Monday 26 October 2009

Sedjenane POWs at Camp E 715 Auschwitz

Latest addition to the site is a group photograph taken at work camp E 715 at Auschwitz. Here, from October 1943, the British POWs were engaged in construction work for the I G Farben concern. With regular mail and Red Cross parcels, their treatment was much better than the horrors meted out to the Jewish and Soviet prisoners, who they often worked alongside, but it was still a very harsh routine.

The men featured include Pte G R Hamilton, who was serving with B Company, 16 DLI when he was taken POW during the Battle of Sedjenane on 2/3/43 and Ptes Frank Sansom, Harry Foster and W Fretwell, all of the 5th Sherwood Foresters, who were all almost certainly taken POW at Sedjenane, too.

This section also includes Pte Hamilton's diary listing of dates, places and distances coverred during the long march west from Auschwitz, which lasted from late January into March 1945. It's very possible that other men on this photograph are also 16 DLI and 5th Foresters. Hopefully more names will be forthcoming. All further details welcome. This new section begins on this page:

And among the documents featured are a copy of Pte Hamilton's

‘Register Form for Recovered Prisoners of War’

which records his capture on 2/3/43 (and note the misspelling of Sedjenane) and his liberation at Stalag 7A on 3/4/45. I have never seen a document like this before, so it's great to have a specific 16 DLI example on the site.

I've also updated the POW Numbers section of the site with many more names and numbers and it's now possible to view a near complete consecutive listing of men in the 222000 range, which includes Ptes Hamilton (222076) and Sansom (222079). Obviously, many of these men could well be on this group photo. The numbers sequence for Hamilton, Fretwell and Sansom is currently on this page:

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