Work Camp  415 GW

Location: Stainach (near Liezen)

Type of work: Building

Man of Confidence: Cpl R.H. Finch, RAC

Number of Men: 27

Known to be present

Forename
Surname
Rank
Unit
POW
Comments
R.H. Finch Cpl RAC 1930 MOC 2/43
Herbert Leonard Grindell Pte RASC 2059 MOC 5/43
Leslie V Higgins Spr RE 2181  
Richard Jones Gnr RA 7064  
Harry Lambert Dvr RASC 3451 Capt'd Greece; also 22/GW
John Lee L/Cpl RE 1922 MOC 10/44
C.W. Leng Farr RAVC 1946 Transf'd to Stalag 20B
Eric Jack Mercer Tpr RAC 1779  
Charles W. Wroot Gnr RA 7081  
 

Photos kindly supplied by Richard Lambert, son of Harry Lambert, Patrick Higgins, nephew of Leslie Higgins, Richard Wroot, son of Charles Wroot and Margaret Patient, daughter of Eric Mercer.

Date of visit: 16 February 1943

General Description

The men live in an old factory building near the railway line. They are occupied in the building of a condensed-milk factory.

Interior arrangement

The room, which serves as dormitory and living room, used to hold the machines. It is of a certain height so that a second floor has been built along the walls where part of the beds stand. The light is quite insufficient and the heating not adequate. When it is cold outside, the North and East walls are covered with frost inside. The lodgings were only foreseen for the summer of 1941 during which the building was thought to be finished. But as the building material came in by drops, this provisional situation became fixed. The Accompanying Officer agreed that these men had to be furnished with better quarters immediately, otherwise they would be taken away from this enterprise.

Bathing and washing facilities

There are neither bath nor hot shower available. The ordinary ablutions were possible in a room with some taps and adequate.

Toilet facilities

Adequate.

Food and Cooking

The men do their own cooking and are satisfied.

Medical attention and sickness

Medical attention in this camp depends on the military doctor of an aerodrome which lies some 4 km from here. Thus, when getting ill, patients have to go to the aerodrome to see the doctor. In case of serious illness and emergencies, a nearby civil doctor is available. For dental treatment, the men here depend almost entirely on Stalag, only emergency extractions being done by the aerodrome dentist.

Clothing

Here also the clothing situation will have to be arranged with Stalag as the men do rather dirty work with plaster and such like.

Laundry

They do their washing themselves.

Money and Pay

No complaint.

Canteen

There is no canteen. The Stalag will have to be informed.

Religious activity

No religious activity for the same reasons as mentioned before. (A long and complicated trip for the Padre.)

Recreation and exercise

There is no playing ground. Walks will be organised. The men used to play football with a neighbouring camp. This is not allowed anymore, according to a general order of the German High Command.

Mail

Mail is very scarce.

Welfare work

In order.

Complaints

a) The prisoners complain about the fleas in this old house. several attempts were made to destroy them but up to now without success.

b) The foreman of the building is said to be brutal and loose-mouthed. The Commander of the Guard company was given the order to put this straight.

c) One of the men of this camp, Pte C. Leng, POW no.1946, wishes to be reunited with his brother, Pte A.T. Leng, POW no. 3679 in Stalag XXB. To be seen with the German High Command.

General impression

This camp is very bad. Luckily the German camp Commander is an energetic man who does his best to make the situation bearable.

Date of visit: 27 May 1943

Man of Confidence: Dvr H.L. Grindell, RASC

Number of men: 31

A new sleeping room had been built, and an adjacent dayroom almost complete. Lighting in the new sleeping room is very good.

There is a large wooden tub for baths.

The prisoners are attended by a civilian doctor. One of the men is a sanitator but is not recognised as such and has to work. There is no sick-room in the camp. Dental treatment is provided by a civilian dentist in Irdning.

The men would like somebody in the village to do their laundry.

There is no canteen but the men can buy in town of what there is.

This camp has still had no visit from a padre. Another camp a few hundred yards away was visited by a padre last February, which upset the men badly. A padre should be visiting soon.

Since football is still not allowed, arrangements must be made for swimming, walking or other kind of sport.

Complaints: civilians entering the camp; the drainage is very bad; better protective clothing is needed and cupboards for the kitchen.

This will be a good camp when it is finished.

Date of visit: 28 October 1944

Man of Confidence: J Lee

Number of men: 48

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