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  2. The Prisoner of War Collection from The First World War
  3. United States World War II Prisoner of War Records
  4. Where to Find Prisoner of War Records | Imperial War Museums
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These detailed accounts contain the names, ranks and locations of Prisoners of War, along with the length of time spent in camps, the number of survivors, details of escapees and the nationalities of prisoners. Britons represent the largest number in the collection, followed by Dutch, Americans and Australians. In addition to this type of data, the collection comprises , images, including pages from personal diaries and photographs.

1. Why use this guide?

Many official World War II records remain classified, making this an invaluable resource enabling members of the public to research the histories of relatives and those held captive during the war. The National Archives are committed to widening access to our shared national records and th e publication of these files is a significant development in facilitating this.

Start exploring today Delve into these fascinating records today to see whether your ancestors were among the thousands who endured prisoner of war camps, with two-weeks' free access to Findmypast. He recorded, at great personal risk, a diary which documented the deaths of other allied personnel around him in the rudimentary hospital facilities provided by the Japanese at Shirakawa.

On August 25th, , the United Kingdom and Poland signed an agreement of mutual assistance. In effect, this meant that the UK — and France, which had a separate agreement with Poland — would come to the defence of the Poles in case of military aggression by a foreign power.

The second phase of our Prisoners of War release included over 71, incredible Napoleonic POW records, marking the th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. This wonderful resource, provided by Naval and Military Press, hold vital information about men taken prisoner of war during both World Wars.

German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union

Within the first six months of World War 1 over a million soldiers were taken prisoner. All nations involved could not predict the length of the war and it became apparent that the need to build more prisoner of war camps was imperative. Many of whom were sent to the Far East to offer medical support to troops fighting the Japanese. A number of these women were captured and endured the same brutal treatment and harsh conditions as male POWs.

The stories of many these brave women can now be uncovered using our new Prisoner of War collection. The records show him captured in June , then arriving in Holland for internment in March and finally repatriated and arriving back in England in November Initially unprepared for taking large numbers of prisoners, from early , the German authorities put in place a system of prisoner of war camps, in total there were just under The camps included Holzminden, Stendal, Spandau and Soltau which was said to accommodate 30, prisoners.

The officers were generally kept in camps that were less crowded and conditions were slightly better than the lower ranks. The average officers camp housed about to men, the ordinary soldiers camp or Mannschaftslager could house between 12, to 50, men, often in dreadful conditions.

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Conditions were harsh and it was run by a brutal commandant. In July , 29 officers, including the most senior British officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles E H Rathbone, escaped through a tunnel and 10 evaded capture to get to the neutral Netherlands and freedom.

The Prisoner of War Collection from The First World War

The escape tunnel collapsed on the 30th escapee otherwise more men would have escaped. There were a number of notable prisoners at Holzminden Camp including Lieutenant Brian Horrocks who tried to escape Holzminden a number of times and was awarded a Military Cross for his efforts. He later became a famous senior officer in World War 2 as a close colleague of General Montgomery. Holzminden Camp held a number of high profile Allied servicemen. Conditions were harsh as it was used for the most troublesome prisoners who made regular escape attempts. The new records on TheGenealogist also reveal the details of two Allied Officers who went to extraordinary lengths to try to win their freedom.

Artillery Battery was taken prisoner at Kut-el-Amara- force marched miles to a camp at Yozgad. Bored in captivity they fooled around with a homemade Ouija board and hatched a plan to use it to more productive means.

United States World War II Prisoner of War Records

Playing on the naivety of their captors and the greed of the commandant they weaved an elaborate plot to plan an escape. Acting as mediums for the Ouija board, they attempted to convince their captors that they could reveal the whereabouts of buried treasure on the Mediterranean coast, once there, they planned to abscond to Cyprus. The original plan failed but the pair faked insanity to gain repatriation on medical grounds. They succeeded although a fake suicide attempt by Elias Jones nearly cost him his life and they were approved for a prisoner exchange and arrived in Britain a couple of months before the end of the war.

Captain Clarke along with 8 other British officers escaped from the camp and then crossed miles of hostile terrain to eventually steal a boat and sail to Cyprus.

Where to Find Prisoner of War Records | Imperial War Museums

Here we find the record of Captain Clarke on TheGenealogist. TheGenealogist has a wide and varied collection of military records available to access.

Find out more on how you can discover your ancestors from a range of subscriptions available. The stories in this article are copyrighted to TheGenealogist and cannot be reproduced without permission. Please contact our Press Office on if you wish to use any of the information contained on this page.

This is the lowest cost Diamond subscription we've ever had! Along with providing access to Census, BMDs, Non-Conformist Records, Wills and more, the Diamond subscription gives you access to record collections that make it easy to find so much more about your ancestors.

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