years, died one Tuesday morning some weeks ago, although at the Medical Visit on the preceding Saturday he reported with violent pains in the head and the back and was declared fit for work. Diagnosis: Heart weakness.
The following is the text of a letter written to Arthur Duggan's widow by St Sgt J.V. Beacon in May, 1942.
Dear Mrs Duggan,
I am writing this letter on behalf of my comrades who form this working camp who knew your husband. It is with regret to speak of your loss and we offer our condolences. Arthur had been poorly for a few days and he was confined to his bed. He was looked after by two of his friends, W. Jordan of the RASC and W. Pearce of the Royal Engineers. He passed away. It was a shock to us all. On Wednesday he was given a military funeral and the German authorities gave us all the help they could. He was buried in the country churchyard. A beautiful wreath in familiar colours, Red, White and Blue was placed on his grave. Well, Mrs Duggan, I do not know you but I do know how you must feel, But I can assure you that I am sorry that it has ended this way. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
Text kindly supplied by Arthur's daughter, Eileen Jenkins
The grave shown here is very likely of a POW from 11017/GW and may well be that of Arthur Duggan. (Photo supplied by Shane Howland.)
A civilian dentist from the neighbouring town attends the prisoners properly. Cases necessitating longer treatment are sent elsewhere, but many return after a few days without having been able to be treated because the dentist ( a British dental surgeon) could not attend to them before 10 days or more.
Uniforms and shoes are in order. Everyone has two uniforms, one of which is, however, very badly worn as no working clothes are distributed to the prisoners. Neither have they the wherewithal to protect their uniforms when they have to work in heavy rain, which often happens. On the day of the visit, the interior of the hutment was littered with uniforms and underclothing hung out to dry - the majority of the prisoners having had to work under adverse conditions the preceding day.
The prisoners in this detachment are anxious to receive a visit from an Anglican clergyman from time to time.
Recreation and exercise
The prisoners, who do very heavy work, do not play many games. They use their football at the weekend on a ground near the Camp. They are anxious to have a ping-pong game. They are short of musical instruments and would like to have some mouth organs, etc. Their football is almost unusable and the prisoners would be glad to have a new one.
The New Zealanders complain that they have received neither letters or parcels from home for a very long time. One prisoner has received no parcels for 7 months and another has only received 6 letters in 16 months, the last reaching him 14 weeks ago.
This detachment is not bad, but it should have the advantage of having as Camp Leader a prisoner with a more dynamic temperament who could rouse his comrades from their apathy.
Three men escaped at the beginning of the year and since then a dog has mounted guard in the Camp, where it is chained. No other measures have been taken as a result of these escapes.