Thanks to Margaret Byard of the Hayes Conference Centre for what follows.
Report on POW Camp 179
ADDRESS : POW Base Camp 179, Great Britain.
CAMP CAPACITY : 2,250.
COMMANDANT : Lt. Col. R.C.G. Joy.
CAMP STRENGTH OF DAY OF VISIT :
Medical Officers : 2
Protestant chaplain : 1
b) Other ranks : 289
Total : 292
German : 165
Dutch : 110
Czechoslovaks : 2
Norwegian : 1x
Luxembourg : 1x
Jugoslavs : 13
Total : 292
x are being transferred on 28.2.45
CAMP LEADER : Hauptfeldwebel TROSKA, Georg, A842722.
DATE OF VISIT : 26.2.1945, visited by Major F. Bieri.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CAMP.
Camp 179 when last visited was No.5, and, before that, No.13. On my last visit, together with Mr. Haccius the "Hostel", a building with a capacity of 500, was used for the POW officers, and all the rest of the POW lived in tents surrounded by a morass of mud. During the winter, all POW were taken out of the tents and transferred to other camps, with the exception of the present number of POW who were retained for camp construction, etc., and are accommodated in the "Hostel". There are three POW to a room, palliasses plus two blankets and a head-roll serve as bedding.
h) Cases in Camp Infirmary :
LUES : 1
FRACTURES : 2
GUNSHOT OR SHELL WOUNDS : 4
SEBORRH.EKZEM : 2
PLEURITIS : 1
FROSTBITE : 1
INFLUENZA : 2
BRONCHITIS : 1
RHEUMA : 1
IKTARUS CATARRH. : 1
CHOLECYSTITIS : 1
DYSENTERY : 1
STATUS POST ENDOCARDITIS : 1
TOTAL : 24
Note : 12 Patients are from Camp No.179, the rest have been sent over from neighbouring camps (including 4 Diphtherie cases)
i) Serious cases : None
j) Contagious cases : Diphtherie (see above).
k) Epidemics : None.
l) Deaths :
Obergefr. HOTZON, E. (POW number not obtainable) was sent to Camp 179 on 30.11.44 from a Hospital, suffering from effects a shell-wound in back of head. On 23.12.44 he was transferred to another hospital where he died on Christmas Day (Brain abscess).
m) P.P. Walks : Are carried out regularly.
n) Complaints : None.
GENERAL STATE OF HEALTH OF POW in words of German M.O. "Gut".
GENERAL STATE OF NUTRITION " " " " " " " "Sehr gut".
CLOTHING. Everything necessary, including boots, has been issued in sufficient quantity.
WORK. According to the Campleader, 80% of the POW are employed, the rest will get work in the near future, so that no man will be without funds. Rate of pay : 3/- a week. Working hours : 8. Employment : For a time on farms (where the farmers, at first sceptical, were in the end highly satisfied) and later, on camp construction.
CANTEEN. There is a small canteen with sufficient supplies at normal prices.
a) Protestant Chaplain : Lt. Koldetz, Johann, 927058. Services every Sunday. Lt. Koldetz visits the local clergyman once a week, who returns the visit weekly.
b) There is no Roman Catholic Chaplain in camp but Services are held every Sunday by a German POW Chaplain from a neighbouring camp.
SPORTS. There is a football ground and 4 footballs are available.
LIBRARY. The Library consists of about 180 German books. There are no Dutch books.
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY. English courses with an average attendance of 80; Shorthand course, average attendance of 10.
RADIO. A new radio set is available, but is, at the moment, in repair.
CORRESPONDENCE. A few POW receive mail often but all the rest, particularly the Dutch, are without news. Shortest time for a letter from Germany : 6 weeks; average time : 8 weeks.
a) 2 individual parcels from GRC were received on 30.1.45 and 2.2.45 respectively.
b) 8 individual parcels were received on 30.1.45 (4) 8.2.45 (1) and 9.2.45 (3)
GIFTS. 25 parcels of biscuits were recently received from ICRC.
During the last months the compounds have been provided with an extensive drainage-system, concrete-slab pathways have been laid out and roads are being built. The mud has disappeared. Ablution huts, kitchens, latrines and other huts have been enlarged or improved, so that everything is now ready for the reception of newcomers (expected at any moment). There are 4 tented compounds with a capacity of 500, each with its own campleader who, during the winter, supervised work in his compound, and the Hostel, for the use of elderly men or POW whose state of health will not allow them to live in tents. The whole camp is now well laid out and there is no danger of a return to the November conditions.
FOOD. No complaints.
Bill of fare on day of visit:
Breakfast : Haferflockensuppe mit Kakao u.Brot.
Dinner : Gemueseeintopf (Kartoffel u.Fleisch).
Supper : Brot, Margarine, Kaese, Buechsenwurst.
CAMP INFIRMARY. For description of buildings, see report 14.11.44. A large ward has been added, otherwise no alterations.
a) Medical Officers :
A821059 Oberarzt REUTER, Ulrich.
A859455 Oberarzt TESCH, Bruno.
b) P.P :
Officers : 2
Others ranks : 23
c) Medical supplies : Sufficient.
d) General medical inspection : Every 4 weeks.
e) Dental work : Carried out by a German Unterarzt.
f) Average number of daily sick parade : 4
g) Beds : Total number : 79 (in 7 wards).
Occupied on day of visit : 24
h) Cases in Camp Infirmary :
DISCIPLINE. 2 Dutchmen are in detention for theft. The Campleader describes discipline as "Ausreichend".
a) The Campleader desires
Books of all kinds for educations courses
(NOTE : These requests are made in view of the expected arrival of about 2,000 POW).
Books of any description (educational and/or fiction) for the 110 Dutch POW
Ping-pong balls (cannot be obtained locally).
b) The Protestant chaplain desires
Religious works of any kind, if possible GUENTHER DEHN: "Meine Zeit steht in Deinen Haenden" and CARL BARTH; Predigten oder Meditationen.
c) The Medical Officers desire
Books on Operative Chirurgie, Hautkrankheiten, Kinderkrankheiten, Augenheilkunde or Innere Medizin.
If possible :
SONNTAG : "Chirurgie des Prakt. Arztes"
KIRCHNER "Praktische oder operative Chirurgie"
DOMARUS or BERGMANN "Innere Medizin"
MUELLER "Lehrbuch der Augenheilkunde"
(NOTE : The M.O. have not got any German medical books at all, have not much to do and would be very grateful for something to work on!)
GENERAL IMPRESSION OF CAMP : Very good.